Manchester City vs Leicester: Five things we learned as Citizens held on against Foxes to move closer to top-four finish

Manchester City move into third with 72 points to their name

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Manchester City held on to a 2-1 victory against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon as they took another important step towards securing a top-four spot.

The home side pulled ahead through David Silva and a Gabriel Jesus penalty before Shinji Ozakaki pulled one back for the Foxes three minutes before the break.

Leicester enjoyed more possession and chances in the second half, having struggled for both in the opening 45 minutes, and even saw a Riyad Mahrez penalty disallowed but were ultimately unable to find an equaliser.

Here's five things we learned:

City hold out for victory - just

After dominating in the first half, Manchester City's grasp on the game unravelled in the second 45 minutes. The visitors hit the ground running after the break as they pushed Pep Guardiola's side deep into their own final third with a series of promising attacks. The likes of Marc Albrighton and Riyad Mahrez came to life with their hard running and dizzy trickery to offer hope of a Leicester equaliser.

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Mahrez's penalty was disallowed (Getty)

Chance after chance came their way but still the Foxes couldn't find a way through. Vincent Kompany played a crucial role, with his experience and authority at the back helping to smooth out the creases, while a deep-sitting Yaya Toure offered an additional layer of defence in front of the City defence.

Nonetheless, luck played a significant factor in today's victory. After being brought down by Gael Clichy in the City box, up stepped Mahrez with what looked to be the equaliser. Although the Algerian's penalty kick did find the back of the goal, the referee correctly disallowed it after the strike took a fluke deflection off the forward's right foot. On this occasion, City held out for all three points - but only just.

Chop and change highlights need for fresh Leicester legs

Robert Huth and Wes Morgan established a formidable partnership during Leicester’s title-winning season last year but wear-and-tear has taken its toll on the pair this campaign. Both were absent from today’s line-up through injury, with Yohan Benalouane and Christian Fuchs stepping in at the back. At 32 and 33 respectively, Huth and Morgan aren’t getting any younger. Their struggles with injury this season, and inconsistency on the pitch, highlights the need for fresh legs at the back as Leicester turn their attention towards the summer transfer window.

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Christian Fuchs stepped in at centre-back today (AFP/Getty Images)

Leicester spirit still alive and kicking

Three minutes prior to the break, Leicester had hardly threatened the home side. But then up stepped Okazaki with a moment of magic to reignite the Foxes’ hopes of a comeback. Out of seemingly nothing, Leicester did what they do best in catching their opponents off guard. The ball was worked out to Albrighton on the left before the ball was fired into the City box with menace. Twisting his body, the Japanese forward sprung into action to meet the delivery with a stunning mid-air volley that sent the ball fizzing past Willy Caballero and into the back of the net. It was Leicester at their best and a stark reminder that Craig Shakespeare’s wiry Foxes have the ability to make something out of nothing.

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Okazaki scored a stunning volley to keep Leicester's hopes alive (Getty Images)

City’s youthful trio offer bright future 

There’s no doubting where the future of Manchester City lies. Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling were firing on all cylinders today as they set about terrorising the patchwork Leicester defence. With their pace, quick feet and intelligence on the ball, the City trio ran dominated against their opposite numbers for large swathes of the match.

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Jesus celebrates his penalty (Getty Images)

Sane was particularly impressive down the left-flank, repeatedly beating Danny Simpson to take the ball to the Leicester byline before firing in ball after all ball. Jesus, too, continues to look the real deal. He dispatched his penalty with an air of maturity and confidence that belies his 20 years of age. With these three leading the City frontline, the future looks bright for Guardiola and his men.

Chilwell’s education continues to move in the right direction

Today served as another crucial learning curve in Ben Chilwell’s education as he continues to make a name for himself. He certainly had his hands full against Sterling, who succeeded in beating the Leicester youngster on a number of occasions to put City in with a goal-scoring chance, but for much of the match Chilwell looked solid on the back foot.

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Ben Chilwell sprints to get away from Fernandinho (Getty Images)

It was his forward game which was most impressive, though. His meandering run in the 50th minute, in which he took it past four City players inside his own half before being brought down by Vincent Kompany, was a telling reminder of what he’s capable of with the ball at feet. Similarly, his intelligent reverse pass to Okazaki in behind the City defence moments later showcased his shrewd reading of the game. Leicester will do well to keep hold of the talent who will undoubtedly be subject to a number of bids this summer.

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