Manchester City bounced back after an unconvincing weekend performance against Wolves (1-0), beating Leeds United 7-0 at the Etihad to record their highest-scoring game in 2021.
It was a fun night out for the defending champions as they made their intentions clear right from the kick-off. City was up 2-0 in the first 15 minutes after goals from Phil Foden (‘8) and Jack Grealish (’13). Kevin De Bruyne (’32) put them even further ahead, with Leeds unable to reply. In the second half, the hosts showed no mercy and put four more past Leeds’ goalie, Illan Meslier.
Riyad Mahrez (’49), De Bruyne (’62), and central defenders John Stones (’74) and Nathan Ake (’78) destroyed every Leeds hope for a decent result in Manchester. Marcelo Bielsa’s boys missed two big opportunities when they were already 4-0 down, with Stuart Dallas hitting the post with a beautiful shot from outside the box.
KEVIN. DE. BRUYNE. 😳
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) December 14, 2021
City on top
Following their dominant performance on Tuesday evening, Man. City is four points ahead of Liverpool and five in front of Chelsea, but both have a match in hand. Still, City’s outings since the end of October, when they last lost a Premier League game (2-0 at home to Crystal Palace), should concern their rivals.
Pep Guardiola saw his side reach 500 Premier League goals in 58 fewer games than Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United. Thanks to their Leeds trashing, City have equaled Liverpool’s record of wins in a single calendar year. They both sit at 33, with City being able to extend its run to 36 if they win their last three games this year.
Even though they scored seven against Leeds, taking their season total to 40 goals, City isn’t regarded as the favorite to have the best attack in the Premier League. Liverpool has netted five more times than City and the bookies have them at -200 to consolidate their top spot by the end of the campaign. City is at +200 and Chelsea at +600.
City isn’t expected to give up its title easily, however. They’re at -200 to win again in May, according to the bookies. Liverpool stands at +300, with Chelsea at +550. City’s arch-rivals, United, is at a huge +5500. A bet on City finishing second behind Liverpool is now at +500, while a scenario with Chelsea on top and City the runners-up is at +700.