Manchester City 7-0 Leeds United - Brilliant Blues Lay Down Title Marker In Etihad Rout
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Jack Grealish of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leeds United at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester City moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League, as they fired seven past a heavily depleted Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium. 

Story of the Match

Manchester City were in cruise control from the very first whistle, and they really ought to have taken the lead inside five minutes as Kevin De Bruyne teed up Bernardo Silva for what looked to be a routine tap in. The in-form Manchester City man made a hash of the finish though, dragging his effort wide.

It proved merely a temporary respite for the visitors, as the hosts made the breakthrough some 60 seconds later. Illan Meslier was quick off his line to smother the ball away from the mightily impressive Rodri, but Phil Foden was on hand to turn home the rebound from the edge of the box.

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City doubled their lead soon after as Riyad Mahrez' deep cross was met by the head of Jack Grealish, who ended his three-month goal drought with his first-ever headed goal in the Premier League.

It truly was one-way traffic inside the Etihad, with Manchester City, and Rodri in particular, exploiting the huge gaps in midfield created by Marcelo Bielsa's expensive style of football.

Two became three shortly after the half-hour mark as Kevin De Bruyne rifled home a fierce effort from inside the area. Rodri was once again involved heavily in the build-up, bursting through the midfield before feeding the Belgian for his first goal since returning from injury.

Manchester City's dominance in the first half allowed Pep Guardiola to make a change at half-time, as Ilkay Gundogan took to the field in place of Bernardo Silva.

Damage limitation would have been the primary focus of Bielsea's half-time, but that went out of the window within four minutes as Riyad Mahrez made it four, via the aid of a huge deflection off Junior Firpo.

The goal of the evening came on the hour mark, as De Bruyne powered home his second - and City's fifth - from range just moments after Phil Foden had seen his effort ruled out for offside.

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The defence got in on the act in the closing stages as makeshift right-back John Stones fired home from close range to make it six, before second-half substitute Nathan Ake headed home from a corner to add City's seventh and complete the scoring.

The result means that Manchester City open up a four-point lead over second-placed Liverpool ahead of their clash with Newcastle United on Thursday.

Meanwhile, tonight's defeat means Leeds remain 16th, just four points adrift of the relegation zone, with their goal difference hit heavily by the free-scoring league leaders.