Leeds United 1 (Rodrigo Moreno 59)
Manchester City 1 (Sterling 17)
For 17 minutes it looked like it was going to be a long old afternoon for Leeds! Already 1 – 7 down in goal attempts, 0 – 5 down in corner kicks and almost zero possession of the football suggested City would run away with this one.
But this Leeds United side is nothing if not adaptable, it learns on the job, it finds a way and today was no different. Gradually we grew and grew into the match and it was almost like watching your child grow into an adult. By the end we had well and truly earned our Premier League manhood and by the end we were well worth the point.
That first 17 minutes we were given a footballing lesson by a quality tutor and we saw what the money a club like City can spend can bring you; every City position has a top quality footballer in it and at any moment any one of them can destroy you with a moment of magic. They are a top team in the top league. Perhaps we gave Raheem Sterling too much leeway, allowing him to skip past Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper far too easily and then Kalvin Phillips might also rue turning his back on the shot, but the City man is a quality striker and they tend to do that to you and maybe we've learned one of those lessons.
For the next 65 minutes though, Leeds matched City all the way and, if anything, we created better, more clear cut chances than they did. We played with our usual energy, our usual organisation and showed our usual fitness and that was more than enough to outweigh that individual brilliance that the city all players ooze with.
We had half the number of goal attempt than City posted during the game and yet 7 of our 12 hit the target and on another day Luke Ayling or Patrick Bamford or even Stuart Dallas would have expected more from themselves in front of goal. Meslier was hardly called upon to make a save worthy of the name as City wasted all bar two of their 23 attempts.
It’s worth also mentioning that the conditions were appalling and that may be part of the reason we hit a brick wall ten minutes from the end. It was almost as if someone had switched our power supply off and removed the plug as we suddenly stopped closing down, stopped running and gave the ball away far too cheaply. In short we were running on empty. City, fortunately, were not much stronger though and somehow we edged our way to the finish line and, to be fair, it would have been a total travesty much as it was up at Anfield, had we capitulated again at the death.
There is no more to say. This was quite simply a triumph of fitness and organisation and no little quality on the ball over the innate and undeniable individual brilliance in the City ranks and if we can continue to summon up these traits every game we will more than hold our own in this league.
Have a breather everyone and we’ll be back for the Wolves in a fortnight! Every game is going to be an adventure!
Leeds Utd Man City
Possession 52% 48%
Shots 12 23
On Target 7 2
Corners 7 10
Fouls Committed 11 12