Leeds United produced a heroic defensive display, as well as two clinical finishes from Stuart Dallas, to win 2-1 away at Manchester City. Despite being down to 10 men for a majority of the match.
Imagine how many we’d have won by with 11 men! #LUFC— The Square Ball (@TheSquareBall) April 10, 2021
Man City were on top throughout the first half as you would expect, despite Leeds having a couple of opportunities to break. Raheem Sterling missed their best chance after good work from Fernandinho. However, it was Leeds who took the lead five minutes from half time. Liam Cooper played a good ball down the left flank for Helder Costa who did well to keep possession, he found Bamford, who in turn laid the ball off for Stuart Dallas who hammered the ball in off the near post.
Unfortunately for Leeds, Liam Cooper then went flying in to a clearance, he won the ball cleanly but his follow through was high - he was booked for the challenge but VAR increased it to a red card.
Man City 0-1 Leeds HT:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) April 10, 2021
Leeds' produced a seriously impressive first half defensive display across the board. Beaming for Dallas. A devastating red card for Coops that will change the entire complexion of this game. Bamford will feel hard done by but had to make way. Big 45 now.
Leeds barely had a kick in the second half - as you’d expect. They hung on until the 75th minute when Ferran Torres was able to score the equaliser. This was followed by constant Man City pressure before Man City got the inevtiable winner.
EXCEPT THEY DIDN’T.
Illan Meslier threw the ball out to Ezgjan Alioski, he played a good one-two down the left with Helder Costa before playing an excellent through ball for Stuart Dallas. Dallas showed brilliant energy to get in behind before nutmegging Ederson to earn Leeds a scarcely believable win.
And that is why Marcelo Bielsa is a genius as a coach. Down to 10 men against #mcfc, #lufc showed all the tactical discipline Bielsa’s drilled into them. They showed all the team spirit, supreme fitness and work ethic that he demands. Intelligent, gutsy performance #MCILEE— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 10, 2021
Time now to look at each player and how they performed. As always you can tell me how wrong I am @mightywhitespod or @ThruItAllLUFC on twitter.
Illan Meslier - Not tested in the first half, did give us a heart attack by letting a backpass run under his foot but caused no issues luckily. Brilliant save to deny Zinchenko and recover to stop Sterling having a tap-in early in the second half. Slipped just before the shot on Man City’s equaliser. Made several more saves. 8/10
Luke Ayling - Defended excellently throughout. Not his usual type of performance, but a good performance. Stood up well in his one-on-one moments. 8/10
Diego Llorente - Spent a lot of time following Sterling into midfield, and further, in the first half and defended well throughout the half. In the second half, deep defending. Blocked well, chased well. 8.5/10
Liam Cooper - Had a good half up until his red card just before half-time including a very good ball down the left flank to find Helder Costa in the build to Dallas’ goal. Followed through on a clearance and caught Gabriel Jesus high. Could be argued that the yellow give on the field was enough. For example, George Baldock’s tackle for Sheffield United against Leeds last weekend was worse. 6/10
With the Cooper challenge, he gets the ball first but goes through Jesus on the follow-through and his boot's a long way off the ground. I can see why it's given. I can also see why there'll be a fight about consistency (again). #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) April 10, 2021
Ezgjan Alioski - Much calmer in his defensive work and was better at holding the winger one-on-one. Deserved a lot of credit for his defensive work, then topped off the performance with a one-two with Costa, followed by a fantastic through ball to set up the winning goal for Dallas. 8/10
Kalvin Phillips - Brilliant defensive work and did well on the ball on the rare occasions he could. Central to Leeds’ ability to hang on. 8.5/10
Raphinha - Good on the ball in open play in the first half, although he took several set pieces which were poor. Became the out-ball when Leeds had 10 men. Went clean through late on but was denied by a great tackle by Ederson. Most of the rare moments where Leeds didn’t have to defend, were down to him. 7.5/10
Stuart Dallas - Great finish to put Leeds ahead late in the first half. Disciplined in midfield throughout and pressed when he could. Unbelievable energy to produce a lung-busting run in stoppage time to get in behind and finish brilliantly to make it 2-1. Unreal. 9.5/10
2 shots, 2 goals. It's all you need.— Tom Woodhead (@tdwoodhead) April 10, 2021
Tyler Roberts - Some nice moments on the ball but did struggle to stay with Fernandinho when Leeds were out of possession. Ran around to harry up top but after the red had no chance in attack. 6.5/10
Helder Costa - Won a few tackles in the first half and battled well. Did especially well on that front for the Leeds goal. Very disciplined performance where he had to defend a lot. Did well at a lot of the things he often struggles with. 8/10
Patrick Bamford - Had to chase back into midfield a lot and showed excellent discipline in that regard. Good movement up top but couldn’t quite get on the end of something. Good lay off to set up Dallas’ goal. Subbed after the red card, no fault of his own. 7/10
Pascal Struijk (for Bamford, 45+3mins) - Replaced Cooper after the captain was sent off, nothing flashy, just defended well. 8/10
Robin Koch (for Roberts, 63mins) - Played nominally in midfield but was there to defend deep along with the rest. Did his job excellently. 7.5/10
Jamie Shackleton (for Raphinha, 96mins) - N/A