Match ends, Manchester City 2, Leicester City 0.
Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City
- Man City remain five points behind leaders Chelsea
- Skipper Vincent Kompany dropped to the bench
- Leicester no wins in six league games
- Foxes seven points from safety
Manchester City returned to winning ways after the damaging Premier League loss at Liverpool with a home victory over bottom club Leicester City.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini dropped struggling captain Vincent Kompany - and while this was not a wholly convincing performance from the champions it least enabled them to maintain the chase behind leaders Chelsea.
David Silva put the hosts ahead right on half-time but the three points were not completely secure until substitute James Milner turned in a simple finish two minutes from time.
Leicester had chances to increase the home side's anxiety and were convinced they were denied a penalty when striker Wilfried Bony - making his first Manchester City start since the £25m move from Swansea - hauled back Jeff Schlupp in the first half.
Riyad Mahrez also struck the post so it settled the nerves when Milner slid in a cross from Jesus Navas to seal the win.
Pellegrini defended his position in the build-up to this game as speculation mounted he was under growing pressure - and his side still face an uphill task to retain their title as they remain five points adrift of Chelsea having played a game more.
They were nowhere near their best but after the desperate display at Anfield on Sunday, but this was all about the result and in that context this was mission accomplished.
The big call from Pellegrini was dropping Kompany to the bench - however, plenty of attention was focused on Bony as he got his chance to partner Sergio Aguero in City's attack.
And he was a central figure in a first half that was a tale of frustration for the hosts until Silva finally made the breakthrough moments before the break.
Bony had a header cleared off the line by Esteban Cambiasso in the opening minutes and, as well as missing out on two other good opportunities, was also involved in an incident that left Leicester boss Pearson angry in his technical area.
He clearly dragged back Schlupp in the area, raising his hands in an instant gesture of innocence that actually suggested otherwise. There was relief around Etihad Stadium and fury from the visitors as referee Robert Madley was unmoved.
To increase Leicester's frustration, Manchester City went ahead with virtually the last kick of the first period. Wes Morgan did well to block Silva's initial effort, but he tapped in the loose ball with goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer scrambling.
Leicester felt they were denied another spot-kick after the restart when Fernando fouled Andrej Kramaric but referee Madley ruled the offence had taken place right on the edge of the box rather than inside. The Croatia forward's resultant free-kick was deflected inches wide.
The visitors were still in contention but it needed a fine save from the veteran Schwarzer to claw away Toure's rising effort.
To remind the hosts of the narrow nature of their lead, Mahrez rolled an angled shot against the foot of a post with keeper Joe Hart motionless.
But Manchester City raised their game in the closing stages and completed the formalities as Milner grabbed a second late on.
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson on whether his side should have been awarded a penalty:
"Yes. Simple answer. Three throughout the game - (Andrej) Kramaric in both halves, the second one you could probably say was a bit more marginal but there was contact. The third one on the line is in the box.
"I am not talking about them (referees), sorry. Not tonight. You can talk about them and ask the relevant authorities.
"I don't think there is any point me talking about the referee. They are a resilient group so we will have to get on with it. We can't do anything about it.
"It is up to the authorities. Our players give everything they have got and they have done again tonight."
- 15Jesús Navas
- 42Y Touré
- 21SilvaSubstituted forLampardat 79'minutes
- 14BonySubstituted forMilnerat 72'minutes
- 16AgüeroSubstituted forDzekoat 85'minutes
- 3KoncheskyBooked at 36minsSubstituted forNugentat 57'minutes
- 26MahrezSubstituted forUlloaat 77'minutes
- 40KramaricSubstituted forVardyat 58'minutes
- Robert Madley
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Leicester City 0.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Leonardo Ulloa.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Leonardo Ulloa.
Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Wes Morgan (Leicester City).
Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov with a cross.
Goal! Manchester City 2, Leicester City 0. James Milner (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross.
Attempt missed. Frank Lampard (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Bacary Sagna.
Substitution, Manchester City. Edin Dzeko replaces Sergio Agüero.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Wes Morgan.
Attempt blocked. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Frank Lampard.
Offside, Leicester City. Matthew James tries a through ball, but Robert Huth is caught offside.
Foul by Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City).
Matthew James (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Hand ball by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).
Substitution, Manchester City. Frank Lampard replaces David Silva.
Offside, Leicester City. Jamie Vardy tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.
Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Riyad Mahrez.
Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Bacary Sagna.
Attempt saved. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yaya Touré.
Attempt blocked. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Offside, Manchester City. Yaya Touré tries a through ball, but Sergio Agüero is caught offside.
Substitution, Manchester City. James Milner replaces Wilfried Bony.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is just a bit too high. Assisted by David Silva with a through ball.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Mark Schwarzer.
Attempt saved. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas.
Offside, Leicester City. Danny Simpson tries a through ball, but David Nugent is caught offside.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jeffrey Schlupp.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Matthew James.
Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesús Navas.
Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).
Matthew James (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Manchester City. Yaya Touré tries a through ball, but Wilfried Bony is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matthew James.
Offside, Manchester City. Jesús Navas tries a through ball, but Sergio Agüero is caught offside.
Foul by Jesús Navas (Manchester City).
Esteban Cambiasso (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Leicester City. Jamie Vardy replaces Andrej Kramaric.