LEICESTER ⸺ Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 17 points as Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus fired them to a 2-0 win at third-placed Leicester City on Saturday.
City now need, at most, 11 points from their remaining seven matches to secure their third Premier League title in four seasons.
The effects of the international break were barely noticeable on Pep Guardiola’s side, who dominated from the outset, having a Fernandinho strike ruled out for offside before Kevin De Bruyne crashed a free kick against the bar.
Leicester were restricted to the counter-attack but went close to an opener on the stroke of halftime when Jamie Vardy rounded Ederson and slotted the ball home but he was narrowly offside.
City were finally rewarded for their control of the game in the 58th minute when, after keeper Kasper Schmeichel had parried out a Riyad Mahrez shot, Leicester failed to clear a Rodri cross and Mendy cut inside Marc Albrighton and side-footed into the far corner.
De Bruyne was at his very best and it was the Belgian who created the second with a glorious defence-splitting pass to Jesus, who fed Raheem Sterling, the England man taking his time before returning the pass to the Brazilian who poked home.
“It was really good today, especially in the first half when we dominated,” said De Bruyne.
“There was one team playing. In the second half they did a bit better, but I think we deserved more goals. Half the team started training on Friday.”
City, who have now won 15 straight away games in all competitions, have 74 points from 31 games with Manchester United behind them on 57 from 29 matches and Leicester on 56 from 30.
In the battle for Champions League qualification, Leicester are seven points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham United.
“We didn’t show the quality we have got but that comes with a bit of tiredness sometimes,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.
“Our organisation was good but we didn’t get through the pitch well at times. If you concede against a team with that much quality they can just hide the ball from you,” he added.
Guardiola’s side play the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis; Reuters