The Etihad Stadium witnessed a dance: Manchester City beat Leeds by 7-0 and proved that they are the best team in the Premier League. In a football exhibition, they defeated Bielsa’s team with goals from Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Kevin de Bruyne (x2), Riyad Mahrez, John Stones and Nathan Aké. The visit even came close to Ederson’s arch and is getting more and more complicated with the relegation red zone. It was the biggest loss in the Argentine’s coaching career: the previous one had been in the 1992 Copa Libertadores, when he managed Newell’s Old Boys and suffered six goals against San Lorenzo.
What Pep Guardiola raises is simply wonderful: without reference to the area as a classic striker, he has three options that will reach the area near the rival goal. Foden, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva take turns to drive the rival defense crazy. They move through the middle zone as if it were a Formula 1 lane and the excess of skill helps to forget the absence of an “old-fashioned” striker.
It is a mistake to think that Guardiola leaves Grealish locked up in a gang. They criticize him for doing it with the player with the most expensive transfer in the history of the Premier League, but the manager does not need it. That he is very good and skilled we all know, but inside the options continue to appear so that Jack goes unnoticed. Mahrez has the same task: stay to the side, if you see that we need you, he comes into play from the edge of the area. For something both play a changed profile. For something, whenever the ball falls, they choose to unload or center.
The Citizen’s game was perfect. The scoring was opened by an error by Illan Meslier that Foden took advantage of, but the locals forced each ball and tilted the court so that a football match looks like a fronton match. The second goal was thanks to a great center from Mahrez for the head Grealish. The Leeds defense was asleep and they headed into the small area. The third was the decanting of the game: Rodri filtered an incredible ball so that De Bruyne appears as if he were Kun Agüero inside the area.
In the fourth it was an art of reluctance when the Algerian winger was recumbent on the right, finished off without much opposition and the ball entered thanks to a rebound in Firpo. The Belgian midfielder completed his double with a work of art: he seized the ball calmly and from outside the area shook Leeds’s goal with tremendous violence. For the sixth, a rebound inside the area was enough for Stones to convert and the seventh was a clean header from Aké -in minutes ago- to the far post.
Those led by Marcelo Bielsa cannot lift their heads. It is understood that he has many injuries – to which are added that of Jamie Shackleton in this game and the suspension of Junior Firpo due to accumulation of cards – but not even an idea fell from their head. The manager has a lot of work to do because what his team showed the most was the lack of confidence every time, he had to go out playing. He must wake up or the ghost of the descent will reappear on Elland Road.
Manchester City: Ederson; John Stones, Rúben Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish.
Leeds: Meslier; Shackleton, Ayling, Llorente, Firpo; Dallas, Forshaw; Raphinha, Tyler Roberts, Jack Harrison; Daniel James.