‘Marcelo Bielsa masterclass’: Ten-man Leeds United STUN Premier League pacesetters Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium
Pep Guardiola's seemingly unstoppable march towards the Premier League title hit a road bump in the afternoon sunshine in Manchester, as the Spanish boss was outwitted by his mentor Bielsa, whose gritty team claimed a surprise win at the home of England's standout side.
It was a result which truly defied the odds. City generated 29 shots on goal to just two from Leeds, both of which nestled in Ederson's net. The result was made even more remarkable after Leeds skipper Liam Cooper was issued with his marching orders in first-half stoppage time for a wild challenge on Gabriel Jesus.
Northern Ireland international Dallas gave the visitors an early lead when his neatly-struck effort pinged off the post and in just three minutes into the game.
Manchester City had 29 shots and scored once, Leeds United had 2 shots and scored twice.Unbelievable stuff from Bielsa’s side. 😍 pic.twitter.com/rnMUWgVRs7— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 10, 2021
City dominated the second half after Cooper's dismissal, enjoying an almost complete monopoly of possession. But it took them until the 76th minute to score a leveller when Spain international Ferran Torres fired home.
Facing a switch in momentum and being deprived of their captain, most teams in the Premier League would have attempted to shut up shop and try to cling on to a point – but Bielsa's Leeds aren't most teams.
As City pushed forward in injury time, Dallas again latched on to a neat pass – this time from Ezgjan Alioski – to guide a shot past Ederson from the edge of the penalty area, securing a win which is undoubtedly their finest since the newly-promoted team returned to the Premier League this season.
"The value of the victory increases because it was achieved in a game where we were dominated and demanded character, effort and personality," Bielsa said afterwards.
"I think we have to link the victory to the spirit of the players. The spirit of all the players added together creates a uniform effort. It's very difficult to win games like today. I think we deserved it but the fair thing would have been for City to win it because they had the dominance and the chances.
Leeds are the first ever opposition team to win at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League having played 45+ minutes with 10 men.A Marcelo Bielsa masterclass. 📚 pic.twitter.com/70XVTCJ8gS— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 10, 2021
Stuart Dallas' game by numbers vs. Man City:100% shot-conversion100% take-ons completed100% tackles won93% passing accuracy8 ball recoveries (most)2 shots2 goals (most)2 clearances1 interception0 x dribbled pastGenerational. pic.twitter.com/AiT0ZcUOjb— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 10, 2021
"From the adversity and effort of the players, it was emotional for me. It was a rebellious team. They weren't resigned to lose."
Guardiola, who has admitted in the past that Bielsa is a central inspiration for his coaching style, said that his team played well but were undone by their inability to control the game.
"We played a real good game," said the Spaniard. "The goal we gave them, in behind – we were solid but made mistakes for a counter-attack. We did not control it. We did not create enough for the forwards. It is part of the game.
"In the last 10 minutes they had other chances. They are fast and can do that. When they defend in the way they were, you have to stop them running – and we did not do that. We tried but could not score."
His side will attempt to rebound in Wednesday's crucial Champions League game with Borussia Dortmund but Leeds – and in particular Dallas – showed that this wasn't all just a bad dream for Guardiola and Manchester City.Also on rt.com Guardiola claims mega-rich Man City cannot afford a new striker – despite $832MN NET spend in 5 years & billionaire owners (VIDEO)