City slip up at home against 10-man Leeds
● Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City slumped to a shock home defeat against 10-man Leeds United yesterday, with two-goal Stuart Dallas scoring the winner in stoppage time.
Pep Guardiola fielded a much-changed City side who struggled to get going in the first half, with Leeds taking a surprise lead in the 42nd minute when fullback Dallas drove the ball home off the post with the visitors’ first shot.
Leeds’ joy was short-lived, however, as a VAR intervention saw their captain Liam Cooper sent off just before the break for a dangerous looking challenge on Gabriel Jesus. The depleted visitors then defended en masse, with City struggling to break through, but Ferran Torres broke their resistance in the 76th, levelling the score with a fine finish.
The drama was not over however. As City threw everything at Leeds in search of a winner, the visitors broke at pace, with Dallas racing through to grab a sensational victory for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the 91st minute.
The result ended City’s six-game winning streak in all competitions as they remained on 74 points, 14 clear of second-placed Manchester United at the top of the standings having played two more games, while Leeds moved up to ninth on 45.
“It is a great result for us,” Dallas said. “It was tough out there. It is hard enough with 11 men, never mind 10.”
The result slightly opens the door in the title race for City’s second-placed rivals Manchester United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in action at Tottenham Hotspur today.
If they win that and their other game in hand United will be eight points behind City, with six league matches to play.
● Reigning champions Liverpool were made to toil for their 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, with Trent Alexander-Arnold scoring the winner in injury time. —