City and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds starred in a thrilling 1-1 tie that nevertheless did not aid the visitors’ hopes of regaining the league crown
Pep Guardiola warned observers against ruling Manchester City out of the Premier League title race despite watching his team drop more points against “fantastic” Leeds United on Saturday.
The weekend clash at Elland Road was highly anticipated, bringing together the former Barcelona and Bayern coach and Marcelo Bielsa, the man he credits as a huge influence on his management style.
It was the first time that Guardiola and Bielsa had met on the pitch since they were in charge of Barcelona and Athletic Club respectively almost a decade ago.
Events on the pitch did not disappoint, with Leeds and City playing out an enthralling 1-1 draw which boasted a total of 35 attempts on goal and a host of scoring chances at each end.
Raheem Sterling had fired the visitors ahead during an excellent start to proceedings for Pep’s men, but Leeds hit back in the second half with Rodrigo’s first goal for his new club following an error from Ederson.
City’s draw means they have just one league win in three games so far in 2020-21, having suffered a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City last week, but Guardiola is in no mood to panic.
“I know the situation that we are [in], I know what we come from this season. As a manager I’m satisfied with what they have done so far,” the manager told reporters after the final whistle.
“I’m not going to start after three games to think about if they are going to win the league or if they’re going to take a lot of advantage. It’s what it is.
“I know when we finish the last one, I know when we come back this season with the players that we have and, as a manager, I’m satisfied for what they have done so far.
“We had to settle a few things, still we are a little bit away at the best that we can do. Unfortunately we dropped five points.”
Guardiola was also full of praise for City’s swashbuckling opponents, who have taken seven points from their opening four games to sit in fifth place at the end of Saturday’s fixtures.
“It was an entertaining game, a good game. It was two teams trying to win from minute one to 90 minutes. We had good moments, the first 30 minutes, but [we should have] made a bigger margin than the [final] result,” he added.
“But Leeds had their moments because they are an incredible team, a fantastic team.
“They destroyed the Championship last season and have done so good so far, but in the last 10 minutes we were there, trying to win. It was a good game.”
City, who lie 11th after Saturday’s draw, are back in action in the Premier League on October 17, when they host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.