Rodrigo hits a goal to draw Leeds United with Manchester City in recent Premier League match

Premier League: Rodrigo to the Rescue as Leeds Hold City

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City

Leeds United’s terrific start to life back in the Premier League continues. After the Whites were a little unlucky not to come away with a point against Liverpool, they successfully managed to hold the Premier League’s other top title contenders — Manchester City — to a draw at Elland Road.

City came out of the gates strong, but Leeds battled back and equalised through record signing Rodrigo, who made a massive impact after coming on as a second-half substitute.

As for City, their Premier League 2020 odds to reclaim the title from Liverpool this season have taken another hit as they continue to drop important points.

 

Highlights of the game

Man City were desperate to bounce back after their disastrous 5-2 defeat to Leicester City last week, and they very nearly took the lead against Leeds after just three minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne’s ambitious free-kick from distance almost caught out Illan Meslier on his near post. Luckily for Leeds’ young keeper, De Bruyne’s shot struck the post.

With Man City on the front foot early on, Leeds had to wait 14 minutes for their first real chance on goal. Ezgjan Alioski got on the end of a fine cross from Luke Ayling, but his header went well over the bar.

Man City almost made their hosts pay for that missed chance just a few minutes later. Raheem Sterling’s cutback from the left wing found Ferran Torres, whose shot was blocked from goal by Leeds defenders.

Raheem Sterling scores an early goal during Leeds United-Manchester City game in Premier League

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in action against Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas during their recent Premier League match

But there was a sense that a goal was coming for City, and it finally came on 17 minutes. Sterling, once again working from the left, cut inside to his right foot and expertly curled his shot past Meslier.

Leeds responded well after going behind, though, as they went in search of an equaliser. On 36 minutes, they produced a well-worked move which ended with a good chance for Stuart Dallas. But Ederson did well to smother the shot away for a corner.

City broke for a quick counterattack on the ensuing corner, and it resulted in Phil Foden flashing a left-footed shot just over the bar.

For all of City’s first-half dominance, though, Leeds were nearly level on the stroke of half-time. A mistake from Benjamin Mendy allowed Luke Ayling in for a shot, but Ederson was once again there to City’s rescue.

Leeds continued to claw their way back into the game, and the introduction of Rodrigo on 56 minutes proved crucial. The Spaniard got involved right away as he unleashed a powerful strike which Ederson had to tip onto the bar for a corner.

And Leeds’ record signing would go on to grab the equaliser on the ensuing corner. Ederson, who  had been brilliant in making some key saves, made a costly error as he failed to clear the corner. That allowed Rodrigo to tap the ball into the net for his first Leeds goal.

Rodrigo would then come close to giving the home side the lead on 69 minutes. His header looked destined for the top corner, but Ederson added to his Premier League 2020 highlights as he made a spectacular fingertip save.

City would also have their chances to steal a late winner. Sterling and substitute Bernardo Silva both came close, but it was not to be as Leeds would hang on for a well-earned point.

 

Key statistics

As our preview for this match pointed out, Leeds would not be scared to play their aggressive, attacking game against City, and that showed in the final stats. Leeds ended up having 53 per cent of possession against a Guardiola side which so often dominates the ball.

City had the decided 23-12 edge in terms of total shots, but Leeds created the better chances. They had seven shots on target to City’s two. City felt the absence of both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in front of goal as their other forwards misfired.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that despite the addition of centre-back Ruben Dias, who made his debut against Leeds, City’s defence still has a lot of work to do.

 

What’s next?

The international break will put the Premier League on pause next weekend. But when the season resumes, Leeds will look to continue their fine start to the campaign when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers.

As for Man City, they have a massive clash against Arsenal coming up next. The Gunners knocked City out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals the last time they met. Don’t forget to check out the SBOTOP odds for that huge match once they are available.

 

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