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Leeds vs Man City Full Time Result, Goals, Highlights and Match Report

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There was spirit, there was fighting, there was a lot of messed up paper balls but ultimately nothing Elland Road threw at Manchester City was able to prevent the defending champions from a comfortable 4-0 win that put them back at the top First League table and left Leeds languishing at the other end, now just one place above the relegation zone.

Leeds were bold and boisterous but always second best. Jesse Marsch’s side were initially a test for City but let down on the first two goals with a weak defense on set plays, converted by Rodri and Nathan Ake. Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho then helped close the gap on Liverpool’s goal difference. City remain a point clear and are just a goal behind their rivals in the tiebreak.

There were times when pep Guardiola‘s side were far from their sparkling best. The first half was combative, a little ugly and at times threatened to spiral out of control as referee Paul Tierney struggled to take control. During the 90 minutes, Jack Grealish was playfully pelted with paper balls left over from a pre-game “Yorkshire” tifo. It was more than a little disruptive and this was more of a battle for City than the end result would suggest.

They survived, however, save for Ake, who was substituted early with a suspected injury ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. But on paper, this was probably the most awkward away day of City’s run-in. While Wolves are likely to be on the beach and West Ham could be focused on a European final, Leeds are still struggling to survive.

Burnley’s late comeback at Vicarage Road left them fourth in the table and on the precipice of the relegation zone at kick-off, and the five-point cushion from a struggling Everton didn’t stop tensions rising around Elland Road.

Of course, City can’t afford to slip up and almost paid the price for it after just three minutes. Joao Cancelo, who returned to the side after the suspended first leg against Real Madrid, fell over his feet with possession while standing at the back of the center circle. He was lucky the ball landed at Rodrigo, who lacked the pace to make the most of a clear run on goal. By the time he got there, Ilkay Gundogan had recovered to block and clear.

If Leeds were to achieve any result, they had to take precisely these kinds of risks when offered on a record. Their task for the evening was only made more difficult when Rodri put City ahead from a set piece that was poorly defended or not defended at all. Phil Foden’s free kick from the left met little to no resistance and practically invited his teammate to win a free header that ricocheted into the ground and past stationary Illan Meslier.

A subsequent headache between Robin Koch and Aymeric Laporte delayed the game by a good five minutes and was the first example of questionable administration. Both Koch and Laporte were allowed to continue playing by Tierney, although there was little evidence strict concussion protocols were being followed. By this time, Tierney’s laissez-faire approach had already encouraged a fast, aggressive pace that bordered on too fast and too aggressive. It showed little sign of slowing down.

And compared to Real Madrid during the week, that didn’t sit particularly well with City. Guardiola’s side are usually masters at ending a game when they take an early lead but struggled to control an impressive response from Leeds. With all the usual possession, the momentum of the game at the end of the first half was not in the ragged version of the reigning champions. The aggression and hostility of Leeds’ game hurt them, but Leeds hurt themselves too.

Predictably, Grealish was the main target – on the field and in the stands – but a particularly tough challenge for the most expensive player in English football meant Stuart Dallas needed a stretcher. The Leeds full-back appeared to twist his knee as he smashed into Grealish’s side and the stoppage meant the first half would go past the 50-minute mark: often a sign that a referee was not in control of proceedings has held.

The city could be accused of the same. That message was perhaps passed on at half-time when Guardiola’s players reappeared, first slowing down a bit and then quickly finding the second goal they needed. Again, after a default game, it was all too easy. Foden’s corner was snapped by Ruben Dias at the far post and Ake fired the shot from close range.

Nathan Ake in a jubilant mood

(Getty)

Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho, both substitutes warming up on the touchline, found themselves on the pitch celebrating. From the scenes leading up to the City dugout and Elland Road away game, it is clear that this was clearly an important goal. Minutes later, however, the mood turned a bit somber when Ake left the pitch with what appeared to be a wobble shortly after returning from an ankle problem.

If things get serious and Kyle Walker and John Stones don’t recover from their problems either, City will only have four top-ranking, recognized defenders left for Madrid. They were all out in the field on Elland Road with a job to do. As Laporte successfully blocked a goal-bound Raphinha shot for a corner, Dias and Cancelo clutched and hugged his prostrate body.

Leeds continued to push back on a path, but only in spurts. All too often, promising counterattacks failed due to a careless pass. City didn’t attack with the same intensity but pushed forward on the few occasions they did.

The third was swept in by Jesus after a flowing counterattack led by Foden, the fourth by Fernandinho in added time after a more questionable Leeds defense. The win’s lead is good for the goal difference column, but the win means City remain ahead with the most important lead of all.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/leeds-man-city-result-final-score-report-b2069157.html Leeds vs Man City Full Time Result, Goals, Highlights and Match Report

Ashley

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