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KEVIN DE BRUYNE put in a display of the highest quality as Manchester City returned to their old selves to see off Leicester on Saturday evening.
The Belgian’s performance was a feat of strength, skill and endurance, and his team had to show resilience, too, after they went behind to a Jamie Vardy strike midway through the first half.
The Leicester speedster sprinted beyond Fernandinho and lifted his finish over Ederson. Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, knew that such a chance might arise.
“I said many times, what happened with Vardy is going to happen 100 per cent,” he said.
“One, two, three times they are going to get one on one with the keeper. Vardy does versus [Nicolas] Otamendi and Fernandinho what he does against every centre-back in the world.
“The other option is to defend in the box, but with my team that is not going to happen.”
De Bruyne was at the heart of the home side’s comeback, driving the team on from midfield.
Riyad Mahrez scored the equaliser, cutting inside onto his left foot and seeing his shot deflect of Caglar Soyuncu. Ilkay Gundogan nudged City ahead from the spot just before half time after Raheem Sterling was felled in the box by Ricardo Pereira.
De Bruyne had hit the foot of the post and forced an excellent save from Kasper Schmeichel, but it was his all-action display, covering every blade of grass in the opposition half, which set him apart from the rest.
He then put one on a plate for Gabriel Jesus to seal the victory in the second half.
The result ended Leicester’s 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions, but the 10 games they managed to win during that streak mean Brendan Rodgers’s side remain second in the table despite their loss.
“It shows how well the players have done to still be a point ahead of Man City having lost against them,” said Rodgers.
“But it also shows the improvement we can make. Lots of young players who can improve and grow.”
Manchester City are now one point behind the Foxes, and 11 off the top of the table, though leaders Liverpool now have a game in hand following their break for the Club World Cup.
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