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PIX: Man City hammer Leeds 7-0; Bayern rout Stuttgart

December 15, 2021 09:22 IST
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IMAGE: Manchester City's players celebrate after Riyad Mahrez scored their fourth goal during their Premier League match against Leeds United at Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Tuesday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City crushed Leeds United 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to make it seven Premier League wins a row and move four points clear at the top of the table.


Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds were simply brushed aside by a City side who were at their very best after they took an eighth-minute lead through Phil Foden.

Foden slotted home, after Leeds keeper Illan Meslier had come out to stop an effort from Rodri, for the 500th Premier League goal scored by the club in 207 games under Pep Guardiola – the fastest any team has reached that landmark.

The Spaniard’s counterpart, Leeds' Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa, could do nothing to halt a rampant City and his team's wide-open approach certainly did little to help.

Five minutes later the lead was doubled when Jack Grealish met an inswinging cross from Riyad Mahrez with a firm header which flashed past Leeds keeper Meslier.

Kevin De Bruyne made it 3-0, showing pace and a clinical finish, as he latched on to a fine through ball from the impressive Rodri.

It was game over at the break but City showed no interest in easing off and Leeds were unable to cope with Guardiola's side in peak form.

Shortly after the restart Mahrez added the fourth, given far too much space on the corner of the box, to pick his spot and place the ball, with the aid of a heavy deflection, in the bottom corner.

Mahrez then set up Foden for a tap-in but Leeds were given a rare reprieve on a grim night for the Yorkshire club, when the effort was ruled out for offside.

De Bruyne, looking back to his very best, then delivered the most emphatic moment in the game, blasting in a spectacular, unstoppable drive from over 20 metres out.

It was hard to imagine how Leeds had managed to take four points off City last season as John Stones slotted home the sixth after a fine double save from Meslier and then substitute Nathan Ake headed in a Foden corner to make it 7-0.

IMAGE: Kevin de Bruyne scores Manchester City's fifth goal past Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The loss was 16th-placed Leeds' joint biggest defeat since joining the Football League in 1920.

They lost 8-1 to Stoke in 1934, 7-0 to West Ham in 1966 and 7-0 to Arsenal in 1979.

"There is nothing positive to take away from our performance," said Bielsa.

"I can't find anything that can be valued. When there's nothing that's well done, it's not individualities that fail, but the conduction and organisation. There's no justification I can offer.

"Everything that happened was what we wanted to avoid. As there's nothing to take from it, it's inevitable I have to take responsibility for a defeat of this type. We've never had a performance like the one today," he said.

City have 41 points with Liverpool and Chelsea, who both play on Thursday, on 37 and 36 points respectively.

De Bruyne, whose return to fitness was hampered by COVID-19, said the win was a "booster" for the side.

"I think we played incredibly well, especially against the way they pressed. We found the right times to attack them. When we were 3-0 or 4-0 up it gets tough for them and they tried to keep it tight in the second half, but we had a lot of chances to score more.

"It's good for everybody, a lot of people who maybe didn't play a lot played today and chipped in. For the whole team it is a booster," he said.

Gnabry hat-trick against Stuttgart sends Bayern nine points clear

IMAGE: Serge Gnabry, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring Bayern Munich's second goal during the Bundesliga match against VfB Stuttgart at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick and set up two more for Robert Lewandowski in a 5-0 demolition of hosts VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday, that opened up a nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Bavarians, who secured the unofficial 'autumn championship' ahead of next week's start of the three-week winter break and are chasing a record-extending 10th consecutive league title, now have 40 points from 16 matches.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund, on 31 from 15 games, are in action on Wednesday against Greuther Fuerth.

"Serge scored an outstanding goal, scored another two in the second half and then added two more assists," Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

"Both those assists were extremely good, very difficult to play them like that. Serge is just an outstanding player who had been playing a bit less than he deserves recently due to a back problem but today did it really, really well."

IMAGE: Robert Lewandowski's second goal of the evening meant he equalled Gerd Mueller's 1972 record of 42 Bundesliga goals in a single calendar year. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Gnabry, who had six efforts on goal in the first half alone, put the visitors in front in the 40th minute, curling a shot into the far top corner, and grabbed his second goal in the 53rd.

The Bavarians, struggling with a long list of absences, including Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso and Joshua Kimmich among others, showed no signs of weakness, even when Kingsley Coman had to be taken off injured in the 27th minute.

Substitute Leroy Sane instantly provided a fresh spark as Bayern scored either side of the break and another three times in a five-minute spell in the second half.

Gnabry turned provider and found Lewandowski, who chipped the ball over keeper Florian Mueller, for Bayern's third goal in the 69th and then he teed up another one for the Polish striker with an unselfish cutback in the 72nd.

Lewandowski's second goal of the evening meant he equalled Gerd Mueller's 1972 record of 42 Bundesliga goals in a single calendar year. He can break the record in their last league game of the year against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.

Gnabry got his reward for being unselfish, scoring his hat-trick in the 74th to complete the rout.

Stuttgart, who saw their three-game unbeaten run come to an end, are on 17 points in 15th.

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