Leeds United 1 Manchester City 1: Rodrigo opens account as Whites draw bonkers game at Elland Road

LEEDS United fought back to claim a 1-1 draw in a remarkable game of football against Manchester City at Elland Road as the first Premier League clash between Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola served up a thriller.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 8:31 pm

City blitzed the Whites for the opening quarter and took a 17th-minute lead through Raheem Sterling but Leeds came roaring back and equalised one minute before the hour when record signing Rodrigo cashed in on a mistake by Ederson from a corner to open his Whites account.

The two sides then continually exchanged attack after attack but neither team were able to find a winner in the pouring Elland Road rain as Leeds took their tally for the season to seven points from four games played.

City began at a million miles an hour with early efforts from Kyle Walker and Sterling going wide before Kevin De Bruyne nearly caught out Illan Meslier with a free-kick that cannoned back off the post.

OFF THE MARK: Leeds United's record signing Rodrigo races off to celebrate after putting the Whites all square against Manchester City. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.

A goalbound effort from De Bruyne was then kept out by a flying block from Robin Koch with new £65m defensive recruit Ruben Dias then putting a free header wide from a corner.

Patrick Bamford was then booked for catching Aymeric Laporte with a trailing arm but Leeds wasted their first chance in the 14th minute when Gjanni Alioski sent a free header over the bar from a Luke Ayling cross.

Another fine block, this time from Stuart Dallas, was then needed to keep out a Ferran Torres strike on the line.

But a City opener looked inevitable and it duly arrived in the 17th minute when Sterling cut inside from the left before neatly firing past Meslier into the bottom right corner.

The one-way traffic continued with Mateusz Klich forced to block a De Bruyne effort after fine work from Sterling and Laporte then thumped a header wide from the corner.

Phil Foden then rolled another good chance wide but a neat Whites move then ended with Bamford blazing wide from a tight angle.

Leeds were gradually getting into the game and Ayling just overran the ball at the byline in the City box.

City's Benjamin Mendy was then booked for tripping Helder Costa on a Whites counter and United's best move yet then ended with Dallas being thwarted by City keeper Ederson deep inside the box.

Back came back City with Sterling taking the wrong option after being played through and Foden then blazed an effort narrowly over soon after.

But Leeds ended the half of the attack and should have equalised in the sole minute of added time when a mistake from Mendy let in Ayling who cut inside but failed to beat Ederson from inside the box.

Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa took off Alioski during the half-time break for Ian Poveda who immediately attacked City after the restart to win a corner.

A lovely move in the 52nd-minute then ended with Ayling ballooning a cross over and wide and Bielsa then brought on record signing Rodrigo for Tyler Roberts.

Within seconds of coming on, Rodrigo darted into the area and saw a thumping shot deflected onto the crossbar and behind for a corner.

And it was from that corner that United drew level as Ederson made a horlicks of the delivery and dropped the ball allowing Rodrigo to cash in by slamming the ball home for his first league goal for the Whites.

City were rocking and Kalvin Phillips cut inside and saw his shot saved by Ederson but back came back City with De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez both firing wide.

With Ederson at full-stretch, Whites skipper Liam Cooper's header from a free-kick was deflected on to the post.

City would have been saved by the offside flag but not two minutes later when Rodrigo's header was tipped on to the bar and behind for a corner by Ederson.

A rapid Whites counter then ended with Costa's cross being blocked but Sterling then raced away one on one only to dither and be smothered by Meslier.

After more brilliant work from Rodrigo, Bamford's shot was then blocked but City finished with a flourish with substitutes Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva both going close.

Sterling then cut inside and fired just wide and City saw three shouts for penalties ignored before Bamford was sent clean through but denied by Ederson and then flagged offside.

Sterling then headed wide as the clock hit the 88th minute and after Dallas was booked for a late challenge, Meslier produced a solid save to stop a Bamford header flying into his own net.

Yet in a game featuring 35 attempts at goal between the two sides there was to be no winner leaving Bielsa and Guardiola to embrace with a point apiece at the full-time whistle.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich (Davis 77), Costa, Roberts (Rodrigo 56), Alioski (Poveda 46), Bamford. Subs not used: Caprile, Llorente, Struijk, Shackleton.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy (Ake 71), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Foden, Mahrez (Fernandinho 77), Sterling, Torres (Bernardo 65). Subs not used: Steffen, Stones, Delap, Palmer.

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Thank you Laura Collins