Erling Haaland double helps City to victory against Leeds3 min read
An Erling Braut Haaland double has helped Man City on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win away at Leeds United.
Pep Guardiola’s side have closed the gap to Arsenal to five points again following success at Elland Road this evening.
A dominant display saw them initially lead thanks to Rodri’s late first-half goal, before two goals from the Norwegian goal machine inside the opening 20 minutes of the second period sealed the three points.
Pascal Struijk did grab a consolation for the hosts with just over 15 minutes remaining, but despite a few minor scares, City were never in danger of letting the hefty lead slip.
The result leaves Leeds 15th, just two points above the relegation zone with a tricky trip to Newcastle United to finish off 2022 on New Years Eve.
It was one-way traffic in the first 45, as Man City had numerous chances to go in front, with many falling to Jack Grealish, who squandered two excellent opportunities with the goal at his mercy.
Leeds’s one shot in comparison to the visitors’ 16 at half-time was the biggest difference between two sides in a Premier League fixture this season.
Haaland was denied in the opening minute, as Struijk swept his looping effort away off the line, before Meslier was in the way to deny City’s number nine again after being played through by Kevin De Bruyne.
Leeds’s French goalkeeper was on hand again soon after to deny Ilkay Gundogan, whose scooped shot was kept out by Meslier.
However, with the last attack of the half, Leeds were caught out on the counter attack with De Bruyne picking out Rodri who laid it on for Riyad Mahrez whose shot was palmed by Meslier straight into the path of Rodri and the Spaniard made no mistake to give City the lead.
The champions found their shooting boots in the second half, and specifically Haaland, as the Premier League top scorer netted goal number 19 and 20 to become the fastest player ever to reach 20 goals in a Premier League campaign.
His first was a woeful error at the back from Leeds, as Robin Koch was too slow to react to a pass from Liam Cooper and Grealish nipped in before racing through on goal and squaring it for a simple tap in.
That brought up a quarter of a century of goals for the season in all competitions, and Haaland soon made it 26 from just 20 appearances when a clever one-two between him and Grealish saw him unleash a strike which seemingly caught Meslier out as the keeper failed to parry away.
Leeds’s consolation came from a set-piece, as Sam Greenwood’s corner was well met by the Dutchman Struijk who beat Ederson with a good header, but it counted for very little as City hung on to win 3-1.
Guardiola’s men welcome a struggling Everton side to the Etihad on New Years Eve in which they will expect to take another three points off a side they have beaten in their last 10 meetings.