Manchester City And Leeds United Share The Spoils
Leeds United came from behind in stirring fashion to secure a thoroughly deserved point as they played out a thrilling draw with Manchester City at Elland Road.
In the battle of wits between City manager Pep Guardiola and his inspiration Marcelo Bielsa, Raheem Sterling's smart 17th-minute finish was the reward for an early siege on the Leeds goal.
In the glorious chaos of this end-to-end encounter, Leeds fought back to force two fine saves from Ederson at the feet of Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling in the first half before his weak punch from a corner gifted substitute Rodrigo an equaliser on the hour.
Kevin De Bruyne hit the post for City in the first half and they had several near misses after the break but Leeds, bursting with energy, were a huge threat, Ederson rescuing a rocking City by turning Rodrigo's header on to the bar before saving superbly at the feet of Patrick Bamford.
Leeds fans will have feared the worst as they were given a fearful going over in the early stages of this game, pinned back and a bag of nerves as Manchester City came out with all the anger of a team that had lost their last Premier League game 5-2 at home to Leicester City.
De Bruyne rattled the post, Sterling scored - but not for one second did Leeds let their heads drop or lose belief.
Slowly but surely, the relentless positivity and intensity that makes Bielsa's side such compelling viewing started to emerge and once they had settled they not only stood toe-to-toe with City but also dominated much of the second half.
Bamford had that great chance late on but this was once again a demonstration of the fitness and fearlessness they bring to the Premier League, standing on the front foot and refusing to compromise their attacking beliefs.
Leeds consolidated a very strong (and at times spectacular) start to the season.
Their style means there will be slips along the way of course but you cannot take your eyes off this Leeds United side under their charismatic manager.
Manchester City lose further ground
Manchester City possess a strange vulnerability for a side packed with such quality and with their track record of success.
It seems that unless City turn early supremacy into a convincing lead, they grow increasingly vulnerable - and so it proved here.
Guardiola's side were in a different class to Leeds for the first 20 minutes but with only a one-goal advantage, they suddenly looked nervous as the home side grew in confidence.
Ederson rescued City either side of the error for Rodrigo's goal and once again the continued fallibility of Benjamin Mendy was exposed, particularly with one error that almost gifted Ayling a goal.
It was a real test for new £65m defender Ruben Dias on his debut and this will feel like points lost for Guardiola, particularly after the heavy loss to Leicester.
City, in their defence, created a host of chances themselves and were furious when penalty appeals against Sterling were ignored by referee Mike Dean.
In the final reckoning, however, this is a result that will please Bielsa much more than City boss Guardiola. (BBC)