Premier League
LeedsLeeds United0Man CityManchester City4

Leeds United 0-4 Manchester City: Visitors stay above title rivals Liverpool after comfortable win

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Elland Road
Nathan Ake, Manchester City, Leeds United, Premier League
Nathan Ake's second-half goal ensured City retained the advantage in the Premier League title race

Manchester City produced the perfect response to Premier League title rivals Liverpool by outclassing Leeds United to regain top spot.

City needed the win after Liverpool had overtaken them earlier in the day with victory at Newcastle - and they produced a highly impressive display in Elland Road's hothouse that also prolonged the relegation worries for Jesse Marsch's side.

The reigning Premier League champions went ahead in the 13th minute when Rodri glanced home Phil Foden's free-kick and while Leeds were spirited, they barely tested visiting keeper Ederson until the game was lost.

City doubled their advantage nine minutes after the break from another set-piece, Nathan Ake pouncing from close range when Foden's corner was headed down by Ruben Dias.

Foden was City's brilliant orchestrator and he was involved again when he set up the third for Gabriel Jesus with 12 minutes left, before Fernadinho added the fourth with virtually the last kick of the game.

The win means City are a point ahead of Liverpool, with four games left for both teams.

Man City survive cauldron in style

City boss Guardiola praises 'fantastic' players in 'really good game'

It is now a case of who blinks first in the title race. Liverpool put the pressure on Manchester City by going to in-form Newcastle United and winning in the lunchtime game.

For the late game, manager Pep Guardiola had to consider not only the challenges posed by the traditional fearsome atmosphere inside Elland Road and a Leeds United side desperate for the points, but also this coming Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

Guardiola left Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez on the bench to keep them fresh for the test of protecting a 4-3 lead in Spain.

The strategy worked as City came through in relative comfort in what was always going to be a tough physical examination.

City were helped by Leeds' struggles to defend those set-pieces, with Rodri glancing home the first goal with ease early on and Ake being allowed too much time to turn in the second.

The pressure will be on every game for City now, with Liverpool also showing no signs of slipping up, but this was imperious from Guardiola's men, who were simply too good for a Leeds side who showed lots of commitment but lacked quality and threat.

Foden was behind all of City's best work, a spectacular talent, a creator who adds a tireless work-rate and strength to his many other qualities.

With their Premier League lead restored, City's pursuit of glory now moves on to the Bernabeu.

Leeds still in trouble

Leeds manager Marsch pleased with Leeds display despite defeat

Leeds have experienced something of a bounce since the sacking of the beloved Marcelo Bielsa in February, and his replacement with Marsch, but they are still in real danger of the drop.

Burnley's remarkable renaissance since sacking Sean Dyche and replacing him with Mike Jackson has set nerves jangling at Elland Road - and even louder at Everton.

Leeds showed their spirit was intact and the magnificent, noisy support of their followers can never be doubted as they continued to give deafening backing to their side even with the game gone.

Marsch, however, needs to somehow find goals in the latest absence of main striker Patrick Bamford and the loss of the influential Stuart Dallas to what looked like a serious injury when he flew into a challenge on Jack Grealish.

Dallas, under-rated outside Leeds, is the glue which helps to hold the side together and he will be a major loss.

Leeds cannot allow this comprehensive defeat by a side of City's class to inflict too much damage on morale. There is no time for that and there is no shame in being beaten by such quality.

They must refocus for two tough upcoming games, away to Arsenal and at home to Chelsea. Everton may have two games in hand, but have a tough run-in of their own - and Leeds have what might be five crucial extra points on the board.

Player of the match

FodenPhil Foden

with an average of 7.70

Leeds United

  1. Squad number23Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    5.62

  2. Squad number10Player nameRaphinha
    Average rating

    5.49

  3. Squad number22Player nameHarrison
    Average rating

    5.34

  4. Squad number15Player nameDallas
    Average rating

    5.32

  5. Squad number1Player nameMeslier
    Average rating

    5.28

  6. Squad number5Player nameKoch
    Average rating

    5.22

  7. Squad number43Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    5.21

  8. Squad number2Player nameAyling
    Average rating

    5.19

  9. Squad number30Player nameGelhardt
    Average rating

    5.11

  10. Squad number20Player nameJames
    Average rating

    4.95

  11. Squad number19Player nameRodrigo
    Average rating

    4.93

  12. Squad number21Player nameStruijk
    Average rating

    4.92

  13. Squad number42Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating

    4.65

  14. Squad number3Player nameFirpo
    Average rating

    4.25

Manchester City

  1. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    7.70

  2. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    7.49

  3. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    7.48

  4. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    7.47

  5. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    7.46

  6. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    7.36

  7. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    7.28

  8. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating

    7.25

  9. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    7.21

  10. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    7.18

  11. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    7.14

  12. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    7.03

  13. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    6.96

  14. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    6.45

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 15DallasSubstituted forJamesat 45+7'minutes
  • 2Ayling
  • 5Koch
  • 21Struijk
  • 3FirpoBooked at 6minsSubstituted forGelhardtat 62'minutes
  • 10Raphinha
  • 43Klich
  • 23Phillips
  • 22Harrison
  • 19RodrigoSubstituted forGreenwoodat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Klaesson
  • 14Llorente
  • 20James
  • 26Bate
  • 30Gelhardt
  • 35Cresswell
  • 42Greenwood
  • 46Shackleton

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 27CanceloBooked at 68mins
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14Laporte
  • 6AkéSubstituted forZinchenkoat 60'minutes
  • 16RodriSubstituted forFernandinhoat 83'minutes
  • 8Gündogan
  • 7Sterling
  • 47FodenSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 80'minutes
  • 10GrealishBooked at 14mins
  • 9Gabriel Jesus

Substitutes

  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Mahrez
  • 56Egan-Riley
  • 79Mbete
  • 87McAtee
Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
35,771

Match Stats

Home TeamLeedsAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home7
Away19
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away3

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leeds United 0, Manchester City 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leeds United 0, Manchester City 4.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Leeds United 0, Manchester City 4. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mateusz Klich with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Greenwood (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Daniel James (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Gelhardt with a through ball.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Aymeric Laporte tries a through ball, but Oleksandr Zinchenko is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bernardo Silva with a through ball.

  13. Post update

    Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Robin Koch (Leeds United).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Sam Greenwood replaces Rodrigo.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces Rodri.

  17. Post update

    Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Mateusz Klich (Leeds United).

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City).

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