Erling Haaland scored his 19th and 20th Premier League goals of the season as Manchester City recorded a 3-1 victory over Leeds at Elland Road.
Rodri’s goal on the stroke of half-time gave City the breakthrough and Haaland registered on the scoresheet twice in the second half. Pascal Struijk grabbed a consolation for Leeds.
The early signs were ominous for Leeds as Haaland was slipped in with less than a minute on the clock but was repelled by Illan Meslier, who would go on to have a busy night.
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City began to pile on the pressure as half-time approached, with Gundogan testing Meslier and Jack Grealish thrice failing to hit the target from presentable opportunities.
The visitors finally got their opener in first half added-time when Meslier parried Riyad Mahrez’s shot into the path of Rodri who was left with a simple tap-in.
Leeds were the creators of their own undoing at the start of the second half when Liam Cooper’s loose pass was intercepted by Grealish who unselfishly rolled it to Haaland who slotted City’s second into an empty net.
Grealish registered his second assist of the night when he found Haaland at the near post with a neat cut-back and the former Dortmund striker tucked a first-time effort past Meslier.
The Leeds fans had something to cheer when Struijk grabbed his second goal of the season with an excellent header from Sam Greenwood’s corner delivery, but it proved to be just a consolation.
Haaland spurned an excellent chance for a hat-trick, and, at the opposite end, Joe Gelhardt almost set up a grandstand finish with a shot that went just wide.
The result moves Man City above Newcastle into second, five points adrift of Arsenal, while Leeds remain 15th, just two points above the relegation zone.
Talking point – A fine night for City but a mixed one for Grealish
Grealish has failed to replicate the sparkling form of his Aston Villa days and tonight was another occasion where his profligacy in a City shirt stood out.
Yes, he is getting into those dangerous positions but for a £100m player you would expect him to have the composure and knack to make the most of such opportunities. He will also draw criticism for what many deem to be a cautious approach; rather than taking on his marker, on many occasions he is turning and playing it backwards.
That suggests a lack of confidence, but he made amends with his contribution to City’s second and third goals, in which his pressing, decision-making and vision were key. On reflection, Pep Guardiola will demand more from Grealish but there are certainly positives to take from this performance.
Player of the match – Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Surprisingly, the Belgian failed to register an assist – but only because of some lax finishing from his team-mates. He was at the heart of everything positive for City, pulling off passes many players on the pitch wouldn’t have spotted let alone have the technique to execute.
Leeds: Meslier 8, Kristensen 7, Struijk 6, Cooper 5, Koch 5, Roca 6, Forshaw 6, Aaronson 6, Gnonto 7, Greenwood 7, Rodrigo 6.. subs: Ayling 5, Llorente 5, Gyabi N/A, Gelhardt 6, Klich 5.
Man City: Ederson 6, Lewis 7, Akanji 6, Stones 6, Ake 6, Rodri 7, De Bruyne 8*, Gundogan 6, Mahrez 7, Haaland 8, Grealish 6.. subs: Cancelo 5, Foden 5, Palmer N/A.
45’ – HE’S GOT TO SCORE! A lovely flick around the corner from De Bruyne sets up another attack. Lewis rolls a pass across the face of goal but from point blank range Grealish lifts it over the bar!
45’+1 – GOAL! LEEDS 0-1 MAN CITY (RODRI): City finally have the breakthrough! De Bruyne races forward and plays a lovely squared pass. Mahrez’s curling effort is parried by Meslier into the path of Rodri who taps it into an empty net.
51’ – GOAL! LEEDS 0-2 MAN CITY (ERLING HAALAND): Grealish is alert to steal in and intercept a loose pass from Cooper in the Leeds defence. He races forward, looks up and unselfishly rolls it to Haaland and he slots it home effortlessly.
64’ – GOAL! LEEDS 0-3 MAN CITY (ERLING HAALAND): Make that goal 26! Grealish crosses and Haaland is at the near post to tuck a first-time shot past Meslier. Two assists for Grealish now, too.
73’ – GOAL! LEEDS 1-3 MAN CITY (PASCAL STRUIJK): Struijk may have just dragged Leeds back into this contest with his second goal of the season! It’s an excellent header from the defender as he outjumps Haaland to meet Greenwood’s superb corner delivery.
78’ – POOR FINISH FROM HAALAND! On a hat-trick, Haaland is through again with just the goalkeeper to beat… but it’s a really poor scuffed finish from the Norway international as he shoots straight at Meslier.
79’ – SO CLOSE! Greenwood picks out Gelhardt at the near post with his cross but his poked effort drifts agonisingly wide! A second goal for Leeds would make things really interesting.
- Aged 18 years and 37 days, Rico Lewis is the youngest Englishman to start a Premier League game for Manchester City since Micah Richards in May 2006 vs Blackburn (17 years, 317 days).
- Erling Haaland has scored 20 goals in the Premier League (14 appearances), overtaking his father, Alfie Haaland (181 appearances), for goals scored in the competition.
- Erling Haaland has been directly involved in 100 goals in 81 appearances across the Premier League and German Bundesliga (82 goals, 18 assists).
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View more on Youtube HIGHLIGHTS | LEEDS UNITED 1-3 MANCHESTER CITY | STRUIJK SCORES AFTER HAALAND DOUBLE | PREMIER LEAGUE
Highlights from Leeds United’s Premier League match against Manchester City at Elland Road. Presented by Astonish.
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