Whites well beaten by league leaders.
Manchester City 7 (Foden 7’, Grealish 12’, De Bruyne 32’, 63, Mahrez 49’, Stones 74’, Ake 78’)
Leeds United 0
Man City: Ederson (GK), Dias (c) (Ake 65’), Stones, Grealish, Zinchenko, Laporte, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva (Gundogan 45’), Mahrez, Foden. Subs not used: Steffen (GK), Sterling, Jesus, Fernandinho, Egan-Riley, Palmer, Wilson-Esbrand.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (c), Firpo (Drameh 73’), Forshaw, Raphinha, Roberts, Llorente, Dallas, James (Gelhardt 45’), Harrison, Shackleton (Klich 38’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Cresswell, Summerville, Greenwood, McCarron, Jenkins.
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Paul Tierney
Booked: Dias (Man City) Firpo (Leeds United)
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side were well beaten away from home, against Premier League leaders Manchester City.
After seeing plenty of the ball in the opening minutes, City regained it high up the pitch when they didn’t have it. That saw a clear cut opening created by Kevin De Bruyne, where he squared it across goal for Bernardo Silva, but the hosts’ top-scorer put his shot wide.
Just seconds after that missed chance though, the league leaders did take an early advantage in the match. Illan Meslier had blocked an initial effort, but the rebound fell kindly for Phil Foden to turn home from the edge of the box.
One became two almost a couple of minutes later. After an initial corner from the home side was cleared, Riyad Mahrez whipped it back into the middle and Jack Grealish darted into the six-yard box to easily head into the back of the net to double the lead.
Approaching 30 minutes into the game, Raphinha raced forward and into the Manchester City box. The ball appeared to be knocked away by the hand of Oleksandr Zinchenko, but after a VAR check, nothing was awarded.
City would take advantage of the decision going in their favour with their next attack. Rodri picked up the ball in midfield and threaded an accurate pass through to De Bruyne, who composed himself and slotted past Meslier at the near post.
Bielsa was forced to go to his bench inside the opening 45 minutes, as Jamie Shackleton had picked up a knock. Mateusz Klich came on in his place with Stuart Dallas moving to take over the right-back position.
When Leeds did attack, it was down the wings. Dan James and Raphinha looked to use their pace, with Jack Harrison and Junior Firpo also looking to break down the opposite flank, but on those occasions the City defence stood firm and that was to be it for the first 45 minutes of the match.
HALF TIME: Manchester City 3-0 Leeds United
The home side began the second half in the same way they had played in the first and quickly furthered their advantage. Ilkay Gundogan - who had been introduced for the second half - played an infield pass to Mahrez, who saw his shot deflected into the bottom corner to make it four.
Leeds kept going in search of a goal though and pushed forward when they had possession. From the left-wing, Harrison’s cross fell for Stuart Dallas on the edge of the box, he struck left-footed and saw the ball hit the post.
Coming close again just a couple of minutes later, Harrison cut in from the wing rather than crossing this time. After some trickery, the former Manchester City player had a right-footed shot deflected just wide of the upright.
Four goal then became five just after the hour mark. Gundogan again claimed the assist, as he passed to De Bruyne in space. The midfielder had no doubts about what he wanted to do next and struck powerfully beyond Meslier and into the back of the net.
Despite making a superb double save to deny two close-range efforts on goal, Meslier was then beaten again as City got their sixth. Up from defence, John Stones finished high into the roof of the net after being previously denied.
On as a substitute, Nathan Ake then placed home a header from a corner to make it seven, with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Despite seeing their side well beaten, the away end were still supporting and singing for their team as always, right through to the full time whistle at the Etihad Stadium.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 7-0 Leeds United