Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips reflects on escaping Manchester City's press in Elland Road thriller

KALVIN Phillips says Leeds United were initially guilty of giving Manchester City too much respect in Saturday evening's 1-1 thriller at Elland Road but were ultimately pleased to leave with a point.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 10:03 pm

Marcelo Bielsa's Whites fell behind to a 17th-minute Raheem Sterling strike as part of an early City onslaught but United gradually got into the game and equalised shortly before the hour when Rodrigo cashed in on an error from 'keeper Ederson from a corner.

Both sides then had chances to win a thrilling contest in the final half hour but an epic clash ended all square leaving Phillips to reflect on some lessons learned but in the end a point gained.

"It was hard work to be fair," said Phillips asked what the game was like to play in during his post-match interview on Sky Sports.

BACK ON TERMS: Kalvin Phillips, right, celebrates with Whites goalscorer Rodrigo after Leeds United draw level with Manchester City. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.

"We know they are a very good offensive team but we knew that they had weaknesses defensively and in the second half we came out on top a little bit and had a few chances which you don't really get often when you are playing good teams like that.

"But we are just happy to get a point really, happy to get a point on the board contesting against a really good side.

"I think we gave them a little bit too much respect in the first 20.

"We won the ball back a couple of times in the first half and thought we can have a go at these and we came out in the second half and made a couple of tackles and counter attacks and I thought we did well."

Phillips again started in his usual holding midfield role but the 24-year-old was noticeably hassled and closed down at every opportunity by City's midfield and front line and in particularly Kevin De Bruyne.

"To be fair a lot of the play goes through me," said Phillips.

"I think they set up to do that and try and catch me out in the first half and they did and I knew I had to change my game up and get on the ball in different ways and I think in the second half the other midfielders did that as well."

Reflecting on the nature of the contest that ended with both teams playing all out attack, Phillips said: "Man City are always going to come here and want to win and we don't want to lose.

"We are a team that is very attacking and so are they so it was just end to end stuff.

"It was hard work at times but I thought we did well as a team."

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Thank you Laura Collins