Manchester City reaffirmed their position at the top of the Premier League table on Tuesday night, beating a desperate Leeds team 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s men started brilliantly and found two goals for good within the initial 13 minutes. Phil Foden showed great calm and put in a recovered Illan Meslier save for City’s first, before Jack Grealish emphatically nodded home Riyad Mahrez’s post to double the team’s lead.
The hosts then practically sealed the result just after half an hour when Kevin De Bruyne hit the ball home after locking himself on Rodris’ consistent ball.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men got a promising start to the second period but were soon taken down to earth again when City took their fourth place before the five-minute mark. A sweeping move eventually led to Mahrez, whose rejected effort found the net outside Junior Firpo.
The hosts won in a period of minor pressure from Leeds – where Stuart Dallas saw an arrowhead hit the post – believing they had found a five through the Foot, even though the English star was denied a position through an offside call in the 62nd minute. But not discouraged, but Manchester City found the net seconds later, when De Bruyne noted his second with an absolute fieryness in the upper corner that almost took off the net.
Send it, Kevin De Bruyne! ?
Sensational attack from Manchester City’s Belgian maestro! pic.twitter.com/q88QUe3dGm
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 14, 2021
Any signs that City are showing mercy? No. John Stones came into the act with about 15 minutes left, after two good saves from Meslier to eventually hit the ball into the ceiling. And the home fans were in seventh heaven just a couple of minutes later when Nathan Åke nodded home from Foden’s corner.
The pace seemed to slow down a bit after seven – a disappointment, huh? – eventually allow the referee to put an end to Leeds’ misery and blow up a 7-0 win for Cityzens.
This is how the players rated an evening with two very different feelings for both sides.
Even the midfielders get on the results list?
Stones makes it to six, Åke makes it to seven. pic.twitter.com/vT0dZnDzLl
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 14, 2021
Ederson (GK) – 6/10 – Honestly, he could have produced a book and started reading for large parts.
John Stones (RB) – 7/10 – Did very well in an unfamiliar position, and almost never looked too much trouble. Finished brilliantly and scored six in the second half as well.
Ruben Dias (CB) – 6/10 – Typically strong and immobile in the heart of the defense, although it did not exactly have to be too often.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 6/10 – Stepped forward constantly, used the ball with great effect and looked determined enough in the face of very little danger.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – 7/10 – Such a reliable presence whenever needed, this time proved to be solid to recover with five balls while the ball spread beautifully.
Kevin De Bruyne was brilliant for Manchester City / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / GettyImages
Rodri (DM) – 8/10 – So dominant at the heart of the pitch, the game spreads efficiently and effortlessly to record four key passes – including a beautiful assist to De Bruyne’s stroke.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – 7/10 – Missed a babysitter during the opening minutes but normal service resumed soon enough and showed off those pretty brilliant silky feet time and time again before they were surprisingly replaced during the break.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 10/10 – Fantastic energy and movement throughout, proves to be untamable and looks like his usual self in advanced areas. Finished deservedly brilliant for his first before finishing sensationally to take a stay. A vintage performance.
Jack Grealish deservedly scored a goal against Leeds / Alex Livesey / GettyImages
Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 9/10 – Threatening and clinical in his game, delivered a perfect post for Grealish’s goal before conceding his own goal in the second half.
Phil Foden (CF) – 8/10 – Floated around nicely and was strongly involved in City’s smooth game structure, while he kept calm to open the goal scorer. Insert a good corner to assist his team’s seventh as well.
Jack Grealish (LW) – 8/10 – Very straight from minute one, drove towards his opponent with real intent. Received his reward for a powerful performance with a well-received header.
46. STADSUB | A change in the break means that @IlkayGuendogan replaces @BernardoCSilva?
? 3-0 ⚪️ #ManCity pic.twitter.com/XSTBuc3IrT
– Manchester City (@ManCity) 14 December 2021
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 8/10 – Immediately showed his elusive ability and even claimed a couple of assists for his team’s fourth and fifth goals.
Fernandinho (DM) – 7/10 – Characteristically composed.
Nathan Åke (CB) – 7/10 – Good nod for his team’s seven.
Says it all / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / GettyImages
Illan Meslier (GK) – 4/10 – May have done better with some of the goals, but to be honest, in the mood that City were in, he would never keep a clean sheet. Jamie Shackleton (RB) – 5/10 – The score was only 3-0 when an injury forced him away. Read what you want.
Luke Ayling (CB) – 4/10 – Read play nicely sometimes and did a good job on the cover, but could not handle the devastating nature of his resistance. Diego Llorente (CB) – 3/10 – Dragged out of position by City’s flow so easily and was really disappointed by weak defense and shaky use of ball possession.
Junior Firpo (LB) – 2/10 – Made a brilliant arrow into the final third but was otherwise completely and utterly miserable. When I say deplorable, I mean deplorable.
Stuart Dallas struggled to contain City all the time / Clive Brunskill / GettyImages
Stuart Dallas (CM) – 6/10 – Should probably have cleared away Foden’s effort from the line to prevent the opposition’s opener but generally fought hard all the way – though of course in vain. Unlucky to see an astonishing effort hit from the post in the second half.
Adam Forshaw (CM) – 4/10 – Really ever missed to gain a foothold in the match and felt quite absent from the negotiations.Tyler Roberts (AM) – 3/10 – Pressed incessantly but was nowhere near inventive enough to create or dominate in the number ten role.
Even Raphinha seemed uninspired for Leeds / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / GettyImages
Raphinha (RW) – 3/10 – Worked hard and turned out to be a threat when Leeds got him involved in the game, but my God, it was so rare.
Dan James (ST) – 3/10 – Showed his pace as he drove the canals to provide some sort of alternative as an outlet but was rarely even occupied by the cameraman, let alone involved in the plot. Hooked off at half time.
Jack Harrison (LW) – 3/10 – Had an opportunity with the Stones playing out of position, but just did not take it.
Mateusz Klich’s introduction did not really change the game at all / Clive Brunskill / GettyImages
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 4/10 – Demonstrated a bit more dynamic movement in Leeds midfield but, quite predictably, did not do much to change the balance of the game.
Joe Gelhardt (ST) – 3/10 – Could not make the same impression as he did at Chelsea.
Cody Drameh (LB) – N / A
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