Manchester City brushed aside visitors Cardiff to reinstate their position back at the top of the Premier League table.
Predictably, City started off the better of the two sides, coming close to opening the scoring within 33 seconds with Gabriel Jesus inches away from converting Kevin De Bruyne’s ball across the face of goal.
Riyad Mahrez asked a lot of Etheridge minutes later sending a deflected shot through a sea of bodies, but the Cardiff stopper, who has been mightily impressive this season, was at hand to deny him with a smart save. However, he failed to emulate his success just minutes later when he allowed De Bruyne’s cross to sneak in at the near post from an impossible angle.
The hosts had wasteful finishing to blame for not taking the game away within the opening half. Jesus at hand again to miss a golden opportunity from just eight yards after capitalising on confusion between Etheridge and Bruno Manga.
City could’ve and probably should’ve improved their lead after 39 minutes, Jesus the guilty party again after opting to shoot instead of threading through the awaiting De Bruyne.
The Brazilian made amends soon after, however, cushioning the ball into the path of Riyad Mahrez who spotted Leroy Sane in the box to rifle home his 15th of the season and double his side’s lead.
Etheridge was the name on everyone’s lips after the break, first denying under-21 international sensation Phil Foden from close range, before stopping Aymeric Laporte’s header from point-blank range.
The Cardiff stopper’s best would come in the 70th minute when thwarting Foden’s 25-yard screamer in full stretch.
A dominant performance from Manchester City was encapsulated by Man of the Match Kevin De Bruyne. However, credit where credit is due, Leroy Sane was on fire again. The winger was industrious in his efforts from in the offensive and defensive areas of the pitch, which will please manager Pep Guardiola headed into the latter stages of the season. An exceptional work rate paid dividends when he added City’s second of the game, and the clinical nature of his finishing was made to look all the better by the wastefulness of his teammates.
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