Saturday, January 22, 2022

Manchester City 7-0 Leeds: Main Talking Points As The Sky Blues Obliterate Marcelo Bielsa’s Strugglers

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Dec 2021

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Opening Tuesday’s meeting at the Etihad with the chance to briefly extend their buffer at the top of the Premier League table, Manchester City certainly didn’t pass up on a golden opportunity.

Finding a way to build off of last weekend’s controversial 1-0 win against Wolves, the defending English champions laid down a stunning marker as they put seven past Leeds on home soil.

Briefly extending their advantage over the chasing pack to four points, City couldn’t have asked for a better night’s work at the Etihad on Tuesday.

Handing their Yorkshire rivals their worst ever Premier League defeat, we have taken a look at the major talking points as the Sky Blues run rampant in midweek.

City lay down the most clinical of markers

While there might have been plenty of controversy surrounding Manchester City’s close-fought 1-0 win against Wolves on Saturday afternoon, there was no such repeat at the Etihad this time.

Although Pep Guardiola might have made the decision to rest an in-form Raheem Sterling on Tuesday night, the Sky Blues didn’t miss a beat as Phil Foden opened the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock.

Dominating from the opening whistle, it quickly turned into another Manchester romp as Jack Grealish recorded his second Premier League goal just five minutes after Foden’s opener.

With their Belgium talisman wrapping up three points before City even made their way down the tunnel for the half-time break, Tuesday’s meeting quickly become a golden chance to cash in on their goal difference.

Watching on as the likes of Riyad Mahrez, John Stones and Nathan Ake all got themselves on the scoresheet after the interval, it is no wonder Guardiola was full of praise for his side’s stunning display on home soil.

Laying down the most clinical of markers to both Liverpool and Chelsea, the high-flying English champions will be desperate to keep up that momentum when they make the trip to St. James’ Park this weekend.

Injury-hit Leeds suffer an Etihad nightmare

Suffering last-gasp heartbreak away at Chelsea last weekend, Marcelo Bielsa’s side would have been desperate to build off of their Stamford Bridge positives when they made the trip to Manchester on Tuesday night.

However, despite putting in a largely rugged display in their 3-2 defeat against the defending European champions, Leeds drastically struggled to fill the void left by a number of their key stars.

With the likes of England duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford once again suffering injury issues, the former Napoli boss will be more than aware that his struggling squad are at the heart of a relegation scrap.

Suffering their worst ever Premier League defeat at the hands of the defending champions in midweek, Tuesday’s guests have recorded just a single top-flight victory since the end of October.

Dealing with what has become an injury crisis in his camp, Bielsa’s mood would not have been helped by the sight of 22-year-old Jamie Shackleton limping off with another knock late into the first-half.

Likewise, with summer arrival Junior Firpo picking up a costly fifth booking, Leeds’ razor-thin squad will face another stern test when they make the trip to the Emirates this weekend.

The return of KDB

While the whole of Manchester City’s squad might have been in contention for Tuesday’s Man of the Match award, the returning Kevin De Bruyne certainly stole the Etihad show.

Although Guardiola’s midfield talisman might have suffered another setback last month, the 30-year-old came roaring back here as he bagged a wonderfully taken brace in front of a sellout home support.

Making his first Premier League appearance since returning a positive COVID-19 test on November 19th, De Bruyne found the net on either side of the interval, including a second-half thunderbolt to grab City’s fifth.

Once again underlining why many regard the one-time Chelsea starlet as one of the best midfielders in European football, Guardiola would have also been excited to see his key man get a full run out on Tuesday night.

Hoping that De Bruyne has now overcome what has been a stop-start campaign at the Etihad since opening the 2021/22 season, the former PFA Player of the Year could prove to be vital in City’s charge to land back-to-back domestic crowns.

Match Report:

Manchester City: Ederson, Stones, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Rodri, B. Silva, Mahrez, Grealish, Foden

Subs: Gundogan, Ake, Fernandinho

Leeds: Meslier, Shackleton, Ayling, Llorente, Firpo, Dallas, Forshaw, Harrison, Roberts, Rafinha, James

Subs: Klich, Drameh, Gelhardt

Goals: Foden 8′, Grealish 13, De Bruyne 32′, 62′, Mahrez 49′, Stones 74′, Ake 78′

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Dias – Leeds: Firpo

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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