Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Leeds 0-4 Manchester City: Main Talking Points As The Sky Blues Run Rampant At Elland Road

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 1 May 2022

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Watching Liverpool pick up a gritty 1-0 victory against Newcastle earlier in the day, Manchester City made the trip to Elland Road on Saturday evening knowing that they needed to lay down their own marker.

Despite being met by a hostile Leeds support, Pep Guardiola’s men moved back into pole position to reclaim their Premier League crown with a thumping 4-0 win here.

With goals from Rodri, Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho wrapping up what could be a crucial three points, City also pilled more pressure onto a Leeds side firmly looking over their shoulder at the drop zone.

In a showdown between two sides really battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

City move back into pole position

Opening Saturday’s contest at Elland Road with Liverpool holding a two-point buffer, it was no secret that Guardiola’s side were desperate to avoid a public slip-up in Yorkshire.

Coming off the back of their stunning Champions League semi-final first-leg victory against Real Madrid in midweek, Manchester City were once again at their free-scoring best here.

Storming their way into a 2-0 lead at half-time and not really asked many questions away from the Etihad, the Sky Blues would have also been glad to see their goal difference get a healthy boost.

Knowing that they’re just four top-flight contests away from reclaiming their Premier League crown, the one-time Bayern Munich boss will also be hugely excited by Gabriel Jesus’ extended purple patch over the past week.

Putting the game to bed on Saturday evening as he swept home to grab City’s third with just over 10 minutes left, the Brazilian international does not seem to be fazed by his uncertain future in Manchester.

Heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, Jesus has now racked up six goals in his last three appearances for Guardiola’s side.

With a domestic and European double still at the top of their agenda, there is no doubt that City’s display at Elland Road sent their own message over to Anfield.

Leeds must prove this was just a blip

Watching Burnley mount a stunning late rally away at Watford earlier in the day as they snatched a 2-1 victory, many in Leeds’ camp will once again be looking over their shoulder at the drop zone.

Appearing in what appears to be a three-way scrap with both Everton and Burnley, fans around Elland Road will be desperate to prove that Saturday’s 4-0 defeat was just a minor blip.

Left heartbroken back in February as they watched beloved former boss Marcelo Bielsa leave the club after a poor run of form, Leeds should still take the positives away from Jesse Marsch’s early tenure.

Managing to hold onto a gritty 0-0 stalemate away at Crystal Palace earlier in the week, Saturday’s loss against City is the only defeat that they have suffered from their previous six Premier League contests.

However, despite still holding a five-point buffer from dropping into the bottom-three, Marsch will be more than aware that his side faces an unenviable run of fixtures over the final few weeks.

With back-to-back showdowns against Arsenal and Chelsea now on the horizon, Leeds know that they can’t dwell on Saturday’s thumping defeat as they look to drag themselves over the finish line.

Los Blancos are waiting

While Manchester City’s thumping victory on Saturday evening might have fired a statement of intent over to Anfield, Guardiola’s squad would have also been hoping their display at Elland Road would have been seen in Madrid.

However, while the Sky Blues might have eventually claimed a thrilling 4-3 first-leg win when they welcomed Los Blancos to the Etihad on Tuesday, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will find the mood in their camp at a real high.

Knowing that they missed out on the chance to widen their early advantage in the first-leg, City will come up against a Real Madrid side that reclaimed their La Liga crown over the weekend.

Claiming their own 4-0 victory against Espanyol on Saturday, Guardiola’s star-studded side will know that they must be at their best if they’re to reach back-to-back Champions League finals this year.

Electing to give attacking talisman Kevin De Bruyne a full rest at Elland Road here, City will also be glad to welcome back Joao Cancelo from suspension when they make the trip to out Madrid in a few days time.

While they might face a tough night’s work at the Bernabéu, a free-scoring City should be looking to finish off the job.

Match Report:

Leeds: Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Firpo, Raphina, Klich, Phillips, Harrison, Rodrigo

Subs: James, Greenwood, Gelhardt

Manchester City: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Gundogan, Rodri, Sterling, Foden, Grealish, Jesus

Subs: Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Silva

Goals: Rodri 13′, Ake 54′, Jesus 78′, Fernandinho 90+3′

Yellow Cards: Leeds: Firpo – Manchester City: Grealish

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Paul Tierney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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