Report: Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City
Visitors take the points at Elland Road.
Leeds United 1 (Struijk 73’)
Manchester City 3 (Rodri 45’, Haaland 51’, 64’)
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Forshaw (Klich 65’), Koch, Cooper (C) (Llorente 72’), Aaronson (Gyabi 83’), Roca, Rodrigo (Gelhardt 72’), Struijk, Kristensen (Ayling 65’), Gnonto, Greenwood. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Firpo, Summerville, Harrison.
Man City: Ederson (GK), Stones, Ake, Gundogan (C), Haaland, Grealish (Foden 73’), Rodri, De Bruyne, Akanji, Mahrez (Palmer 88’), Lewis (Cancelo 68’). Subs not used: Ortega (GK), Walker, Phillips, Laporte, Silva, Gomez.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Booked: Klich, Gnonto, Greenwood (Leeds) Lewis, Rodri, Palmer (City)
Leeds United were beaten by Manchester City when their Premier League campaign got back underway, following the international break for the World Cup.
In what was an entertaining match with plenty of chances, the visitors scored in key moments which would ultimately secure them three points, despite Jesse Marsch’s side battling hard throughout and creating chances of their own.
City would see plenty of the ball in the opening 45 minutes and inside the opening minute, Premier League top-scorer Erling Haaland had a good chance, but his effort was well saved by Illan Meslier then cleared by Pascal Struijk.
Leeds had to be patient and critically, keep their concentration as the away side pushed forward as much as possible, flicking the ball from side to side as they went. Kevin De Bruyne was the next to see an effort go wide of the goal, before teammate Ilkay Gundogan went even closer, but wide again.
When Marsch’s side did break forward they did so with pace, on the wing from Willy Gnonto. The forward ran at the City defence and pushed into the box, but couldn’t hit the target.
Further chances came and went, as the defensive line of the home team stood as firm as they could. Jack Grealish was seeing plenty of the ball and he blazed a number of opportunities wide of the goal, after finding himself in dangerous areas.
Right on the stroke of the first half ending, the away side did take the lead. Meslier had initially made a good save to deny Riyad Mahrez, but following in on the rebound to tap home was Rodri to send his side in ahead at the interval.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Manchester City
Leeds began the second half looking to push forward and search for a leveller in the match, but would quickly be undone in the half and concede a second goal.
Grealish, fresh from a lively first 45 minutes, was this time creating the chance. He was alert to collect possession and race in behind the Leeds defence, before then squaring the ball to Haaland for a tap in to make it two.
Looking to respond after the set-back, Brendan Aaronson and Gnonto linked up well on the wing. Both players on different occasions having shooting chances, but they would see their efforts go wide, then over.
The combination which created the second goal for City would then create the third. A quick move saw Grealish pick up the ball on the left and pull it back to Haaland again, with the striker slotting powerfully home.
The changes then followed, with Luke Ayling, Mateusz Klich, Joe Gelhardt and Diego Llorente coming on. Adam Forshaw, Rasmus Kristensen, Liam Cooper and Rodrigo were the players replaced.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, the Whites found a goal back in the match. Sam Greenwood’s corner was an excellent delivery into the box and Struijk rose highest to head home into the far corner.
As Marsch’s side now continued to push forward, City looked to exploit the space. De Bruyne had a shot saved by Meslier, before Haaland had an excellent chance to get his hat-trick, but again he was denied by the United number one.
Within inches down the other end in this entertaining finish to the match, Aaronson and Greenwood linked up, allowing the latter to cross into the box. Gelhardt was the most alert, but he flicked an effort agonisingly just past the post.
In what was a superb atmosphere as always at Elland Road, there were chances at either end as the game approached its conclusion. However, nothing more threatened the back of the net, meaning Man City held on to claim the three points in what was a well-contested match.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City