It was a reunion for Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola but there was nothing to separate their sides as Manchester City and Leeds United played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at an empty Elland Road.
Raheem Sterling scored his third goal of the season to hand City the lead, but Leeds fought back aggressively and levelled when Rodrigo pounced on a mistake by Ederson just before the hour mark.
Rodrigo also forced the City goalkeeper into a fine save as Leeds grew into the contest in the second half, while Sterling’s late appeals for a penalty for a challenge from Liam Cooper were denied, and the points were shared.
The result leaves Manchester City sitting in 10th position in the Premier League table ahead of the weekend’s remaining fixtures, while Leeds sit fifth with seven points from their opening four games.
Watch the match highlights below
Leeds on their return to the biggest stage have refused to bow down to anyone and the long absence has been worth the 16-year wait. After pushing Liverpool all the way in a narrow defeat, Bielsa’s side came into the contest having won two games in a row, and they fed off of City’s vulnerabilities.
Bielsa made a tactical switch at the break replacing Ezgjan Alioski with Ian Poveda so as to target Mendy. Tyler Roberts was then replaced by Rodrigo and, after flashing a warning sign over from the angle, the club-record £27m signing capitalised on a poor error of judgment from Ederson to draw Leeds United level.
Marcelo Bielsa: “It was a very difficult game – the beginning and the end was all City. At the end of the first half and the beginning of the second was all us. For us to be on equal terms, it pushed us to our limit.
“At the beginning of the game, we couldn’t take our game to them and they dispossessed us very easily. It was a game in which both teams tried to win and this is the conclusion I take from the game.
“We could’ve lost but we also could’ve won.”
Pep Guardiola: “It was good, huh? Both teams wanted to attack and it was a good game and a fair result. We played an incredible first 30 minutes but couldn’t score more goals.
“This is a team that until the final whistle fight and are there. We knew it, but the team with the situation that we have with our pre-season, a lot of players out, they showed incredible behaviour. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win but we move on.
“I’m not complaining for one second – I’m sad for the players who aren’t here, but those that deserve all the credit. They made good build-ups with the goalkeeper and put a lot of players behind our midfield line so it’s not easy to play against them.
“Last season in the Championship and so far this season, they’ve shown what a good team they are. We made a good game and a different game to the one we usually do, but we had good chances in the first half to kill the game in the first half.”
Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)
- Leeds have lost just one of their last six Premier League games against Manchester City (W3 D2) and remain unbeaten in their last three against the Citizens in the competition (W1 D2).
- Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola remains unbeaten in all four of his managerial meetings with Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa in all competitions (W2 D2).
- Manchester City (D1 L1) have failed to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2018 (L2).
- Manchester City have lost just one of their last 32 Premier League games against promoted sides (W25 D6), with that defeat coming at Norwich last season.
- Leeds United’s Rodrigo Moreno scored his second Premier League goal and first since January 2011, nine years and 272 days ago. It’s the second longest gap between a player’s first two goals in the competition after Andy Johnson (9 years 276 days).