Man City 2-1 Leeds Ilkay Gundogan double moves champions four points clear
Report and free match highlights as Ilkay Gundogan scores brace as Man City extend lead at Premier League summit to four points; Gundogan’s late missed penalty and Rodrigo’s strike opened door for unlikely Leeds comeback
Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half double condemned Sam Allardyce to defeat in his first game in charge of Leeds as Manchester City held on to a 2-1 win to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Gundogan struck twice inside 27 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to all-but extinguish any chance of Leeds enjoying a new-manager bounce under Allardyce, as the champions piled the pressure on title rivals Arsenal ahead of their Super Sunday trip to Newcastle.
City were cruising to a comfortable victory until hat-trick hunting Gundogan took a penalty – ahead of record-breaking marksman Erling Haaland – and hit the post, and Leeds pulled a goal back through Rodrigo 58 seconds later.
‘You have to take it!’…Man City boss Pep Guardiola fumes as Ilkay Gundogan misses a penalty that would normally have been taken by Erling Haaland
City would see out a 10th successive Premier League victory, but the late drama left Pep Guardiola incensed and conjured belief that Allardyce may just be able to steer Leeds – who remain outside the relegation zone on goal difference – to safety before the season is up.
Man City: Ederson (6), Lewis (7), Akanji (7), Laporte (6), Ake (6), Gundogan (8), De Bruyne (6), Mahrez (7), Alvarez (6), Foden (6), Haaland (6)
Subs: Walker (6), Rodri (n/a), Bernardo (n/a)
Leeds: Robles (7), Ayling (5), Firpo (5), Kristensen (5), Wober (5), Roca (5), Forshaw (5), McKennie (5), Gnonto (4), Harrison (5), Bamford (4)
Subs: Aaronson (5), Summerville (5), Rodrigo (7), Struijk (4), Greenwood (5)
Man of the Match: Ilkay Gundogan
Man City survive late fright to move four clear
Allardyce took the bold decision to drop out-of-form goalkeeper Illan Meslier from a Premier League game for the first time this season, but his replacement Joel Robles came under constant fire throughout an imperious first-half attacking display from City.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with team-mates after scoring his second goal
After Julian Alvarez had blazed a gilt-edged chance over and Robles denied Haaland a 36th league goal of the season, City finally made their dominance count, with Gundogan effortlessly stroking the ball in at the near post from Riyad Mahrez’s cutback.
Haaland’s off-colour day in front of goal began when he fired a glorious chance wide after Kevin De Bruyne’s superb lay-off, but City’s second, a near carbon copy of their first, would soon follow.
- Kevin De Bruyne goalkeeper Ederson, midfielders Ilkay Gunodgan and Phil Foden, and defenders Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Rico Lewis returned as Pep Guardiola made seven changes from Man City’s midweek victory over West Ham.
- Sam Allardyce made four changes in his first game in charge of Leeds as goalkeeper Illan Meslier was dropped and Joel Robles, Junior Firpo, Max Wober and Adam Forshaw returned.
The mercurial Mahrez cut inside and laid the ball inside for Gundogan, who controlled the ball before passing in his and City’s second into the opposite corner of the Leeds net – his sixth goal of the season.
Leeds nearly hit back immediately but Weston McKennie’s header from a corner was palmed away by the City goalkeeper just shy of the half-hour mark, before Haaland uncharacteristically lost his footing and shanked a chance to extend the hosts’ lead to three wide.
Erling Haaland reacts after missing another opportunity
Haaland’s travails continued after the break as he sent a close-range header crashing against the woodwork within seconds of the restart before the Norwegian clipped the outside of the post with a shot on the swivel just after the hour mark.
Haaland would defy his manager Guardiola’s wishes by handing Gundogan the chance to complete a first career hat-trick from the penalty spot after Phil Foden was fouled by Pascal Struijk in the area.
Erling Haaland hits the post, as City try to get a third
Gundogan fired the penalty onto the post and the miss would go on to be compounded less than a minute later when substitute Rodrigo fired a shot in at the near post to spark an unlikely Leeds comeback, but City managed the closing stages to secure a deserved victory.
Pep: Haaland had to take penalty
Man City boss Pep Guardiola says his side played exceptionally well in their win over Leeds
Man City manager Pep Guardiola: “We play an exceptional game. We could have been more clinical more clinical up front but we’ve played three games in six days. After the Arsenal game, with a lot of tension emotionally and everything, the guys play some outstanding football in the first half.
“We had a chance with the penalty and we miss it, then it’s 2-1 – in the Premier League with one goal in it it’s never over. Always I had the feeling, when the game is 2-0, the main taker has to take the penalty. But that’s how Erling is as a person. The top goalscorer, who has goals and goals, he gives it to his mate to make a hat-trick. I understand.
“Making a hat-trick is nice. Ilkay is a good penalty taker – he scores a goal and everything will be happy. We didn’t drop points. It’s a good lesson for the future.”
Allardyce: Positives from second half
Leeds boss Sam Allardyce says his side was in a defensive battle against Man City but nearly had an upset at the end of the game
Leeds manager Sam Allardyce: “We take some hope out of today on the second-half performance. Not the first, but the second. We now need to build on that and try to get a result.
“I was slightly fearful, but we sorted it out for the second half and told them they were playing with too much fear. They needed to get on the front foot and try to challenge them.
“When you see Man City running down the clock for four minutes at the end, you know you have given yourself a chance. We did right until the end, but it didn’t quite happen.”
Man of the Match – Ilkay Gundogan
Man City turn their attention to the Champions League for Tuesday’s semi-final first leg away trip at Real Madrid, before resuming their Premier League title challenge at Everton on Saturday at 3pm.
Leeds have three games to preserve their Premier League status. They host Newcastle on Saturday May 13 at 3pm before heading to West Ham and then returning to Elland Road on the final day against Tottenham.
May 9: Real Madrid (A) – Champions League
May 13: Everton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 17: Real Madrid (H) – Champions League
May 21: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm
May 24: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Brentford (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
June 3: Manchester United (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm
May 13: Newcastle (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 21: West Ham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 1.30pm
May 28: Tottenham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
- Manchester City have won their last 10 Premier League games – it’s the 18th time a team has won 10+ consecutive games in the competition, with the Citizens responsible for more of those than any other side (6).
- New Leeds boss Sam Allardyce has lost his last five Premier League games, including four with his spell at West Bromwich Albion in 2020-21. It’s his longest losing streak in the competition since December 2015, when he lost five in a row with Sunderland.
- Erling Haaland had six shots in this match, his joint-most without scoring in a single game for Manchester City in all competitions (also six against Liverpool in October).
- Man City’s Riyad Mahrez provided two assists in a single Premier League game for the first time since August 2019 against West Ham.