Frank Lampard scored in the first half to give defending champion Manchester City a 1-0 win at last-place Leicester in the Premier League...
Frank Lampard scored in the first half to give defending champion Manchester City a 1-0 win at last-place Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday that came at the price of two more costly injuries.
Lampard was left totally unmarked in front of goal to slot in a low cross from Samir Nasri in the 40th minute. It was Lampard’s 175th Premier League goal, putting the former Chelsea midfielder level with Thierry Henry in fourth place on the all-time list.
Playing without injured star Sergio Aguero, City looked far from its best but remained three points behind leader Chelsea after 16 rounds. And the team has new injury concerns after striker Edin Dzeko pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by 18-year-old Jose Pozo in the starting lineup. Captain Vincent Kompany then limped off in the second half with an apparent hamstring injury.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini at least had playmaker David Silva back starting for the first time since October but the away team never really found their stride against the bottom side.
Their sluggishness was most evident in the opening 30 minutes as Leicester made all the early running.
Esteban Cambiasso was inches away from giving Leicester the lead after 23 minutes as a well-struck free kick from 35 yards curled narrowly wide with Joe Hart seemingly beaten.
City first threatened when Yaya Toure had a powerful drive blocked before Pozo lobbed straight to Ben Hamer after the Foxes’ second-choice goalkeeper punched away Silva’s free kick.
The visitors then began to move up a gear and Toure stretched Hamer for the first time with a low shot after good work by Silva.
The breakthrough came six minutes before the interval as Nasri wriggled past Wes Morgan and pulled the ball back across the edge of the six-yard line for Lampard.
The pass was not inch-perfect but Lampard made it look so, scooping the ball from behind him to finish with typical clinical precision.
The game started to drift toward a tame conclusion in the second half until Leicester rallied, with substitute Leonardo Ulloa having a shot deflected wide. Nasri might have settled it for the visitors but Hamer saved a good low effort.
Leicester applied some pressure over five minutes of injury time but Pellegrini’s men held on for a hard-fought win that will probably strengthen the case for extending Lampard’s loan from sister club New York City.