Premier League 2021-22: Leeds United 0-4 Manchester City: 3 Factors which stood out in the match

Manchester City players celebrate one of their goals
Manchester City players celebrate one of their goals
Subhadeep Roy

Manchester City beat Leeds United 4-0 in a Premier League match at Elland Road on Saturday, April 30. Rodri, Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus, and Fernandinho scored for Manchester City in the 13th, 54th, 78th, and 93rd minutes of the match, respectively.

⛔️ Man City have kept a clean sheet in their last five away #PL matches👏 Their longest ever run of consecutive away league clean sheets#LEEMCI

The win propelled Manchester City to the top position in the league table with 83 points from 34 matches and they are one point ahead of the second-placed Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Leeds United stayed in the relegation zone with 34 points from the same number of matches. Leeds United are 17th in the league table and are five points ahead of the 18th-placed Everton, who have a couple of matches in hand.

On that note, let’s take a look at the three factors which stood out in the course of this match.

#1 Manchester City pressed hard for a goal from the beginning and got it through a free-kick

Rodri broke the deadlock for the visitors
Rodri broke the deadlock for the visitors

Manchester City rested regulars like Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, and Bernardo Silva ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

They started with their customary 4-3-3 formation and had Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish as the two central midfielders. Jesus, Phil Foden, and Raheem Sterling started as the front three and City pressed high from the beginning to put Leeds United under pressure.

Grealish kept moving to the left flank frequently as Sterling started on the right. Manchester City’s formation often became 4-2-4 with both Foden and Jesus playing as centre-forwards.

But for all their attacking variety, City’s goal was to come from an unlikely source. Sterling won a free-kick on the left flank and Foden sent in a perfect delivery into the box. Rodri leaped in the air to head the ball in as Calvin Phillips missed its flight.

It was a soft goal to concede for Leeds United and it was always going to be difficult for them to find the equalizer.

#2 Leeds United tried to come back into the match but City’s defense held firm

Taken aback by the goal from the set-piece, Leeds United tried to stage a comeback on their home turf. They started the match with a 3-4-3 formation and started to put pressure on City’s defense through the right flank.

Ake, more comfortable playing as a centre-back, started as the left-back for the visitors and came up with a dogged performance in the first half.

Leeds United tried to slice through the Manchester City defense with the help of through passes, but found the Manchester City defense difficult to breach. Both Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte came up with timely blocks and Gundogan also chipped in with a couple of timely interceptions.

Moreover, Rodri frequently positioned himself between the two centre-backs to add steel to the defense. Leeds United then tried to increase numbers in the opposition half and managed to create a few goal-scoring opportunities.

Left wing-back Junior Firpo blasted the ball over the bar from inside the City penalty box and Raphinha saw his shot being blocked by one of their defenders.

On the other hand, Grealish continued to be the primary creative outlet for Manchester City and managed to cut into the penalty box from the left flank. He enjoyed a good battle with Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling.

Dallas had a very good first half and was unluckily injured after a collision with Grealish at the fag end of it. He was replaced by Dan James as Manchester City managed to preserve their one-goal lead until half-time.

#3 Manchester City showed their class in an entertaining second half

Jesus continued his scoring streak for the visitors
Jesus continued his scoring streak for the visitors

Manchester City scored their second goal nine minutes into the second half from a corner. Dias headed the ball down to Ake, who flicked it into the goal.

The goal virtually sealed the deal for the visitors, but they continued to attack relentlessly. Sterling made a number of forays through the inside-right channel as Grealish started showing signs of tiredness.

Guradiola then replaced Ake with Oleksandr Zinchenko, deciding to give the former some rest ahead of Wednesday’s clash. Leeds United, meanwhile, continued to make sporadic attacks and always looked dangerous when they managed to increase numbers inside the opposition half.

Raphinha made a wonderful run from near the half-line before taking a shot at City’s goal, but the ball was blocked brilliantly by Ruben Dias.

However, Leeds United looked vulnerable against counter-attacks from the visitors while trying to attack in numbers. City scored their third goal as Leeds were yet to recover and re-organize after having launched an attack.

Foden got the ball near the half-line and ran in before delivering a through ball to Jesus, who finished neatly to score his sixth goal in last seven days.

Bernardo Silva then replaced Foden and delivered a perfect through pass to Cancelo, whose shot was saved by Illan Meslier. There was more drama to come as Cancelo came up with a goal-line clearance to deny the home side their first goal minutes later.

Ederson was also called into action as the Brazilian goalkeeper came up with a wonderful reflex save to deny Joe Gelhardt. Fernandinho, who replaced Rodri, then scored the fourth goal for his side with a powerful shot from outside the box to register an emphatic victory for the Cityzens.

Ruthless on the road! 🔥#ManCity

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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