Erling Haaland's return to Leeds leaves Jesse Marsch's team near relegation zone

Erling Haaland lamented not scoring five times in the city of his birth as the Norwegian struck twice in Manchester City's 3-1 win at Leeds to lift them back up to second in the Premier League.

Haaland spent his early years in Yorkshire as his father Alfe Inge played for Leeds, but showed no mercy as City got their title challenge back on track.

Pep Guardiola's men moved to within five points of Arsenal at the top of the standings as they bounced back from a shock defeat to Brentford before the World Cup.

Haaland now has 20 Premier League goals in just 14 appearances since joining City, but was still left unsatisfied after failing to beat Illan Meslier with three one-on-ones.

"I could've scored five, that's the truth," Haaland told Amazon Prime. "We win, that's the most important thing. You see Arsenal at the top now, we have to hunt them, but for me as a striker, I could've scored a couple more.

"That's life, I have to practise more."

Haaland should have made his mark inside 45 seconds as he was denied by a fine save from Meslier when clean through.

That set the tone for a first half of frustration for City as a series of glorious chances came and went.

Meslier won another battle with Haaland, while two glaring misses from Jack Grealish left Guardiola with his head in his hands.

However, Leeds crucially failed to hold out until halftime on level terms as the visitors finally made their dominance count in first-half stoppage time.

Kevin De Bruyne opened up the Leeds defense for the opener and when Riyad Mahrez's shot was parried by Meslier, Rodri swept the rebound into the net.

Grealish made some amends for his earlier misses by creating the second with a smart interception and unselfish pass for Haaland to roll into an empty net.

The City star acknowledged his Leeds past by refusing to celebrate, but it did not stop him adding a second on the night from another Grealish cutback.

"I have to say, it's a really special moment in my career," Haaland said of playing at Elland Road.

"It was in my craziest fantasy I could think of to be at Elland Road and score for Manchester City against Leeds."

The loss leaves American coach Jesse Marsch's Leeds United perilously poised just two points above the relegation zone, but it did at least get a goal to show for their efforts when Pascal Struijk headed in from a corner 17 minutes from time.

Leeds' American midfielder Tyler Adams was sidelined with a red-card suspension. His U.S. teammate Brenden Aaronson started at center forward and went 83 minutes without unleashing a shot.

Haaland did at least spare the home side his fourth Premier League hat trick with an uncharacteristically weak finish with just Meslier to beat once more.

At the other end Joe Gelhardt's curling effort was inches away from setting up a grandstand finish.

But a two-goal margin of victory was the very least City's display deserved as they leapfrogged Newcastle into second in the standings.


© Agence France-Presse

5 comments about "Erling Haaland's return to Leeds leaves Jesse Marsch's team near relegation zone".
  1. Santiago 1314, December 29, 2022 at 10:52 a.m.

    Aaronson looked Awesome.!!!...
    Multiple "Squirreley" Touches and Meg's .. was a Constant Thorne in Man City Set-Up out of the Back ..
    Was Not really there to Play Center Forward... Just up there to Start the Press;
    Worked Great as it was 0-0 at the end of 45... 
    Little Disappointed that JM didn't Bunker that 46th Minute and try to get to Half at 0-0, instead Gave up a Goal on Counter-Attack, because LUSA didn't know when to Throttle-It-Back.!!!
    Sounds like another Ggg versus Holland, Screw UP.!!!
    How about some Game Management from some USA Coaches.!!!

  2. R2 Dad replied, December 29, 2022 at 1:54 p.m.

    EPL managers are going to see that footage and want some of that for their squad. Newcastle? Tottenham? or maybe Bayern? Hope he stays healthy--England is a physical grind, something the English seem oddly proud of.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, December 30, 2022 at 6:17 a.m.

    What would be interesting is; For JM, to get the LUSA really Going.!!!
    I would BUY Musah, he has a British Passport,
    BUY CCV from Celtic (He has a British Passport)
    Heck, Harkes "Jr" has a British Passport, could be Good Off the Bench
    Jedi is another One to Buy, as he also has a British Passport.
    Seems like I'm Forgetting someone.???

  4. R2 Dad, January 1, 2023 at 3:17 p.m.

    The City/Everton match yesterday is a prime example of what is bad about the supposed best league in the world. Frank Lampard tells his team to hack and grift from the first whistle. Starting with an unpunished dangerous play from Godfrey on Haaland, this match spools up immediately. Everton have little skill, so all they can do is hack. Go rewatch that match, isolating on Haaland and Godfrey, to see how dirty this league is and how rediculously lenient the officiating is.

  5. R2 Dad replied, January 1, 2023 at 5:05 p.m.

    The first yellow card of the day 16 minutes in is for.....diving. That tells you all you need to know about supposed "match control".

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