The return of Leeds United to the Premier League after 16 seasons without the huge Yorkshire club has been one that has been welcomed by many neutral fan as the entertainment factor that they have been able bring to the Prem with blockbuster games each week; and this weekend was no different against rivals Prep Guardiola’s Manchester City in which many predicted that they were due to lose their first Premier League game.
[Image: Manchester Evening News]
This was dubbed as the “Master vs Apprenticeship” prematch in what was always going to be a tactical affair in which both Guardiola and Bielsa would pit to outsmart their counterpart. With the match finishing in a 1-1 draw, we could only describe the game as a tale of two halves in which Leeds nullified the threat in the first half of the Man City onslaught in the first half and then taking the game to them in the second half with some tactical changes by Bielsa which made them look dominant and gave the mainstream media to rave about the Whites.
This game stretched both teams out to the maximum and ensured that it was the game that had all the potential pre-match and the perfect game for the neutral. There were 35 shots in total in the match, the most in a Premier League match this season, and 23 of these were City but they just couldn’t seem to finish the chances in which they were producing. The managerial input placed by Bielsa on his players at half time was what flipped the game and Leeds looked as if they were going to take the win in the second half with the introduction of Ian Poveda and Rodrigo who ran the City defence ragged for 45 minutes.
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City will feel as if they have got off the hook this weekend with them at least picking up one point against Leeds, with rivals Liverpool getting batter 7-2 by Aston Villa which will at least soften the blow. Although, if City are serious about winning the title this year, they will have to up their game moving forward.