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Manchester City v Leicester City

De Bruyne calms injury concerns after dictating Man City’s win over Leicester

23:13 GMT+3 21/12/2019
Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 2019-20
The Belgium international playmaker was replaced late on in a 3-1 victory over the Foxes but says he was suffering with nothing more than cramp

Kevin De Bruyne has calmed any injury fears sparked by his late substitution in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Leicester, with the Belgian forced off as he was suffering with cramp.

The Belgium international played a starring role for the Premier League champions as they came from behind to sweep aside the Foxes.

De Bruyne was at his mercurial best for much of a top-of-the-table clash at Etihad Stadium.

He failed to see the contest out, after being replaced in stoppage-time, but has moved to rule out any lasting damage heading towards the hectic festive and New Year period.

De Bruyne told Sky Sports when quizzed on his fitness: “It was just cramp. It was a hard game, very open. We pushed all the way.”

City trailed inside 22 minutes against Leicester, with Jamie Vardy proving to be a thorn in their side once again.

Pep Guardiola’s side were to offer the perfect response, though, as Riyad Mahrez restored parity against his former club on the half-hour mark.

A penalty from Ilkay Gundogan followed before half-time before Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the points in the second half.

De Brunye said of the game: “I think defensively we were good - there was a lot of pressure on the ball - we didn't let Leicester play at all. Leicester did go ahead but that was the only chance they had.”

He added on playing alongside Mahrez: “We have already played lots together and this season we have done well together.

“One v one Riyad is one of the best wingers in the league so I know I can trust him.”

Mahrez tasted Premier League title glory during his time with Leicester, while also being named PFA Player of the Year.

He admits to experiencing mixed emotions when facing the Foxes, but is happy to have made another telling contribution to the cause of his current club.

The Algerian winger said:  “It was a bit strange at the beginning [playing against Leicester] but we did well and we managed to come back. First half we were very good and in the second half we kept the ball well.

“I don't know if it was one of my best games but when the manager starts me I try my best to help the team to win.”

Victory for City has seen them move to within a point of Leicester in the Premier League table, but the third-placed defending champions remain 11 adrift of Liverpool and have now played a game more than the Reds.