City wins at Leeds 4-0 to stay on top of the EPL

LEEDS, England (AP) — Manchester City remained the front-runner in the English Premier League title race after winning at Leeds 4-0 on Saturday.

Liverpool won at Newcastle 1-0 in an early kickoff to keep the pressure on City, which responded.

Rodri headed City into a halftime lead, and further goals from Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho lifted it back above Liverpool by a point.

City coach Pep Guardiola made five changes after the midweek Champions League win against Real Madrid, but it made little difference as the defending champion secured a third straight league win for the first time in 2022.

However, it was not as easy as the scoreline might suggest against an embattled Leeds side hungry for points in their fight to beat the drop. Leeds’ first league defeat in six games left it one place and five points above third-from-bottom Everton, which has two games in hand.

Leeds was dealt another injury blow before kickoff when captain Liam Cooper limped out of the warmup and was replaced by Mateusz Klich. The new-look defence was undone in the 13th minute.

Stuart Dallas was penalised for his foul on Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden’s excellent out-swinging free kick was headed home by Rodri.

Leeds’ wretched luck with injuries continued in first-half stoppage time when Dallas twisted his knee in a 50-50 challenge with Jack Grealish and was carried off the field on a stretcher.

City doubled its lead from another set-piece nine minutes after the break when Foden’s corner was headed goalwards by Ruben Dias and Ake turned to sweep the ball home from six yards at the far post.

Ake hobbled off soon after and was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko. Leeds went close through Raphinha, whose shot was deflected over by Aymeric Laporte.

But City sealed the match in the 78th when Ederson’s clearance was chested into Foden’s path and his throughball was buried by Jesus.

The Leeds players didn’t let their heads go down and Daniel James and Sam Greenwood saw successive goalbound shots blocked and fellow substitute Joe Gelhardt’s effort was saved by Ederson.

Fernandinho, a late replacement for Rodri, arrowed home a low shot in stoppage time.

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