Premier League – 34th day: Manchester City unfolds in Leeds (0-4) and regains the lead
Manchester City regains its throne. At Elland Road, Pep Guardiola’s players won against Leeds this Saturday (0-4), thanks to goals from Rodri, Nathan Aké, Jesus and Fernandinho. If the Reds provided the minimum service at the start of the afternoon on the Newcastle lawn (0-1), the Skyblues were ruthless. This great success allows the reunion with the first place in the Premier League since the Citizens now have 83 points against 82 for the Reds.
A timid first period
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For this important match in the title race, Pep Guardiola has decided to rotate. Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva were left on the bench at kick-off, as were John Stones, Zinchenko and Riyad Mahrez, starters on Tuesday night against Real Madrid, to make way for Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Joao Cancelo and Nathan Ake. Rather qualitative rotations, by the way.
Quickly, the Citizens have, as usual, set foot on the ball by chaining the passes and the phases of possession, being very high on the ground. On the first concrete opportunity of the meeting, the Skyblues took the lead thanks to a free kick from Foden and a header from Rodri, deposited in the small net of Illan Meslier (13th). The Spanish midfielder’s fifth goal in the Premier League this season.
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In front of the score, Manchester City then faced a Leeds team well grouped behind and capable of starting quickly against, in particular thanks to their winger Raphinha, and struggled to get real chances. Just like the Peacocks. At the break, the Citizens, like the Reds on the lawn of Newcastle at the start of the afternoon, led « only » by one goal.
A second festive act
But when they returned from the locker room, the Skyblues stepped on the accelerator. If Pep Guardiola’s attacking players started to put on speed in an attempt to unbalance Leeds’ five-man defense, the light once again came from a set piece. On a corner from Phil Foden, Ruben Dias, at the far post, put the ball back in front of the goal, where Nathan Aké trailed, who finished with a left foot at close range (54th) and offered the break for City.
In the last quarter of an hour, Gabriel Jesus, already author of a quadruple against Watford last weekend and a goal against Real Madrid on Tuesday evening, again found the net. Ideally served by Phil Foden, the Brazilian international did not tremble against Illan Meslier and finished perfectly thanks to a flat foot (78th). Mute from August until April 10, the Mancunian number nine has scored seven goals since.
The Citizens have taken care of their goal average
Finally, Fernandinho, who came into play a few moments earlier in place of Rodri, also took part in the celebration. The Brazilian midfielder, who recently announced his departure at the end of the season, took advantage of a second ball at the entrance to the opposing box to send a powerful shot from the right to the ground just before the whistle final (90th + 3).
Thanks to this success, the Citizens regain first place stolen by the Reds and above all heal their goal average. With four goals scored and a 20th clean sheet, Manchester City have a goal difference of +63, against +64 for Liverpool. Important figures in the title race between the two teams separated by a very small point. As you will have understood, this battle, currently dominated by the Skyblues, has not yet delivered its outcome.
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