But the Whites showed every ounce of their character and skill in a pulsating match they dominated for periods. The spoils were shared thanks to Rodrigo's first goal for the Whites. He wasn't alone in having a good day on the Elland Road pitch.
Yes, Rodrigo was superb and gave Leeds a much-needed presence between midfield and attack that caused City problems, but Ian Poveda's second half display was a joy to behold. Against the club that was happy to ship him out, he sparkled on the wing. His skill and speed took him past players but he showed real awareness to link up with team-mates and take considered options in possession. He worked back, showing the defensive side of his game that he felt wasn't quite there until he began to work with Bielsa, and gave Leeds an outlet when the pressure was on.
Marcelo Bielsa values Roberts and believes he will play an important part for Leeds but Rodrigo has now outshone him twice in quick succession in that number 10 role. Roberts, a striker by trade, was constantly reminded to move by Bielsa and showed just one glimpse of the talent we've seen in patches previously. Couldn't make a telling impact, although that one lovely bit of skill to put Stuart Dallas in behind was very nearly an assist. He can play through defensive lines, we just haven't seen it enough yet.
Number of the day
Leeds United, at one stage in the first half, had enjoyed only a third of the possession but ended the game shading it with 52 per cent. Their early struggles gave way to a brave, entertaining performance as they attacked and, at times, dominated a wonderful football team. Kalvin Phillips was key to beating the press as they grew into it with some nice passing, but so many played their part. Mateusz Klich was clever on the ball, Rodrigo was incisive, Helder Costa was direct, Ian Poveda was electric and Stuart Dallas continues to put together those one-touch breakout passing and running moves. A performance to remember from a lot of men in white.
Leeds United were dominated until Raheem Sterling scored but then something clicked and they steadily grew into the game until they were on top. Going behind seemed to give them an extra aggression or added incentive or perhaps City relaxed subconsciously but from that point on it was a contest again. Leeds were being battered and then battered City for longer spells than anyone other than Bielsa and his team could have believed possible. The reaction to going a goal down could have been fear and the opener could have been their downfall, so to react in the manner they did was hugely impressive.