Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Riyad Mahrez finally got his wish of an outing at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, but only as a second-half substitute for Leicester a day after ending his standoff with the Foxes by returning to training.
Mahrez, 26, had missed Leicester’s last two Premier League matches after not reporting for training for nine days in protest at Leicester’s refusal to accept a bid from runaway leaders City before the January 31 transfer deadline.
Despite juggling a raft of injuries to attack-minded players, Kevin de Bruyne showed why City decided against matching Leicester’s reported £80 million fee ($111 million) for Mahrez with a hat-trick of assists for Raheem Sterling and a quickfire Sergio Aguero double to put City 3-1 up before Mahrez made his return.
The Algerian was given a warm reception by both sets of fans as he replaced Ben Chilwell just after the hour mark with City still rumoured to be interested in sealing his signature come the end of the season.
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