EPL

Seven-up Man City delight record-breaker Guardiola after demolishing Leeds

By Sports Desk December 14, 2021

Pep Guardiola hailed his "brilliant" Manchester City attackers as the decision to play without an established striker against Leeds United paid off with a 7-0 victory.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were unused substitutes as Guardiola backed his playmaking magicians to show they can wreak havoc.

The likes of Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and particularly Kevin De Bruyne tormented Leeds, with Rodri employed in the holding role.

"Congratulations to the team, it was a good performance from us," Guardiola said afterwards.

"The vibes of the stadium was nice today. It was sold out and they supported us incredibly well. We started in a good rhythm. We were patient with the ball and the quality of the players did the rest."

Ten-man Leeds pulled off a shock 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium last season, and held Guardiola's men to a draw at Elland Road, but there was never any danger of stalemate or a City defeat this time.

"We lost five points last season when we were playing Leeds," Guardiola told NBC. "I'm pretty sure every opponent knows what it means to play against Leeds."

Foden's eighth-minute opener was City's 500th Premier League goal under Guardiola, in just his 207th game in charge. It is the fastest any manager has seen their side reach 500 goals in the competition, beating Jurgen Klopp's record of 234 games.

And with seven goals, who needs strikers?

"You're not going to convince me... When we lose a game you're going to say, 'Yes it's because they don't have a striker'," Guardiola said. "I know this theory quite well. We have strikers, but sometimes we play [this way] because I could say Phil is a guy who scores a lot of goals.

"But it is the way that we try to play. This is the reason why today we did a good performance."

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola added: "When you get these results, it's because individually they are brilliant. 

"Kevin in this type of game when we're open up and down, Kevin is devastating and so he can do whatever he wants."

Nathan Ake got in on the goals, heading in the seventh after a double for De Bruyne, with Foden, Grealish, Mahrez and John Stones also finding the net.

Mahrez has both scored (10) and been directly involved in (13 – 10 goals, 3 assists) more goals in all competitions for City this season than any of his team-mates.

This was his 100th Premier League appearance for City and he marked it with a deflected strike. He also scored on his 100th game in the competition for Leicester City and is the only player in the competition's history to score on his 100th match for two different sides.

Grealish, meanwhile, scored his 17th Premier League goal and second for City, but it was his first headed goal in the top flight. Mahrez supplied the cross.

"From the first minute, I think you could see we were on it," said Dutch defender Ake.

"We had a lot of energy, a lot of drive going forward, and then we scored the goals."

Ake was reluctant to set goals, but City's is obvious enough. They are hunting a fourth league title in five years and on this form will take some stopping.

"I think we do it game by game," he added. "There's another one on Sunday [at Newcastle], but we're in a great flow, we're doing really well, everyone feels good and we just want to continue that."

Related items

  • Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace: Nunez sees red as Diaz rescues point with wonder strike Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace: Nunez sees red as Diaz rescues point with wonder strike

    It was a mixed night for Liverpool's South Americans as Darwin Nunez was sent off on his home debut, but Luis Diaz scored a wonder goal to earn a point for the 10-man hosts in a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

    A frustrating night for Jurgen Klopp's team appeared to be heading for defeat after Wilfried Zaha's first-half opener and Nunez's dismissal just before the hour.

    Diaz's superb individual effort got his team level, though, before last season's Premier League runners-up set about trying to find a winner but to no avail.

    It represents another early season blow to Liverpool's hopes of running champions Manchester City close again in the title race, already four points behind their rivals, but as with their opening draw against Fulham, it may feel like a point gained for Klopp in the circumstances.

    Liverpool started brightly as they tried to find an early opener, with Nunez mishitting a volley at the far post, while Mohamed Salah also went close to scoring from Trent Alexander-Arnold's pull back, but the Egyptian’s side-footed attempt whizzed just wide of the near post.

    After absorbing so much at the other end, it was Palace who took the lead in the 33rd minute when Eberechi Eze got away from Fabinho before playing Zaha in on goal, with the Ivory Coast international placing his shot past Alisson into the bottom-right corner.

    Liverpool thought they were level just before the break as Harvey Elliott's chip found Nunez down the left side of the penalty area, but his deflected shot came back off the post.

    Things went from bad to worse for Nunez as the Uruguayan reacted to being shoved by Joachim Andersen by pushing his head into the Dane, with referee Paul Tierney immediately producing a red card for the Liverpool striker.

    However, the Anfield atmosphere soon improved as Diaz dribbled inside several Palace defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot past Vicente Guaita's despairing dive to his left.

    The hosts tried to find a winner despite having fewer players, though Palace could also have won it when Zaha missed a great chance at the far post, but both were forced to settle for a point.

  • Atletico boss Simeone lauds Felix after three assists, but admits he is unsure about Morata's future Atletico boss Simeone lauds Felix after three assists, but admits he is unsure about Morata's future

    Diego Simeone says "things come naturally" to Joao Felix after he starred in Atletico Madrid's season opener win over Getafe, though the Argentine admitted that Alvaro Morata's future is out of his hands.

    The duo were the star performers for the Rojiblancos as they helped steer their side to a 3-0 win on Monday evening, with the former bagging all three assists and the latter netting a brace.

    It marked an impressive return to the field in Atletico colours for both, with Felix having spent the end of last season sidelined through injury, and Morata spending the prior two campaigns on loan at Juventus.

    Felix, in particular, delivered an assured performance that showcased his growth for Simeone, who said the Portuguese star's talent helps his game speak for itself.

    "He looks more mature, stronger," he stated. "He showed last season until he had to leave due to injury. He is growing, [he] shows maturity, [he] sees more than the others.

    "You don't have to force anything. Things come naturally and he has worked to get to this point. He has talent, he has a goal, and hopefully he can support everything he says here on the field."

    Morata famously signed for Atletico following a loan move from Chelsea in 2020, only to promptly be loaned back out to former club Juventus for the subsequent two seasons.

    The subject of his future remains up in the air beyond the end of the transfer window, and Simeone admitted he does not know what the next steps will be for the Spanish international, though he hopes for the star to remain.

    "I am not the owner of the club, I am the coach," he added. "He is doing very well, working in an extraordinary way, and we hope that Morata will continue with us.

    "I think that all footballers have to have confidence to do important things. He came with humility, desire to work, without demanding anything, striving to get to this shape and that is what we want to see."

  • Juventus 3-0 Sassuolo: Di Maria and Vlahovic inspire comfortable victory Juventus 3-0 Sassuolo: Di Maria and Vlahovic inspire comfortable victory

    Dusan Vlahovic struck a brace to help Juventus to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sassuolo in the opening match of their Serie A campaign on Monday.

    The Serbian forward struck five minutes either side of the interval to put the Bianconeri in control after Angel Di Maria marked his Juve debut with a maiden goal at the Allianz Stadium.

    Massimiliano Allegri's side were not at their best in possession but made their chances count, with their attacking contingent laying down a marker to their rivals.

    A shaky start from the hosts provided Sassuolo with encouragement and called Mattia Perin, in for the injured Wojciech Szczesny, into action to deny Gregoire Defrel on two occasions.

    Juventus soon found some rhythm and made the breakthrough when Di Maria met Alex Sandro's cross by bouncing a volleyed effort over the head of Andrea Consigli.

    Five minutes before the break, Vlahovic bullied Gian Marco Ferrari to win the hosts a penalty and stepped-up to confidently smash home from the spot to open his account for the season.

    Sassuolo were the architects of their own downfall following the restart, Kaan Ayhan giving the ball away to Di Maria who fed in Vlahovic to double his tally and continue in the vein that saw him star last term.

    Juventus took their foot off the gas in the remainder of the half to ease out a win, with Filip Kostic introduced for the final half hour in a comfortable debut environment.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.