And so the dance goes on. Liverpool win after which Manchester Metropolis win. Identical because it ever was. Nobody blinks and nobody breaks. Liverpool win amid the sound and the rebirth and the sportswashing at Newcastle. Metropolis win amid the keenness, the hostility and the relegation nerves at Leeds. And Metropolis hold their noses in entrance. And the ending line attracts just a little bit nearer.
Now we have been right here earlier than, three years in the past. We spent a very good chunk of that spring of 2019 season ready for Metropolis to crack as effectively. That was the season of Vincent Kompany’s purpose in opposition to Leicester Metropolis, which appeared to banish the final trace of vulnerability in Pep Guardiola’s facet. Metropolis didn’t crack then and to date, there may be valuable little signal they are going to crack now.
Even amid the routine fury and loathing at Elland Street that greets any facet that ventures throughout the Pennines, Metropolis weren’t discomforted. They took every part that Leeds may throw at them and gave it again in objectives. They confirmed they may battle for the title in addition to paint fairly photos in its pursuit and so they emerged from the take a look at proud, unbowed and, as soon as extra, one level forward of Liverpool with 4 video games left to play.
Manchester Metropolis returned to the highest of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Leeds at Elland Street
Rodrigo opened the scoring for Metropolis after 13 minutes as he headed house from Phil Foden’s inviting free kick supply
Nathan Ake doubled the guests’ lead after the break after Ruben Dias teed him up with a head from Foden’s lengthy nook
Metropolis have been excellent. Let’s face it, they often are. Phil Foden is rising in stature and poise with each recreation he performs and it’s simpler and simpler to see in him a participant who may quickly be one of many world’s best possible, a younger man with magic and marvel in his boots. There have been occasions when Leeds had no reply to him. Raheem Sterling tormented their defence, too. Metropolis’s personal backfour was impregnable.
Leeds United (5-4-1): Meslier 6.5; Dallas 5.5 (James 45), Ayling 5.5, Koch 6, Struijk 6, Firpo 6 (Gelhardt 62, 7); Raphinha 7, Phillips 7, Klich 5.5, Harrison 6; Rodrigo 6(Greenwood 83)
Subs not used: Klaesson, Llorente, James, Bate, Cresswell, Shackleton
Manchester Metropolis (4-2-3-1): Ederson 7; Cancelo 7, Dias 8, Laporte 8, Ake 8 (Zinchenko 60, 6); Rodri 8 (Fernandinho 83), Gundogan 7; Sterling 7.5, Foden 9 (Silva 80), Grealish 7; Jesus 8
Subs not used: Steffen, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Egan-Riley, Mbete, McAtee
Referee: Paul Tierney 4
Guardiola and his group should negotiate matches in opposition to Newcastle, Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa to make sure of retaining their title and depriving Liverpool of a minimum of one leg of their tried Quadruple. The best way they’re taking part in, it’s arduous to see them dropping some extent, though the extra superstitious amongst their followers fear in regards to the final recreation of the season at Villa Park in opposition to a group managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
Leeds produce other considerations. This was a very bleak night for them the place the unhealthy information got here rolling in earlier than the match even began. Burnley’s late win at Watford lifted them above Jesse Marsch’s group and left Leeds dangling one place above the drop zone. Everton, the group beneath them, are 5 factors again however have two video games in hand.
Nothing went proper for the house group. Their skipper, Liam Cooper, was injured within the warm-up, Stuart Dallas was carried off on a stretcher, Marsch was booked by referee Paul Tierney and their purpose distinction took a pasting. Marsch walked off on the finish, punching the air in exhilaration because the Leeds followers chanted their defiance. It felt like somewhat an odd response to a 4-0 demolition.
The primary probability had gone to Leeds within the fourth minute. It was a present from the champions. Joao Cancelo, certainly one of Metropolis’s finest gamers this season, managed a Leeds clearance on the half-way line. He was standing alone initially however as Leeds gamers bore down on him, he slipped. Rodrigo may scarcely imagine his luck and sprinted in direction of purpose however he was step by step overhauled and when he lastly bought his shot in, Ruben Dias had bought again to dam it.
The group roared its encouragement and the Leeds gamers responded, largely, with muscularity within the sort out. There have been occasions when Metropolis should have puzzled in the event that they have been again within the Wanda Metropolitano with Atletico Madrid flying at them. Jack Grealish and Foden have been singled out for repetitive fouling. Junior Firpo quickly had his identify taken.
Stuart Dallas (left) flew into the again of Jack Grealish (proper) at a fast tempo and triggered himself harm within the course of
The Northern Irishman appeared to be in appreciable ache with team-mate Kalvin Phillips not leaving his facet as he was handled
The Leeds man was ultimately stretchered off to a standing ovation and cheers of ‘There’s just one Stuart Dallas’ from followers
Leeds supervisor Jesse Marsch discovered himself booked for the antics of his backroom workers on the sidelines by Paul Tierney (proper)
After practically 1 / 4 of an hour, Stuart Dallas introduced Raheem Sterling down as he knocked the ball previous him. Foden swung the ball in from near the left touchline and Rodri timed his run throughout the face of the Leeds defence completely, rose above Kalvin Phillips and glanced his header previous Illan Meslier to place the guests forward.
The largest cheer of the half arrived a couple of minutes later when Grealish, whose solely sin till that time was to have been kicked up within the air just a few occasions, introduced down Dallas as he burst out of his personal half, and was booked by Mr Tierney. Tierney was berated recurrently by Leeds followers however, if something, he was overly lenient with a few of Leeds’ wilder challenges.
The sport was halted for a number of minutes earlier than half time after a conflict of heads between Robin Koch and Aymeric Laporte. Laporte appeared significantly groggy however as is commonly the best way with soccer, it was determined that each gamers had in some way averted being concussed. And so each males have been allowed to play on. It continues to be a really unhealthy search for the sport.
Aymeric Laporte (centre) and Robin Koch (second proper) clashed heads as they each went for a Leeds ball into the field
Each gamers have been down for a substantial time with the Metropolis defender immobile for over two minutes
Metropolis have been nonetheless in full management though Guardiola appeared in turns mystified and offended when Grealish hoofed a clearance in direction of the heavens when he had time and house to manage it and discover a teammate. It was very un-Metropolis. Very un-Pep. It was one other image of the truth that Grealish continues to be struggling to thrive at his new membership.
Metropolis practically went additional forward two minutes earlier than half time when Luke Ayling trod on the ball within the Leeds field and fell over. It ran unfastened to Gabriel Jesus, who rolled it to Sterling however his shot was blocked by Koch and after some pinball within the space, it was cleared. Ayling raised a hand in thanks and apology to his teammates.
On the stroke of half-time, Dallas and Grealish each went for a similar ball close to half approach. Grealish bought to it first and Dallas collided with him and despatched the Metropolis midfielder flying into the air. Each males lay spread-eagled on the turf however Grealish quickly bought up. Dallas didn’t. He was carried off on a stretcher amid apparent concern from his teammates and changed by Daniel James.
Gabriel Jesus didn’t hesitate to tug the set off for the third as Foden discovered him within the centre of the field with a elegant go
Fernandinho compounded Leeds’ distress as he snatched a late fourth in harm time, slotting it into the underside left nook
After Sterling had practically scored with a dancing run and shot that was blocked on the sting of the six-yard field early within the second half, Metropolis duly prolonged their lead from the ensuing nook. Foden lifted the kick to the again submit the place Ruben Dias nodded it down. Nathan Ake reacted earlier than Pascal Struijk and swept it previous Meslier from shut vary.
Metropolis wrapped it up 12 minutes from time with a superbly executed third purpose. Ederson lashed a pinpoint go from his space which arced in direction of Cancelo on the fitting and Cancelo ran ahead to fulfill it, chesting it into the trail of Foden. Foden took a contact after which slid one other pinpoint go to Gabriel Jesus who had ghosted into the field. Jesus managed it and drilled it right-footed previous Meslier.
After Ederson had saved brilliantly from substitute Joe Gelhardt within the closing phases, Fernandinho, a second half Metropolis alternative, added some extra gloss to Metropolis’s night when he capitalised on the chaos Sterling had triggered within the space and drilled a low shot previous Meslier from 20 yards to make it 4-0. Liverpool march on however so do Manchester Metropolis.
Right here is Sportsmail’s stay weblog for updates on this night’s Premier League conflict between Leeds and Manchester Metropolis.