Gary Neville has told his Sky Sports podcast that he believes Manchester City’s style of play fell right into Leeds United’s lap on Saturday afternoon, as Marcelo Bielsa’s men defied the odds to win against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders. That is, despite going down to 10 men inside the first 45 minutes after Liam Cooper was shown a straight red card.
Stuart Dallas had put Leeds ahead in the first half with City boasting a number of half chances, but nothing particularly golden. Patrick Bamford laid on his seventh assist of the season, and Dallas lashed home a right-footed effort from the edge of the area. But Cooper’s brutal tackle saw him sent off just before the break, as he planted his studs on Gabriel Jesus.
Leeds sat back and unlike Bielsa’s teams, they defended deep. Boasting stats of just 29% possession at the end of the match, Leeds clearly chose to defend from deep and even sacrificed Bamford. Ferran Torres equalised for City in the last 15 minutes of the match – but on the break, Leeds scored a winner in the injury time. City were warned by Raphinha.
The Brazilian might have done better, but Gjanni Alioski’s near-perfect throughball was collected by Dallas and he notched a brace – his seventh goal of the season in 31 Premier League games. It saw Leeds produce a shock win, a win that would have been a massive surprise if they had 11 men on the pitch – but even more so after Cooper’s red card.
Neville gave his verdict on Leeds’ win – having precviously stated that despite being a Manchester United legend, he has been massively impressed by Leeds and enjoys watching them. He states that City’s style of play plays into Leeds’ hands but not only that – but also stating that Leeds can cause a shock and get a result if their opposition are not on it.
“You get some teams that actually suit them, and City are perfect. Leeds are a good watch. You don’t watch a Leeds game where it isn’t a good watch. They’re a team that can shock you, they’re awkward to play against if you’re below your level,” Neville told his podcast.