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One goal, two assists: Iheanacho sends Afcon warning vs Mahrez’s Manchester City

9:48 PM GMT+4 26/12/2021
Kelechi Iheanacho
His contribution could not prevent the Foxes from crumbling against Pep Guardiola’s Citizens at the Etihad Stadium

Kelechi Iheanacho fired some Africa Cup of Nations warning shots with one goal and two assists as Leicester City suffered a 6-3 obliteration against Manchester City on Sunday evening.

Having missed the 2019 biennial African football showpiece, the 25-year-old was one of the key names in Augustine Eguavoen’s 28-man Nigeria squad for Cameroon 2021.

He duly delivered an awe-inspiring performance against his former team in a dramatic Boxing Day showdown.

Iheanacho got the nod to start in the attack ahead of doubtful talisman Jamie Vardy, while James Maddison played behind him.

City got off to an explosive start – racing to a 4-0 lead in the first 25 minutes – thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, IIkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling.

Brendan Rodgers’ men stepped up their game in the second half to reduce the deficit in the 55th minute through Maddison, who was set up by Iheanacho.

Four minutes later, the Nigerian set up Ademola Lookman for his team’s second goal in the nine-goal thriller.

Leicester were poised for a remarkable comeback as Iheanacho got the goal for Rodgers’ men in the 65th minute. Maddison was afforded space on the edge of the Citizens’ box before curling a strike towards the top right corner.

Ederson tipped the ball over the bar, but the bounce fell for the Super Eagles to score with his left foot from six yards to make it 4-3.

Iheanacho has now been involved in 17 goals in his last 16 starts in the English top flight for the King Power Stadium giants (12 goals, five assists), with Sunday’s match being the first time he assisted twice in a top flight match.

His goal proved to be a reality check for the reigning English kings as they woke from their slumber to get two more goals through Aymeric Laporte and Sterling.

Aside from his sparkling display ‘senior man Kelz’ contributed 21 touches, three shots on target, 12 passes and registered a passing accuracy of 83.3 percent.

While he was on parade from start to finish alongside Lookman, Wilfred Ndidi was an unused substitute as well as former France youth international of Senegalese descent Boubakary Soumare.

For Mahrez – who is expected to lead Algeria’s Afcon challenge in Cameroon – he played the full contest as Manchester City remain at the summit of the Premier League having garnered 47 points from 19 matches.