Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City: Stunning Kompany strike sees City back to the top in nervy affair
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City: Stunning Kompany strike sees City back to the top in nervy affair

A Vincent Kompany blockbuster has seen the champions back to the top of the Premier League with just one game to play.

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Josh Slinger

Manchester City have returned to the pinnacle of the Premier League thanks to a stunning Vincent Kompany strike.

The champions of England are now just 90 minutes away from winning back to back Premier League titles for the first time in their history.

Story of the game

The opening stages of the game saw the Etihad noticeably quiet, perhaps due to nerves as the fans of the champions knew only a win would do in order for their side to return to the top of the league.

Brendon Rodgers’ men looked comfortable on the ball, only further frustrating the City crowd as they limited Pep Guardiola’s men to very few chances in the opening stages.

The first big chance of the game then fell the way of the visitors as Ricardo Pereira surged forward from fullback, cut inside before having his shot blocked from close range. The gasp from the away end showed how close the Foxes came, would’ve been replicated in Merseyside.

Phil Foden struck a volley straight at Kasper Schmeichel before Youri Tielemans tried his luck from distance, again firing straight at the ‘keeper. The sides matched each other well during the first quarter of an hour.

For the next 15 minutes the City nerves continued, allowing the Blues to create very little.

Bernardo Silva picked up the ball on the half-hour mark, beat a couple of men before winning a corner – a lift for the fans and players alike.

Moments later, the best chance of the game so far fell to Sergio Aguero, who from a couple of yards out headed onto the post before Schmeichel tremendously pawed the ball off his line and away.

Many thought the ball had crossed the line upon first viewing, although the shake of Mike Dean’s head showed this wasn’t the case – a very close call.

Kompany’s head down to David Silva saw the Spaniard volley wide moments later as half-time approached and City began to knock on the door.

Bernardo tested Schmeichel again on the stroke of half-time with a shot from distance although the Foxes went in level at the break. Liverpool still in pole position.

The first chance of the second-half, and one of the biggest of the game fell to Raheem Sterling, as the PFA Young Player of the Year headed over, unmarked, from five yards out – a huge miss.

On the hour mark Ilkay Gundogan then fired just wide as City began to pick the Leicester lock more and more.

The Foxes were still offering a threat on the counter-attack and had Ederson scrambling as James Maddison fired just wide of his goal, before out of absolutely nowhere captain Kompany raised the roof at the Etihad.

City’s Belgian skipper picked the ball up from 35 yards, saw no options left, right or centre and so tried his luck from distance, thumping the ball into the top corner leaving Schmeichel with no chance. Incredible strike. 1-0.

Following the goal, City played at less of a high tempo and looked to throw less men forward, wary of the threat the likes of Jamie Vardy could pose on the break.

Bernardo fired high and wide with 10 minutes to play, although for the most part the Blues were just looking to keep ahold of ball.

Kelechi Iheanacho had a huge chance off the bench to bag a heartbreaking equaliser against his former club as he fired wide, after Hamza Choudhury won the ball back deep inside the City half.

A nervy home crowd saw the champions hold the ball in the corner for the last few minutes before the referee eventually blew his whistle and sent the Citizens back to the top of the league.

A win against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday will see the title return to the Etihad.

Takeaways from the match

Captain Kompany saves the day, again

Throughout his tenure at City, Kompany has made his name as a leader from the back, acting as a rock in the centre of the Blues’ defence throughout all of their recent glory.

Tonight one of City’s best ever players lead from the front, just like he did in 2012 against Manchester United as he scored the winner in the latter stages of the season, digging his side out of a hole and potentially scoring one of the most important goals of the season.

The Belgian was already a legend, although should City win the league, he could go down as even more than that due to his moment of brilliance tonight.

Fantastic Mr Fox?

Since replacing Claude Puel as Leicester boss, Rodgers has been terrific. The former Celtic manager has brought Vardy back to his best, solidified their defence and brought a terrific style of football back to the King Power Stadium.

Leicester may have been narrowly beaten tonight, although can be proud of how well they have played away from home against one of the best sides in Europe. An exciting time ahead for the former champions of England.

Down to the final day

Without a doubt, this has been one of the most dramatic title races in Premier League history, with both City and Liverpool relentless in their pursuit of the trophy.

With both sides having a fantastic season regardless of what happens now, it will now go down to the final day. A win for City away to Brighton on Sunday will see them crowned Premier League champions for the fourth time.

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