Three things we learned from Manchester City - Leeds
Manchester City - Leeds was an incredible game as the runaway Premier League leaders lost for just the fourth time this season, as Leeds played the entire second half with 10 men.
The game burst into life late in the first half as first Stuart Dallas gave Leeds the lead, but moments later Leeds captain Liam Cooper was sent off via VAR.
Man City eventually broke through against a stubborn 10-man Leeds, as Ferran Torres scored the equalizer late on, but Dallas then scored in stoppage time to win it in stunning fashion.
With the defeat, Man City remain 14 points clear at the top but that gap will be cut if Man United win their games in hand.
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Three things we learned
1. Red card decision spot on: Liam Cooper was sent off via a VAR review and it was spot on. Yes, he got the ball, but he also followed through and got a large chunk of Gabriel Jesus’ knee with his studs. You can’t do that. Cooper made sure he got the ball, the man and the whole lot. You can’t do that in the modern game and he was out of control of his body and his studs were raised. VAR worked superbly to upgrade his yellow to a red card.
2. City punished for rotation: After they struggled to beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek at home in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg, Guardiola made plenty of changes to the starting lineup and it showed. Even so, the team City put out should have still got past Leeds. City were sluggish from the off, John Stones and Cancelo were pushing too far forward and they paid the price for prioritizing the second leg in Dortmund in a few days. Kevin de Bruyne didn’t come off the bench and even though Gundogan and Foden made a difference when they did, City still missed that clinical edge in attack. They will still win the league, and that means Pep was correct to focus on Dortmund. Let’s see if his plan pays off.
3. Leeds finishing strong: Marcelo Bielsa’s boys have surged into the top 10 and they are finishing the season superbly. After a great start on their return to the top-flight they had a dip in the middle of the campaign but they have now won three on the spin and could push for a Europa League spot late in the season. No matter what, Leeds being back in the PL and led by Bielsa has been a breath of fresh air. They will surely be right around the top six next season where their fans, and many others, believe they belong.
Man of the Match: Stuart Dallas - Two great goals and held things together superbly for Leeds.
A slow start to the game saw both teams go back and forth with chances, as Raheem Sterling was a threat for City.
The game then burst into life in the final moments of the first half, as first Leeds took the lead. A long ball forward caught out Joao Cancelo and Helder Costa set up Patrick Bamford who set the ball back for Dallas to make it 1-0.
Just when the game swung in Leeds’ favor, they were down to 10 men as their captain was sent off.
Cooper flew in on Gabriel Jesus and although he won the ball, he also followed through and caught Jesus on his knee with his studs up. VAR was used, as referee Andre Marriner looked at the pitch-side monitor and sent off Cooper.
John Stones went close to equalizing right on half time, but Leeds had a half time lead.
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At the start of the second half Oleksandr Zinchenko had a shot which was parried out, as Sterling caught Illan Meslier on the rebound. Diego Llorente did well to put Sterling off moments later as City built up a head of steam.
Bernardo Silva had a shot which was deflected wide, while Ilkay Gundogan fired over and both Fernandinho and Cancelo had shots saved.
Torres then slammed home with 15 minutes to go to make it 1-1 as Fernandinho and Silva unlocked the resolute Leeds defense.
Raphinha almost got in for Leeds as he raced clear on the break, but Ederson came flying off his line to make a fine tackle, while Silva smashed a shot inches wide late on.
Then Dallas caught City on the break to slot home his and Leeds’ second of the game to seal a stunning win.