Guardiola experimenting continues
Putting numbers to a Pep Guardiola formation can be a task that induces madness, but there has been a rigid formula behind the team that has collected the highest two points totals in the history of the Premier League.
An unrivalled midfield has, pretty much without fail, consisted of a holding midfielder in (usually) Fernandinho supporting two players in front with defensive and attacking responsibilities - any two from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.
Whether Manchester City have had the best attack or defence in the league has been open to question but their midfield has been first class, and Guardiola has clung to it rigidly.
As late as this season, when the City defence was showing signs of strain, he had dismissed the idea that two defensive midfielders would make them better defensively and stressed the importance of balance in the team.
That stance appears to have shifted recently. In a number of recent games the Blues have played more of a 4-2-3-1 than 4-3-3 with the midfield more sat back. At Arsenal last weekend it was Rodri and Gundogan that held while De Bruyne was freed from his defensive responsibilities and allowed to roam.
Here against Leicester it began more like a 4-4-2/4-2-4 with De Bruyne pushed up alongside Gabriel Jesus while Bernardo tucked in alongside Gundogan.
Whether it is a switch that becomes permanent remains to be seen but the fact that Guardiola is even tinkering with a midfield that has been so strong shows he is willing to bend based on the evidence of the games he is seeing.
Angelino misses out
City’s squad is not big so the recent absences of Sergio Aguero and John Stones have seen full-backs filling the bench.
With Aguero back, Angelino was the one to miss out as Aleks Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo kept their space in the match day squad. There has been reported interest in Cancelo from clubs ahead of the January transfer window but City were never likely to let their summer signing leave even temporarily and his presence in the 18 is another assurance of that.
City performance of champions
It will take something extraordinary for Liverpool not to win the league title but City remain champions until May and against Leicester they put in a reminder of why they have dominated English football for the last two seasons.
They were hustling the Foxes from the first whistle and even when they conceded they did not fold and concede another - as they have done previously this season - instead remaining calm, sticking to their game plan and getting the rewards.
This was a very good Leicester team and an impressive performance for the Blues to head into the frantic post-Christmas period on.
Mahrez drives City on
Riyad Mahrez hasn’t been picked for many big games this season.
Even when he won them the game against Chelsea at the Etihad a month ago, Guardiola was less than positive about his overall performance.
There may well be more he can do to improve but once again he took a game by the scruff of its neck and pulled the Blues back into it.
Mahrez has success when he ran at Ben Chilwell, so he did it again and again and again and again.
More of that and the starts will come.