City stunned by 10-man Leeds
Manchester City lost for only the fourth time this season as Stuart Dallas’ stoppage time winner ensured 10-man Leeds United stunned the Premier League leaders at the Etihad Stadium.
Dallas gave Marcelo Bielsa’s side the lead against the run of play when he fired a low 18-yard drive in off the post shortly before half-time, but the game appeared to swing back in City’s favour when Liam Cooper was dismissed for a reckless tackle on Gabriel Jesus in first half added time.
Pep Guardiola’s men were in total control after the break as Leeds tried to protect their lead, but Ferran Torres looked to have rescued a point when he steered Bernardo Silva’s pass into the bottom corner in the 76th minute.
City continued to pour forward in search of a winner, but were undone by a slick counter-attack when Dallas latched onto Ezgjan Alioski’s through ball and nutmegged Ederson to seal a smash and grab victory in the 91st minute.
The defeat leaves Guardiola’s men needing 11-points from our remaining six league games to be crowned champions.
With 29 shots to Leeds’ two, City will be left wondering how we came away empty handed from a contest we dominated throughout.
Cooper and Patrick Bamford both made crucial blocks to deny Torres and Jesus in the opening 45-minutes, before Raheem Sterling turned a golden opportunity wide after a brilliant run from Fernandinho.
It meant Dallas’ opener gave the Yorkshire outfit a surprise lead when he finished off a clinical break down the left flank, though that joy proved short lived when Cooper received his marching orders.
Andre Marriner initially issued a yellow card for a tackle which caught Jesus below the knee, but, after consulting the pitch-side VAR monitor, the referee overruled his decision and gave Cooper a straight red card.
Given our early dominance, it was unsurprising to see City lay siege on the opposition goal in the second half.
Leeds were happy to soak up the pressure and Illan Meslier made a number of smart stops to deny Oleksandr Zinchenko, Joao Cancelo and Fernandinho from distance, whilst Bernardo saw a snap shot deflected just wide.
Our superiority was rewarded with Torres’ composed finish – his ninth goal in his debut season – and put us in a great position to go on and win the game.
But Leeds’ threat on the break remained and whilst Ederson made a last-ditch tackle to deny Raphinha a certain goal, there was nothing the Brazilian could do to stop Dallas’ winner.
WHAT IT MEANS
Our fourth league defeat of the season means Manchester United can cut our lead at the top of the table to eight points if they win their games in hand against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley.
City travel to Germany for the second leg of our Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday 14 April. Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK).
Our next Premier League game is on Wednesday 21 April, when we travel to Aston Villa.
Manchester City (1): Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Aké (Gündogan, 58’), Mendy (Foden, 74’); Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Zinchenko; Ferran Torres, Sterling, Gabriel Jesus
Leeds (2): Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Alioski, Phillips; Raphinha (Shackleton, 95’), Dallas, Roberts (Koch, 63’), Costa; Bamford (Struijk, 45’)
Goals: 0-1, Dallas (41’), 1-1, Ferran Torres (75’), 1-2, Dallas (91’)
Referee: Andre Marriner. Bookings: Aké (35’), Alioski, (66’), Bernardo Silva (83’), Fernandinho (93’). Red card: Cooper (44’)