Manchester City continues to race for top PL spot

Manchester City continues to race for top PL spot

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Erling Haaland scored twice on Wednesday at Elland Road as Manchester City defeated Leeds 3-1 to become the first player to reach 20 Premier League goals in a season before January. It was essential for City to beat Jesse Marsch’s Leeds to keep the pressure on league-leading Arsenal after their victory over West Ham on Monday.

Before Leeds scored a late consolation goal through the efforts of Pascal Struijk, Rodri’s first goal and Haaland’s two goals were enough to secure the three points.

Manchester City had a successful start to their Premier League campaign following the World Cup, sending a strong message to league leaders Arsenal that the Citizens are prepared to launch a title challenge in the second half of the season. Make sure you check out 18bet! 

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City has dropped five points behind the Gunners in second place in the Premier League after losing 2-1 to Brentford at home in their penultimate match before the break for Qatar 2022.

But to join Huddersfield, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United (twice) as the only teams in English football history to win three titles in a row, Pep Guardiola’s squad replied to Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over West Ham two days prior by easily defeating Leeds.

Given that City still has two Premier League games left against Arsenal, the odds appear to be in City’s favor due to their better depth and experience.

The victory against Leeds highlighted City’s history of winning championships, with Guardiola’s team patiently waiting for the breakthrough after missing many first-half opportunities. Rodri’s goal in stoppage time of the first half was crucial, and Erling Haaland’s two goals in the second half sealed the victory before Leeds’ Pascal Struijk could respond.

City knows what it takes to win since they have traveled down the title route so frequently in recent years. Arteta and his players are all vying to bring home their first championship for Arsenal, who haven’t won one since 2004.

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Arsenal will have learned from City’s easy victory over Leeds that they must defeat a strong foe to break their protracted drought as champions.

When he set up Erling Haaland for the team’s second and third goals at Elland Road, Jack Grealish recorded his first assist of the season for Manchester City in all competitions. They were rewarding moments that the 27-year-old earned the hard way.

Grealish has failed to be consistent throughout his time at the Etihad, and his first half against Leeds epitomized his City career too far. Grealish is still the most expensive English footballer of all time after his £100 million signing from Aston Villa in 2021.

As City pressed forward in quest of an early goal, the England winger was at the center of everything, both good and bad, and he wasted three clear scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes.

Additionally, there were several late passes, missed teammate runs, and challenges from Leeds defenders that frequently crossed the line.

Few players get as many free kicks as Grealish, and that is because his opponents foul him so frequently. However, being targeted so frequently can be difficult, particularly when officials let so many challenges go unpunished, as Stuart Attwell did in this game.

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Grealish may have been excused for losing interest in the ball by the time he returned for the second half, but he persisted and was rewarded with his two assists for Haaland. While Grealish will undoubtedly need to exert himself more and more regularly, no one can deny his tenacity.

When Leeds manager Jesse Marsch requested Brenden Aaronson to play in a false nine position against Manchester City, Brenden Aaronson must have moaned inside.

The USA midfielder’s best position is attacking from midfield or the right flank since physically, he cannot compete with City’s John Stones and Manuel Akanji.

Aaronson was handed the impossible task of trying to make life tough for City while still even attempting to score goals, but Leeds was struck by injuries and their star striker Patrick Bamford was still out. Aaronson doesn’t lack effort, but he didn’t know how to act in the role that was assigned to him, and when he did get an opportunity, he rocketed it past the crossbar.

The former FC Salzburg attacker isn’t to blame, though, for his team’s inability to counter against the champions. He simply lacked the equipment to cause City any issues.

With his cunning and speed down the left, Italian international Wilfried Gnonto was Leeds’ strongest danger, but without a target man to shoot for, Gnonto’s labor went in vain.

Author: Bobby Parker