‘We’re back!’ – YEP Jury react to Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City

Our fans’ panel were left purring after Leeds United’s performance against Manchester City yesterday. Here’s what they thought of the game and who they nominated as man of the match.

By Mark Absolon
Sunday, 4th October 2020, 4:30 pm
Robin Koch challenges Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez. Picture: Simon Hulme.
Robin Koch challenges Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez. Picture: Simon Hulme.

DAVID WATKINS

Words are a bit superfluous after that; what a superb game! Quality, energy, thrills and spills and all in appalling conditions!

For 15 minutes Leeds were given a lesson by City, we hardly had a touch and we were 7-1 down in attempts and 5-0 down in corners. It was no surprise that we then conceded but disappointing the way Sterling was allowed past.

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Patrick Bamford gets away from Aymeric Laporte. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Thereafter Leeds grew and grew and we earned our Premier League manhood and, for all bar the final 10 minutes Leeds were as good if not better than their illustrious opponents.

Our equaliser was a tad fortunate in that the City keeper made a complete hash of a Kalvin Phillips corner but Leeds had other great chances; we just needed more quality when through on goal.

It was a game between a side with boundless energy and fabulous organisation against a side of top quality individuals all capable of winning a game on their own.

The last 10 minutes saw Leeds running on empty, we almost stopped and gave too much ball away sloppily but we got to the line. Magnificent display though.

Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola shake hands on the touchline. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

MATTHEW EVANS

ust imagine the atmosphere had Elland Road been full. This was a game that will take on legendary status in future years. It was the moment when Leeds United truly arrived back in the Premier League.

Forget wins against Championship fodder Fulham and Sheffield United or a plucky display at Anfield, this was us matching a team costing way in excess of our own starting XI.

Rodrigo fires in a shot. Picture: Simon Hulme.

We had to ride a storm for the opening 20 minutes of the game but Manchester City seemed to get fed up of the work rate required to pen Leeds back and only led at the break thanks to some sloppy defensive play.

Once we found our stride we were only improved as Poveda and Rodrigo joined the fray and a point was the least we deserved come 90 minutes. The whole Leeds back four were generally superb but my vote goes to Robin Koch who is looking a superb signing.

Man of the match: Robin Koch.

JACOB STARR

What a performance that was by the men in white. Before the match, I would have taken a point against one of the best offensive teams in world football hands down, but the 1-1 draw on Saturday evening proved that fine margins are so crucial.

Lining up against Manchester City still felt a bit odd, and the first 20 minutes made it feel like it was men against boys, with Raheem Sterling curling in a strike after Liam Cooper had dived in rather unnecessarily.

However, Leeds survived only conceding once, and went on to complete more passes than Pep Guardiola’s men. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Marcelo Bielsa’s second half change bringing on Rodrigo Moreno for Tyler Roberts paid immediate dividends, with the Spaniard rattling the bar and then scoring from the following corner that was poorly dealt with by Ederson.

The £27m man then hit the bar for the second time, with Ederson making amends for his mistake, tipping Rodrigo’s header onto the bar in magnificent style.

City continued to pile forward, however, but failed to muster much in terms of clear-cut chances.

A performance this club can really be proud of, although on another day, who knows what could have happened?

Man of the match: Rodrigo Moreno.

KEITH INGHAM

Well that was good wasn’t it!

Leeds held their own against a team that were champions two seasons ago and were second to Liverpool last season.

United are ‘box office’ and the performance they produced against one of the best teams in Europe filled this 60-year-old with so much pride.

To be honest in the first 20 minutes Leeds looks mesmerised as Manchester City passed and passed to leave the United midfield chasing their shadows.

It looked like that every time they attacked they would breach the United back line but only did it once when Raheem Sterling left at least one Leeds defender on their backside to score the opener.

Despite going behind, Leeds grew into the game and created chances – Stuart Dallas denied by a good save from Ederson.

City still threatened but Koch and Cooper stood firm and the midfield got to grips with De Bruyne and co and the game went into the break with City having a slender lead.

In the second half, Leeds introduced ‘Little Ian’ Poveda and the winger gave Mendy a testing time, so much so that the defender was substituted. United brought on Rodrigo for Roberts and the record signing got a much-deserved equaliser when Ederson dropped a corner and the Spanish international scored with ease.

Game on!

Ederson kept City in the game with a world-class save from a header by Leeds goalscorer Rodrigo. Ederson managed to deflect the ball on to the bar and behind.

Cooper also had a header that took paint off the bar but the Leeds captain was adjudged offside.

I’ve witnessed defeats at Histon, Rochdale and Newport to mention a few, so to see my team team battle to the very last minute to secure a point filled my heart with pride and I celebrated with my son Ryan like we had actually won the game.

Well done lads. We’re back!

Man of the match: Robin Koch.

ANDY RHODES

As we head into the first international break, it’s fair to say Leeds have looked right at home on their return to the Premier League.

On paper at least, this was a mismatch in terms of quality and experience, but Marcelo Bielsa has conditioned his players so they can compete with anyone.

That being said, the first 20 minutes was like playing a video game with the difficulty on hard. City were unplayable in the opening exchanges, but Leeds found a way to cope and stay in the fight.

After withstanding the barrage, United forced their way into the contest and didn’t look at all out of place against a side worth around half a billion pounds. Rodrigo looked worth every penny of his record transfer fee when he came on, finding space and causing problems with his movement.

Robin Koch is also looking better and better.

This could have been a real rude awakening to life in the top flight, but after such a long time away, Leeds are relishing the opportunity.

Man of the match: Rodrigo Moreno.

MIKE GILL

This game above all others showed the football world that United are to be taken seriously.

From the kick off, the Sky Blues laid siege to the Leeds goal. United barely had time to catch their breath and when Raheem Sterling weaved his way past Luke Ayling and scored, we wondered whether the long awaited reality check was on its way.

It was. But for City not Leeds.

Gradually the Whites fought their way back into the game and started to throw a few punches of their own and they went into the half-time break with their heads held high.

Neccessary changes were made; Poveda replaced the earnest but often overwhelmed Alioski. A few minutes later he was joined by Rodrigo for Roberts.

Rodrigo had City keeper Ederson at full stretch before gleefully poking home an effort in a goal area melee. Ederson had uncharacteristically gifted the Spanish international with this after failing to hold it from the resulting corner.

This game could have gone either way but for great work by the two defences.

A satisfying and fair result.

Man of the match: Robin Koch.

***

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