Leeds United v Manchester City: Premier League – live!

Leeds get the second half underway. No changes. They immediately launch an attack down the left, Firpo making good ground before floating a weak cross into the stand behind the goal. An early statement of intent by the hosts, though.

Half-time entertainment. Some peerless prose concerning both ends of the table.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Manchester City

A half which had been a lot of fun comes to a downbeat end. It’s not often you get to say this, so you might as well take your opportunity now: this scoreline slightly flatters Manchester City. But they’re reigning champions for a reason. As things stand, they’re going back to the top of the table, while Leeds remain five points off the relegation places.

45 min +7: James comes on for the stricken Dallas, who departs to warm applause, covering his eyes.

45 min +6: “There’s only one Stuart Dallas,” chant the Leeds supporters, as the medical staff carefully load the Leeds man onto the stretcher. Dallas knew something was wrong the minute he crashed to the floor, and waved to his bench. An awfully sad scene.

45 min +4: Dallas went into that challenge in the no-nonsense style, and might have damaged his knee. His team-mates look extremely concerned, Phillips holding his hand as the stretcher comes on.

45 min +3: Dallas and Grealish crash into each other at 101 miles per hour. Dallas was a millisecond late, and might have done himself some damage here.

45 min +2: For a team looking over their shoulder at the relegation places, Leeds have been impressive with their front-foot confidence, actual scoreline notwithstanding.

45 min: A second goal before half-time would change City’s mood all right, and they’ve got four additional minutes in which to find it.

44 min: Grealish is ranting and raving at anyone who will listen. He’s expected a couple of free kicks that haven’t been awarded, and has lost the nut. Pep Guardiola is trying to calm him down, to little effect so far. City are leading, and they’re not rattled exactly, but they’re not particularly happy right now.

42 min: Ayling ships possession on the edge of his own box. Jesus and Sterling over-elaborate instead of combining to score. Then there’s a bit of penalty-box pinball, before Leeds eventually clear their lines.

41 min: Raphinha dribbles at pace down the middle. He’s tugged lightly by Laporte and pulls up, expecting a free kick that doesn’t come. The home fans deliver a trenchant critique of Paul Tierney’s refereeing ability.

40 min: Raphinha robs Ake in the middle of the park and barrels off down the right with Dallas by his side. The pair combine to earn a corner. Everyone floods into the City box. Ederson comes out and flaps at the corner. The ball’s worked wide right to Raphinha, who fires low into the mixer. City clear their lines, but they’re looking uncharacteristically flustered right now.

38 min: Leeds are playing well at the minute, but here’s a reminder that City could take this game away from them in a flash. Foden, out on the right, creams a diagonal pass towards Jesus, who scampers in from the left wing and sends a low shot straight at Meslier. For a split second there, a goal looked on the cards.

37 min: Raphinha romps down the right and enters the City box. He thinks about curling one goalwards, but dithers, and when he tries to roll across for Dallas, the chance is gone. But Leeds come back at City again, Klich barging down the left and crossing. Gundogan heads clear under pressure.

36 min: Leeds have enjoyed 50 percent of possession in the last ten minutes. It’s not often that Manchester City are forced to share.

35 min: Raphinha’s right-wing cross is only half cleared by Cancelo, and Firpo suddenly finds himself in a bit of space, just inside the box on the left, with the ball at his feet. He sends an ambitious screamer over the bar. He should have looped into the centre for Rodrigo. City don’t look totally comfortable here.

33 min: Phillips plays a diagonal ball to Raphinha on the right touchline. Raphinha scampers into the box before losing control. City clear, but that’s energised the crowd. Leeds are still up for this, and haven’t let the early goal ruin their mood.

31 min: Grealish drops a shoulder to get past Ayling down the left. Ayling clips him, but Grealish tries to stay on his feet. Bad decision, because when he eventually goes over, Leeds are able to clear, the referee having played a spurious advantage.

Grealish in action as he tries to avoid a challenge from Dallas.
Grealish in action as he tries to avoid a challenge from Dallas. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

29 min: Sterling is stopped in his tracks down the right. Another free kick that Leeds question. Foden takes, and plays a slider down the inside-right channel. Nobody in no-logo City dark blue reads his intention, and Meslier gathers without fuss.

27 min: Grealish probes down the left to little effect. Leeds have a chance to counter but Klich hoicks a pass straight into the back of his own man Harrison. These half-opportunities should give Leeds a little succour, though. City look slightly vulnerable when Leeds take on their press.

25 min: Ake handballs as Leeds try to clear their lines. An attempt by the hosts to counter breaks down immediately, then City win a corner. Leeds are furious, arguing that they didn’t get much of an advantage. But there it is. Fortunately for those who tire easily of confected controversy, nothing comes of the corner.

24 min: A brief clear-up job comes to an end, and the game restarts.

Leeds coach Jesse Marsch makes the most of the stoppage by talking tactics with Klich and Rodrigo.
Leeds coach Jesse Marsch makes the most of the stoppage by talking tactics with Klich and Rodrigo. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

23 min: Play is stopped again as more balls of paper and coloured card rain down from the stand. With Leeds losing, the home fans are making their own fun. “You have to make the most of those moments,” sighs Jeremy Boyce of that early Leeds break. “Rodrigo seems to have zero confidence and is the antithesis of Benzema whose confidence seems to be sky high. As a lifelong Nasties fan I can tell you I am expecting a Sky Blue spanking tonight, not many fingernails left already and still four more scary games to play.”

A steward removes a flare from the pitch.
A steward removes a flare from the pitch. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

22 min: Rodrigo and Klich combine at speed in the centre circle. Klich should send Raphinha clear down the right with a sliderule pass, but clanks it out for a throw. Raphinha had gone too early, as well, the flag going up for offside. Another good situation squandered by the hosts.

20 min: Both players are given the OK to continue. It’s slightly surprising, especially in the case of Laporte, who was motionless for the best part of two minutes. But they fight on.

19 min: Both men are back up, but the medical staff continue to do their checks. As for the contentious free kick, replays show Dallas definitely got a bit of the ball when he challenged Sterling, though he checked his man as well. You can make an argument either way. Jesse Marsch was certainly displeased.

17 min: Laporte had collided with Koch, and both have stayed down. Neither look in particularly good nick.

15 min: The free kick comes to nought, but Leeds come again through Raphinha on the left. Raphinha whips to the near post, where Laporte clears, taking a whack on the head for his trouble. On comes the trainer.

14 min: Grealish is booked for sliding through the back of Dallas, out on the right. A suggestion by the Sky commentary team, incidentally, that the City free kick that led to the opening goal was a tad harsh, Dallas having got a portion of the ball. There will be opinions on the internet.

GOAL! Leeds United 0-1 Manchester City (Rodri 13)

Foden’s delivery is something here, though! He sends an outswinger across the front of the six-yard box. Rodri steps into the gap where Liam Cooper had expected to be, before the Leeds captain was injured in the warm-up, and steers a gentle header into the bottom right. Simple as that!

Rodri scores with a header.
Rodri scores with a header. Photograph: Andrew Yates/EPA
Rodrigo celebrates with team mates.
Rodrigo celebrates with team mates. Photograph: Matt McNulty/Manchester City/Manchester City FC/Getty Images

12 min: Dallas checks Sterling as he makes his way down the Leeds left. A free kick in a dangerous position. Everyone lines up on the edge of the Leeds box. Foden to take.

10 min: Sterling dribbles down the right and wins a corner. As Foden prepares to take it, he’s bombarded by huge boulders of scrunched-up paper in the classroom style. He flings one over his shoulder and back into the stand. That proves a better delivery than his corner. Leeds clear their lines.

Balls of paper appear to hit City players including Phil Foden.
Balls of paper appear to hit City players including Phil Foden. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

9 min: Foden goes down and fancies a free kick. He was clipped by Ayling, but he’s not getting the decision, and becomes quite livid. City are beginning to establish their usual dominance.

7 min: Foden dribbles down the inside-right channel and is hauled back by Firpo. A free kick, and an early booking for the Leeds left back, who now has 83 minutes of walking on eggshells stretching out in front of him. Ake heads harmlessly over the bar from the free kick.

5 min: Well, that would have shaken a few things up. Had Rodrigo passed when he should have, Raphinha would have been one on one with Ederson, 12 yards out. Will they live to regret that? Possibly. Probably.

3 min: Cancelo and Sterling combine down the right, the latter winning the first corner of the game. The hosts clear, and Cancelo slips in the centre circle! He’s the last man, and Rodrigo is able to tear down the left. He’s got Raphinha clear in the middle, but takes one touch too many, and when he finally attempts to tee up his team-mate, Gundogan has got back to block. What a chance for Leeds to take a shock lead!

2 min: A rare old atmosphere generated by the home fans. They’re marching on together all right. The visiting support are doing pretty well to make snatches of Blue Moon heard amid the hubbub.

Leeds fans hold their trainers up.
Leeds fans hold their trainers up. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

City get the ball rolling … but only after everyone takes a knee. There’s no room for racism.

Stuart Dallas of Leeds in action with Man City's Jack Grealish.
Premier League – Leeds United v Manchester City
Soccer Football – Premier League – Leeds United v Manchester City – Elland Road, Leeds, Britain – April 30, 2022 Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas in action with Manchester City’s Jack Grealish Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

The teams are out! Leeds are in their Real Madrid inspired white shirts, which may or may not cause the visitors some brief disquiet after Tuesday’s turmoil. Manchester City sport the no-badge outrage foisted on them by their kit supplier. We’ll be off in a minute, after a quick blast of Marching On Together.

Jesse Marsch talks to Sky. “We have to play courageous. We haven’t had our best performances with the ball. We need to be aggressive, even against a team like this. We have to be clear which areas we want to make difficult for them and how to limit them. This is a very difficult task in general, but we will not just sit back. We will try to be aggressive at the right times, and also try to be dangerous. We are in control of our own destiny, and have to focus on us. We have to stop focusing on what’s happening around us. The more we take care of our own business, the better chance we have.”

Pep Guardiola adds: “All my career, when we play every few days a lot of games, everybody has to be involved. The line-up is a fantastic one. You have to win all the games to be champion, nothing changes from a few hours ago. We know exactly what we have to do.”

Yep, Cooper can’t play. His place in the Leeds starting line-up will be taken by Mateusz Klich.

Leeds captain Liam Cooper appears to have hurt his knee during the warm-up. He’s rubbing it quite a lot and shaking his head in a mixture of pain and irritation. Nothing confirmed yet, but if he can’t play, that’s a huge blow for the hosts ahead of this game.

A huge afternoon at the bottom of the table. Burnley were losing at Watford with seven minutes to go, only for Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill to score two goals in three minutes for the rejuvenated Clarets! It’s an astonishing turnaround that all but relegates Watford … and sends Norwich City, who lost 2-0 at Aston Villa, down today. Everton are now five points from safety, while the heat’s turned up a little further on Leeds as well, with Burnley leapfrogging them into 16th.

Leeds United make three changes to the XI named for the goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Monday. Junior Firpo, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk come in for Diego Llorente, Daniel James and Mateusz Klich, all of whom drop to the bench.

Manchester City make five changes to the team sent out for the 4-3 victory over Real Madrid last Tuesday. Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Nathan Ake and Jack Grealish step up; Kevin De Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez drop to the bench, while John Stones is injured.

The teams

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Firpo, Koch, Raphinha, Dallas, Phillips, Harrison, Rodrigo.
Subs: Klaesson, Llorente, James, Bate, Gelhardt, Cresswell, Greenwood, Klich, Shackleton.

Manchester City: Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, Grealish, Foden, Sterling, Gabriel Jesus.
Subs: Zinchenko, Steffen, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Egan-Riley, Mbete-Tabu, McAtee.

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).


Earlier on this happened …

… which meant this happened …

… and now it’s Manchester City’s turn to respond. Leeds need something themselves, for vastly different reasons. Could be a humdinger at Elland Road! Kick off is at 5.30pm. It’s on!


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