Leeds United vs Manchester City (1-1): Match Summary and Analysis
A mouthwatering clash between two tacticians on either side!
How did both sides set up?
I. Meslier started in goal for Leeds United. L. Aylingand S. Dallas started as full-backs with skipper L. Cooper and R. Koch in center halves. As always, K. Phillips started in the holding midfield role with M. Klich and T. Roberts in advanced positions. H. Sousa Azevedo Costa and E. Alioski provided the attacking width while P. Bamford started upfront in a suspected 4-1-4-1. J. Harrison’s absence was worrying Leeds fans as the winger was unavailable against his parent club. Big signing R. Moreno Machado was on the bench as M. Bielsa Caldera is yet to find his right position.
Manchester City had E. Santana de Moraes in goal with the big-money signing R. Santos Gato Alves Dias partnering A. Laporte in defense. B. Mendy and K. Walker started at their natural positions while R. Hernández Cascante began in the middle of a three-man midfield consisting of K. De Bruyne and P. Foden either side. R. Sterling was on the left-wing, and R. Mahrez started upfront as a false number nine. Spanish signing F. Torres García started from the wing in a 4-3-3.
Fixture details: Leeds United vs Manchester City (03/10/2020)
Manchester City started on the front foot and pressed Leeds backward to good effect. Leeds had no answer to J. Guardiola i Sala’s high pressing and were constantly giving the ball away in their half. City’s pressure was rewarded as Raheem Sterling scored a top-class individual goal.
As the half grew, Leeds started growing into the game, and midfielders Kalvin Phillips and Klich started to gain control. They eventually took 4 shots and had 2 of them saved by Ederson, and a couple of others went off target. Leeds finished the half strongly and had good momentum going into the second. They were also efficient in their defensive contributions as they completed 12 tackles and 5 interceptions.
City meanwhile capitulated towards the end of the first half. However, they took 12 shots in total in the early 45,’ but only 2 of them were on target. Ederson’s heroics kept City leading at half time.
Both teams started the second half with greater intensity without the ball. Bielsa took off Alioski and sent on the dynamic I. Poveda-Ocampo as he wanted more pace and dynamism in the attack. Record signing Rodrigo came on at minute 56’ for Roberts. The Spaniard immediately impacted and scored just three minutes later from a corner, which was spilled by Ederson, and Rodrigo tapped it home. The Brazilian was City’s savior in the first half but ended up making a costly error for his side.
Pep than sent on B. Mota Veiga de Carvalho e Silva and replaced Torres for throwing some energy and creativity on the pitch. A couple of surprising changes than took pace as Pep decided to replace two attacking players in Mendy and Mahrez and sent F. Rosa and N. Aké on the pitch. It was seeming like Pep was trying to hang on to a draw. However, towards the late minutes, City took control and looked favorites to win the game.
However, City dominance was not being converted into a goal. The away side took 11 shots, but none of it was on target. On the other hand, Leeds could have won the game if they took their chances. The Whites recorded 8 shots in the second half, with 5 of them on target.
What do we learn?
It was a much improved defensive performance from Pep’s City, but a lot has to get better. They lacked cohesion in their pressing in moments and, as a result, were isolated in the midfield. Ederson again made some critical saves in the second half and kept City in the game.
Leeds United don’t have to worry about their performances. It was another characteristic display against one of the best sides in Europe. With strong momentum building, Leeds could finish in the top half by the end of this season.