LEICESTER, United Kingdom– Gabriel Jesus struck late to give Manchester City a 1-0 win at Leicester on Saturday, strengthening their hold on second place behind champions-in-waiting Liverpool despite more woe from the penalty spot.
Pep Guardiola’s men have endured a turbulent week after they were banned from European club competitions for two years for breaches of financial fair play rules.
But a second-half winner from substitute Jesus after Sergio Aguero had failed to convert a penalty put them 17 points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham and sends them into their midweek match against Real Madrid in good spirits.
City looked like they might have to settle for a draw after squandering their fourth penalty in a row in the Premier League, with each being missed by a different player.
“We have missed four penalties in a row but maybe we will shoot a penalty when we need it to win something,” Guardiola told the BBC. “The keepers are good too, but the next one we are going to score.”
The City boss said his team were in good shape for their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie in Spain.
“We are playing the kings of the competition, we will see, we will try to enjoy it and do our game,” he added.
City, who still trail leaders Liverpool by 19 points, bossed possession in a lively opening spell at the King Power Stadium but the home side should have taken an early lead when Jamie Vardy was put through.
The pacy forward, who has not scored since December after an electric spell, was preparing to celebrate but saw the ball rebound agonisingly off the base of the post to safety.