Stuart Dallas-inspired Leeds United survive Manchester City’s onslaught with a man short in the second half
Manchester City were cruising to the Premier League title. Pep Guardiola’s boys looked unstoppable as they needed only 11 more points to secure the league trophy. But their emphatic run was halted by a resilient Leeds United. Inspired by a Stuart Dallas’ double, Marcelo Bielsa’s side stunned the champions-elect 2-1 at Etihad stadium on Saturday.
City expectedly dominated the proceedings by retaining majority of the possession. Leeds held a solid backline thwarting the hosts from running riot. Just before half-time, Stuart Dallas opened the scoring for the visitors. But the game changed on its head couple of minutes later.
Liam Cooper made a dangerous lunge on Gabriel Jesus, getting a yellow card in the process. VAR intervened and asked referee Andre Marriner to review the decision on the pitchside monitor. Upon reviewing, the referee changed the colour of the card from yellow to red, dealing a huge blow to the visiting team.
Manchester City had bulk of possession and camped near Leeds penalty box for the majority of second half. But Bielsa’s boys were dogged in defending and maintained a good defensive shape. Despite seeing majority of the ball, the hosts struggled to break Leeds’ resilience.
The breakthrough finally came 14 minutes from time. Ferran Torres equalised to give Guardiola’s boys hope of a remarkable turnaround. With City looking for the winning goal, 10-man Leeds produced the late shock.
Dallas slotted the ball past City’s goalkeeper Ederson to spark a jubilant scenes at Leeds bench. Contrasting images were visible across the stadium as Guardiola and his coaching staffs were left shell shocked with the late drama.
The 71 percent possession and 29 shots at Leeds goal were not enough for the hosts to get something out of the game. On the other hand, Leeds sealed the victory with just the two shots they had on goal.