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A tale of three dives - Claudio Bravo the hero as Manchester City beat Leicester City on penalties Featured

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Published in Football
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 08:01

Carabao Cup, King Power Stadium - Leicester City 1 (Vardy 90+7') Manchester City 1 (B. Silva 26') City win 4-3 on penalties.

Manchester City crept into the League Cup semi-finals but needed penalties to beat Leicester City after Jamie Vardy’s controversial spot-kick in the 97th minute took the game to extra time.
Referee Bobby Madley handed the hosts an injury-time penalty when Demarai Gray went down under minimal pressure from Kyle Walker.
It was a soft decision, but nevertheless, after City had dispatched all four of their penalties in the shootout, Vardy saw his effort hit the post before Claudio Bravo kept out Riyad Mahrez’s attempt.

The drama unfolded after a drab affair looked to have been decided by Bernardo Silva’s first-half strike.

On a night where four teams made 33 changes in yet another ringing endorsement for the Carabao Cup, it was perhaps no surprise to see Man City’s quality shine through in the first half, with Ilkay Gundogan finding Silva for a fine opener from a swift counter attack.
It was also telling that Leicester looked a force when introducing three familiar faces in Vardy, Mahrez and Gray after the break – all played their part, though it could be Gray who pays the price for his contribution.

TALKING POINT
A tale of three dives – Second half, just after the hour-mark, Gundogan dives on the edge of the area and he receives a yellow card. In injury time, Gray takes a tumble and wins the hosts a crucial penalty. In extra time, still reeling from giving away the spot-kick, Walker then goes down easily in the Leicester box and sees yellow himself.
Two dives correctly punished, while another one was missed. And they’re the three which have stayed in the brain. You have to feel for Madley when players are constantly trying to deceive the referee. It was embarrassing to watch at times.

Former referee Mark Halsey believes there will be retrospective punishment, and so there should be.
PLAYER RATINGS
Leicester: Hamer 6, Amartey 6, Dragovic 7, Maguire 7, Fuchs 6, Chilwell 7, King 5, Iborra 6, Albrighton 5, Okazaki 5, Iheanacho 5. Subs: Vardy 6, Mahrez 6, Gray 6, Benalouane n/a.

Man City: Bravo 6, Danilo 6, Mangala 7, Adarabioyo 7, Zinchenko 7, Gundogan 6, Foden 6, Toure 6, Diaz 6, Bernardo Silva 7, Jesus 7. Subs: Walker 6, Nmecha 6, Dele-Bashiru 6.


MAN OF THE MATCH
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Man City) - In only his third apperance for City this season, the 21-year-old looked solid at left-back, and a danger going forward. He has been on the bench in recent league games, and came off to face Swansea. Pep Guardiola will be delighted to see that he has another brilliant option in defence, with the Ukrainian capable of playing further forward too.
KEY MOMENTS
21 - OFF THE BAR! Almost a delightful finish from Gundogan. It looks as though he is going to lace it, but he then opts to chip the 'keeper, who just about tips the ball onto the bar and out for a corner, which comes to nothing for the visitors.

26 - GOAL!! Silva scores for Man City! Brilliant run from Gundogan, who has Jesus and Silva ahead of him. Jesus' run actually opens up space for Silva, who is picked out by Gundogan before slotting it past Hamer.
34 - SAVE! First real chance of note for Leicester, and it's a smart stop from Bravo, who keeps out Iheanacho's low, first-time effort.

62' - DIVE! Yellow card that man. Gundogan goes down after brushing past Maguire, the referee rightly reaches for his book and shows it to the City midfielder.

83’ - CLOSE! Mahrez and Vardy almost combine! The former ghosts past Zinchenko before sending in a dangerous cross, but Bravo is there to gather the ball, though only at the second time of asking.

90+7’ - GOAL!! VARDY LEVELS FROM THE SPOT! It's the softest of penalty decisions as Walker tangles with Gray, but Leicester won't care... Vardy sticks it into the bottom corner for an equaliser in the 97th minute!

96' - Well then.. It's a second Man City yellow for simulation. This time for Walker, and it is the right decision. The irony, given that it's the same end Leicester won their penalty moments ago.

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