Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Mahrez on the bench for Manchester City clash

Claude Puel GETTYRiyad Mahrez has travelled with Claude Puel's squad
Noah Ferguson | 11 February, 2018, 07:33

Leaders Manchester City host Leicester, who will again be without Mahrez after he failed to force through a move to the Premier League leaders, while Manchester United travel to Newcastle and Southampton welcome back Virgil van Dijk in a Liverpool shirt.

Shortly after an hour had been played, Leicester brought on Riyad Mahrez - returning to the squad after his hopes of a move to City had been dashed - and ex-City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, replacing Chilwell and Fousseni Diabate.

Mahrez handed in a transfer request after City made a £50million offer before the end of the January transfer window, but the deal collapsed after Leicester demanded £90m for the 2016 PFA Player of the Year. We have lost time and now it's important to look forwards.

After ending his exile, he said: "Over the past 10 days, many people claiming to be my friend have spoken about me and things they know nothing about". He's already for me one of the best in the world.

"He made perhaps a mistake".

After recording the superb victory over Leicester, City's players were all smiles in and around the centre circle as they congratulated each other with hugs and handshakes.

Argentine striker Aguero netted all his goals in a devastating second half showing - twice finishing from Kevin de Bruyne's flawless passes, punishing a Kasper Schmeichel error by chipping into the net and curling in a sublime fourth.

Leicester have struggled without Mahrez, losing 2-1 at Everton before drawing with struggling Swansea City 1-1 at home last weekend.

City boss Pep Guardiola said: "First half we started good with the first goal". After that we were not in the right positions to play quicker. To be in a good rhythm, everyone has to be in the right positions and they are so unsafe on the counter-attack.

"After they scored we were destabilized and we could have conceded one or two more but in the final part we should have come back to 1-1, that makes it hard to swallow", he said.

"Congratulations to him, because it's not easy to score four goals". We needed it. In Burnley we missed a lot of chances and today after the second, and especially the third, we were there.

"We're stronger with him".

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