In the den of Elland Road, Manchester City, third at kick-off with 32 points, crossed swords with Leeds United, fifteenth before the meeting. After the victories of Arsenal but also of Newcastle, the Skyblues had to respond to recover their chair of dolphin. Defeated by Brentford (1-2) just before the international break, Kevin de Bruyne’s teammates could sink the struggling Peacocks. Lined up in 4-3-3 with Grealish, Haaland and De Bruyne at the forefront of the attack, the Citizens were quick to stand out.
Master of the debates despite the 4-3-3 set up by Jesse Marsch, Manchester City quickly became dangerous on the goal of Illan Meslier. Found in depth from the first seconds, Haaland stumbled on the young French goalkeeper, decisive on his line (1st). Impregnable collectively, the Mancunian formation continued its momentum and De Bruyne, served by Mahrez, triggered a new strike, too imprecise (7th). For his part, Gündogan was very close to finding the fault but he lacked a few centimeters to adjust his head (16th). Determined to make up part of their delay on the Gunners, solid leaders, the Citizens insisted but Gündogan still missed the target (20th).
20 goals in 14 matches for Erling Haaland!
Launched in depth, Haaland, embarrassed by the return of Liam Cooper, could not, either, deceive the vigilance of Meslier (30th). If the Mancunian waves multiplied, Leeds held firm and Pep Guardiola’s men struggled to make a difference against the Whites. Decisive from the kick-off, Meslier still showed his advantage against Gündogan, marvelously well found by Mahrez (35th). After two new attempts signed Mahrez (42nd) and Grealish (45th), City ended up finding the fault. Opportunistic, Rodri took advantage of a new strike from Mahrez, repelled by the Leeds goalkeeper, to emerge and give the advantage to his team (1-0, 45 + 1e).
Outrageously dominating during the first act, City left with the same intentions on returning from the locker room and quickly found the break. On a loss of ball from Cooper, Grealish sped towards the goal before serving Haaland who concluded in the empty goal (2-0, 51st). His 19th goal in 14 Premier League appearances this season. Stunned, Leeds tried to respond but Gnonto, author of a nice number of dribbles, finally saw his shot countered (54th). And the Cyborg struck again… Taking advantage of the superb delivery from Gündogan, very active against the Whites, the Norwegian deceived Meslier with a strong strike (3-0, 64′).
Asphyxiated, Leeds found, despite everything, the necessary resources to maintain a bit of suspense in this meeting. On a corner struck by Greenwood, Pascal Struijk reduced the mark with a beautiful crossed header, taking Ederson from behind (3-1, 73rd). In the last quarter of an hour, the debates ignited but Haaland, served by Rodri, still stumbled against Meslier (78th). In the process, it was the newcomer Gelhardt who came very close to reducing the gap again, but his shot finally flirted with the left post of Ederson (79th). More dangerous in the last moments, Leeds pushed on City’s goals but Greenwood also lacked precision when adjusting his free kick (82nd). In the final seconds, City maintained their advantage and thus returned to five lengths behind leaders Arsenal. For its part and before finding Newcastle on the 18th day, Leeds remains fifteenth.
– Relive the entire meeting in live commentary
The official line-ups at kick-off
Manchester City XI
Pub. the 28/12/2022 22:55
update the 28/12/2022 23:56
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