Yesterday, we witnessed a highly entertaining clash between the recently promoted, Leeds United, and Manchester City at Elland Road. Marcelo Bielsa’s side continued their great form as they fought hard to steal a point from Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side started the game in a positive manner, creating most of the game’s chances. Raheem Sterling was one of the standout players in the first half. The Englishman’s work paid off as he scored a great goal in the 17th minute to give City the lead. Kevin De Bruyne had a few chances but could not make the most of them. The Belgian hit the bar once as well. Bielsea’s side had a couple of great chances, courtesy Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, but Ederson did well by saving them. Leeds United were in the driving seat in the second half, though. They had more possession and almost played City off the park with the chances they were creating. They scored a well-deserved equaliser with a weak punch from Ederson gifting Rodrigo the goal. Leeds did not lose hope as they continued to fight for the second goal. Ederson did well once again, saving Patrick Bamford’s shot and Rodrigo’s header, to keep City in the game. This was, undoubtedly, one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Following Manchester City’s 5-2 defeat against Leicester City, Pep Guardiola made 3 changes to the starting lineup. The debutant, Ruben Dias, started, replacing Eric Garcia. Aymeric Laporte returned to the first team and Ferran Torres took Fernandinho’s place.
Marcelo Bielsa played the 4-1-4-1 formation, making one change as Ezgjan Alioski started ahead of Jack Harrison. A Player of the Month nominee, Patrick Bamford, continued to be the main man up front.
Leeds’ Hard Work in Midfield
Although Manchester City did manage to create a few chances, Leeds United did very well to control the midfield. Kalvin Phillips, Tyler Roberts and Mateusz Klich did a fantastic job on the pitch yesterday. Phillips did very well at breaking City’s attacks as he made 3 interceptions and 6 tackles, and also had a passing accuracy of 86%.
Mateusz Klich did well controlling the game for Leeds, creating a couple of chances and having a passing accuracy of 100%.
City Suffering Without a Striker
With both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus being sidelined due to injuries, Manchester City were forced to play the game without a natural striker. As a result, Guardiola started a front 3 of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres.
In spite of Sterling managing to play well, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres did not have a very good game. The front 3 continued to rotate their positions throughout the game, but the chances being created still went down the drain.
It is difficult to wonder why Manchester City had only 2 shots on target in the entire game. Pep Guardiola must definitely be missing Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus and has high hopes of them recovering as soon as possible.
Ruben Dias’ Impressive Debut
Manchester City announced the signing of Ruben Dias this week. The Portuguese centre-back signed from Benfica for approximately €68 million. Nicolas Otamendi was also included in a swap deal.
Dias had an excellent game against Leeds. He showed great composure whilst defending and passing the ball forward. The Portuguese did not put a foot wrong in the entire game and played a very important role in stopping and intercepting the chances being created by Leeds.
There were many negatives about the yesterday’s game, but Pep Guardiola should definitely be proud of Dias’ impressive debut.
The way Leeds United have started their campaign, they are going to light up the Premier League soon. Marcelo Bielsa deserves a lot of credit for the progress his team has made since he took over. The club currently sit at 5th in the league table, having gathered 7 points in their first 4 games. It is just the beginning, but there are high hopes that Bielsa could do wonders with this team.
Pep Guardiola has always been inspired by Marcelo Bielsa. The two shared some pleasant words at the end of the game.
As for Manchester City, though, they have a lot of work to do as the start they have had in the league is very underwhelming. The signings they have made have been good. With the current injury problems being solved and the new signings settling well at the club, The Cityzens could definitely put on a title challenge.