Pep Guardiola lauds Marcelo Bielsa's 'fantastic' Leeds United but laments Manchester City's missed chances at Elland Road

Pep Guardiola felt his Manchester City side could have made more of their chances against a 'fantastic' Leeds United team at Elland Road.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 8:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 8:57 pm
ENTERTAINERS - Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola's Leeds United and Manchester City sides played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at Elland Road. Pic: Simon Hulme

City took an early lead through Raheem Sterling, hit the post through Kevin De Bruyne and pinned Leeds into their own half for a prolonged spell in the first half.

But Marcelo Bielsa's men battled back and deservedly levelled in the second half when Rodrigo capitalised on Ederson's blunder from a corner.

The Whites shaded the possession and created danger on the counter attack several times, before City rallied and finished the stronger side.

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"I think it was an entertaining game, a good game, both teams tried to win from minute one through to 93 minutes," said Guardiola, who shared a warm embrace with Bielsa at full-time.

"We had really good moments in the first minutes we could have made a bigger margin in our result. They are a fantastic team, destroyed the Championship last season and have done so good so far. The last eight, 10 minutes we were there, we tried to win. It was a good game."

Guardiola lamented his team's struggle to maintain an effective press when Leeds' centre-halves Liam Cooper and Robin Koch were in possession and the chances that went begging.

"They are a fantastic team, we struggled a little bit to make the first press," he said.

"When they had the keeper we were good but with the central defender we were a little bit back, we struggled a bit in this bit. The way they play they make you have a lot of transitions. We had a brilliant, brilliant moment we could not define in the final third."

When asked why his team were unable to hold onto the dominant position they found themselves in after 20 minutes, Guardiola simply pointed to the way Leeds United play football. They made life difficult for City and gave them a lesson to learn, according to the manager.

"Because they are a good team," he said.

"Normally when you play, with two teams sometimes they are good too, you have to accept it, learn from this but we never change our approach to try and take the ball as quick as possible and win.

"They're difficult to face, it's so difficult, they split like two teams, five players there and five up front, they win duels, they are so aggressive. In these type of games they are good teams or they wouldn't be able to score three goals at Anfield."