The match between Manchester City v Leeds United does not look or feel like the end of the seasons because there is snow coming down in the Etihad Stadium, the city of Manchester in the build of kick-off. However, both sides have a clear sight of what they need to do in the rest of the campaign. For Manchester City, three or maybe four-win required to ensure that they take the Premier League 2020/2021 title, while for Leeds United, well, just perhaps a point or two more will guarantee that premier league place next season if that job has not already been done.
This is a game to relish the battle of the master against apprentice, Marcelo Bielsa against Josep “Pep” Guardiola. Before this match, Bielsa never won against Pep, and all their previous meeting has been won by Pep or Draw. As a disclaimer, most of their meeting happens when Guardiola manages the Best Barcelona team in history with Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi as the backbone. At the same time, Bielsa manages the dark horse, Athletic Bilbao which he, successfully take to the final of Copa Del Rey 2009. Regardless of the Bielsa v Guardiola statistic, this match looks even more challenging for Leeds since Manchester City only lost three times this season.
At the beginning of the game, Leeds, with the free-flowing and open football take the first initiative to dominate the game. Leeds United got the reward when Stuart Dallas beat Enderson to put Leed United leading with one goal.
Unfortunately, Leeds domination has vanished when the Leeds captain, Liam Cooper has been sent off after a VAR review indicate he conduct a serious foul play against Gabrial Jesus. Soon after the red card, City set up camp in Leeds’ half with an extra man, but Marcelo Bielsa’s men defended tenaciously, and it took until 14 minutes from time for Ferran Torres to equalize. Leeds united under huge pressure of City for almost 45 mins, until Stuart Dallas breaks through the middle of the City defense area and rolls the ball into the net. Ten Leed heroes have beaten the eleven City player. This game remarkable for both teams, and this is for the first time since Marcelo Bielsa took over, Leeds United finished with less than 30% possession.
Although England international Kalvin Phillips, striker Patrick Bamford, and new signing Raphinha have received the majority of the attention this season under Bielsa, this game has highlighted the importance of Dallas in the Leeds United side.
Bielsa said during the post-game press conference that he did not defeat Pep Guardiola. It’s a game between two teams, with the players playing the most crucial role. Bielsa and Guardiola are simply the coaches of the two teams who squared off against each other. Further, he expressed his admiration for his players and his belief that they truly deserve the win.