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Leeds United vs Manchester City player ratings: Rodrigo impresses in super-sub role


Super-sub Rodrigo scored as Leeds United drew with Manchester City in a pulsating encounter at Elland Road.

Raheem Sterling opened his account for the season with an exceptional solo goal before Rodrigo netted his first in English football after an Ederson error.

Manchester City were on top for much of the first half, but Leeds had chances as the game went on, and the home side perhaps should have equalised before half time.

The second half was end-to-end and exciting, with the result meaning that the spoils were shared between Pep Guardiola and his former mentor, Marcelo Bielsa, whose substitutes changed the course of the game.

Leeds United

Illan Meslier – 6. Tried to prove his worth with the ball at his feet, but sloppily gave possession away to De Bruyne first and then Mendy for the Sterling goal. Made a crucial save to stop the ball getting through to Sterling.

Luke Ayling – 7. Tasked with slowing down the tricky Sterling, which was always going to be a challenge. The right back should have scored when he pounced on a Mendy error. The Englishman made some nice runs, but also lost the ball carelessly at times.

Robin Koch – 7. Defended well against City’s dominance, and helped Ayling against Sterling in the second half.

Liam Cooper – 6. Carelessly lost the ball on more than one occasion in the first half, notably to Torres immediately before the Sterling goal. His passing didn’t improve in the second period, but his defending did.

Stuart Dallas – 7. The Irish full back made a goal-saving block to deny Ferran Torres, and showed his attacking threat to almost finish a lovely Leeds move. Brilliantly defended Sterling on the counter late in the first half, and won the ball back a number of times throughout.

Kalvin Phillips – 7. The England international struggled as Leeds were overrun early, but his influence improved as the game continued and his side got into the game.

Helder Costa – 5. Wasteful throughout, and offered little attacking threat other than as an extra body.

Mateusz Klich – 6. The Polish midfielder was always available to his teammates and kept the ball well with some lovely flicks.

Tyler Roberts – 6. Played a nice through ball to Klich, and was always positive in possession – if a little wasteful. Substituted for Rodrigo 10 minutes into the second half.

Ezgjan Alioski – 5. The winger had a great chance to open the scoring after 13 minutes, and generally did very little throughout. Withdrawn at half time for Poveda.

Patrick Bamford – 7. The striker did well on what was always going to be a tough outing for him, running and getting in behind as much as possible. Almost scored when picked out by Rodrigo. Booked for an elbow on Laporte.

Substitutes:

Ian Poveda – 7. Made an immediate impact, taking on Mendy and crossing for Bamford seconds after coming on. He was a constant bright spark.

Rodrigo – 8. The Spanish international changed the game, providing an immediate threat, as he first forced a save onto the woodwork before turning the ball in after an Ederson error. He almost got a second with his head but was denied by the City goalkeeper.

Leif Davis – 6.

Manchester City

Ederson – 7. Made a good save to deny Dallas late in the first half, before making an even better stop to deny Ayling. However, his error in the second half gifted Leeds an equaliser, but the Brazilian made amends to expertly deny Rodrigo a second.

Kyle Walker – 6. Lost Alioski who should have done better early, but did enough to put off Dallas when Leeds had a chance.

Ruben Dias – 6. The Portuguese defender had a chance to score on his debut, and defended well when Leeds threatened in the second half.

Aymeric Laporte – 7. Strode forward from the back with a commanding run that highlighted his confidence with the ball at his feet, and then came close with a header.

Benjamin Mendy – 5. The Frenchman was strong in possession, driving forward well and helped spark the chance for Sterling’s goal, but he made an awful error to let Ayling in only for Ederson to bail him out. Booked for a needless trip on Costa, and was replaced by Ake.

Kevin De Bruyne – 7. Hit the woodwork after just three minutes with a clever free kick, and that set the tone. Played several impressive through balls and worked hard defensively, committing to tackles in midfield. One cross-field pass to Mahrez was particularly impressive.

Rodri – 6. The Spaniard dictated the tempo of City, as he usually does, but was astoundingly quiet after being particularly outspoken in the aftermath of the Leicester game.

Phil Foden – 7. Some nice flicks, but was wasteful at times in the first half outside of a nice through ball to release Torres. Almost scored when he cut onto his left foot.

Ferran Torres – 6. Beat Dallas for pace early in the game, and had a shot cleared off the line by the left back, but for all the goof positions he got himself into, the Spaniard had no end product. Replaced by Bernardo Silva 20 minutes into the second half.

Riyad Mahrez – 6. The Algerian made some nice passes and operated well as a surprising choice to lead the line. His accuracy was off as he searched for a goal following Leeds’ equaliser. Replaced by Fernandinho.

Raheem Sterling –  7. The England international scored a special solo goal just after 15 minutes, and perhaps should have done better when released by De Bruyne on a counter at the end of the first period. Although largely anonymous in the second half, he tried to be too clever when through on goal in the 72nd minute and nearly scored a beauty with six minutes remaining.

Substitutes:

Bernardo Silva – 6. The Portuguese magician came on for the final 25 minutes, but was kept quiet and offered little outside of an off-target shot.

Nathan Ake – 6.

Fernandinho – 6.

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