Manchester City defeated Leeds to go at the top of the Premier League standings after a late scare. Leeds were playing their first match under new manager Sam Allardyce.
Ilkay Gundogan scored two excellent goals in the first half to give City the lead and put them on their way to their 10th straight league victory.
Riyad Mahrez found Gundogan open on the edge of the box, and he made a nice finish into the bottom left-hand corner of Joel Robles’ net.
Despite being in complete control, City were unable to put Leeds away with a third goal after the break. Even Erling Haaland, for once, was unable to score; his finest attempt bouncing off the goalpost.
With six minutes remaining, referee Andrew Madley called a foul on Phil Foden within the penalty area, giving them their best opportunity to win the match.
Regular penalty taker Haaland declined the opportunity to convert it and increase his season total of 51 goals, but Gundogan was denied a hat-trick when he fired his shot against the post.
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Leeds gained encouragement from it, and 58 seconds later they managed to get back into the game. After Manuel Akanji botched a long ball clearance, substitute Rodrigo beat Ederson with a low shot.
In pursuit of an unexpected equalizer, their boisterous fans cheered them on, but City were not about to let the three points slip away.
The next phase in Pep Guardiola’s team’s quest for the Triple Crown will take place on Tuesday at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
With four Premier League games remaining, they are currently significantly ahead of second-place Arsenal, who will play third-place Newcastle on Sunday, for the first time this season.
Meanwhile, Leeds and Allardyce just face a challenging battle against relegation.
On the basis of goal difference, they are still above the relegation zone with three games remaining, but if they want to stay up, they will need to be much more aggressive offensively in the coming weeks.