Premier League

Leeds 0-4 Man City: Player ratings as Cityzens return to Premier League summit

Sean Walsh
Man City were victorious
Man City were victorious / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 4-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road.

Liverpool's victory at Newcastle in Saturday's early kick-off saw the Reds go top for a few hours at least, but Pep Guardiola's men responded perfectly to the challenge with a routine display in Yorkshire.

While City have taken back control in the title race, Leeds have dropped to 17th and are only four points clear of the relegation zone, having also played two games more than 18th-placed Everton.

A slip from Joao Cancelo saw Rodrigo race away with possession on the counter in the opening exchanges, but the Spaniard took too many touches and Ilkay Gundogan retreated in time to block his tame cross.

And Leeds were made to rue that missed chance when Rodri opened the scoring after 13 minutes, heading home from a Phil Foden free-kick after ghosting away from Robin Koch and Kalvin Phillips.

Junior Firpo lashed a strike over the top after a cross fell to him just inside the City box before Raphinha's low ball across goal just evaded Stuart Dallas.

City should have doubled their lead when Luke Ayling slipped in possession and Gabriel Jesus was able to slip in Raheem Sterling, only for Pascal Struijk to race back just in time to block his goal-bound effort.

Jack Grealish and Sterling came close to doubling City's advantage just after the break but neither could register a shot on target.

Nathan Ake was the unlikely scorer of City's eventual second, with Ruben Dias knocking down Foden's corner for the Dutchman to tap home after positioning himself in front of a weak Struijk.

A mazing run from Raphinha nearly led to a Leeds goal as the hosts ramped up the pressure, only for Aymeric Laporte to throw out a leg and deflect the Brazilian's shot just over the top of the bar.

But just as Leeds looked to be making some headway, Gabriel Jesus smashed home his sixth goal in his last fourth Premier League games to secure the win.

Joe Gelhardt's clever ball through to Dan James saw the Welshman round Ederson, but the former Manchester United winger dawdled and his effort was easily cleared off the line as Leeds were denied a last-minute consolation.

Gelhardt himself forced Ederson into a smart save in stoppage time before City went down the other end and added a fourth with the last kick of the game through substitute Fernandinho.

Leeds United vs Manchester City player ratings

1. Leeds United (5-4-1)

Rodrigo Moreno
Rodrigo was awful / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

GK: Illan Meslier - 5/10 - Made a couple of decent saves.

RB: Stuart Dallas - 4/10 - Kicked lumps out of Grealish because referee Paul Tierney allowed him to, but eventually picked up a serious leg injury of his own when fouling the City midfielder.

CB: Luke Ayling - 4/10 - An up-and-down game which should have seen him give away a goal but he was also decent at limiting City's chances from open play.

CB: Robin Koch - 3/10 - Switched off at the free-kick for the opener, played Jesus onside for the third.

CB: Pascal Struijk - 2/10 - Made several rookie errors. Another horrendous defensive showing at this level.

LB: Junior Firpo - 5/10 - Got forward with real adventure and purpose, though City sought to exploit the space he left in behind.

RM: Raphinha - 5/10 - Clearly has the quality but couldn't drag his team to a positive result. Shifted to wing-back in the second half.

CM: Kalvin Phillips - 5/10 - Battled hard in a tough midfield battle.

CM: Mateusz Klich - 4/10 - Little positional awareness but he ran himself into the ground covering every blade of grass.

LM: Jack Harrison - 4/10 - Scarcely threatened. Looked like a support act for Firpo.

CF: Rodrigo - 3/10 - Led the line horrendously. His runs were inconsistent and all over the place, never looking like being on the same wavelength as his teammates.

SUB: Dan James (45+6' for Dallas) - 4/10 - Little to no impact.

SUB: Joe Gelhardt (62' for Firpo) - 5/10 - At least looked dangerous.

SUB: Sam Greenwood (83' for Rodrigo) - N/A

2. Manchester City (4-2-3-1)

Rodrigo, Jack Grealish
Rodri opened the scoring / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

GK: Ederson - 6/10 - Quick off his line to help prevent danger.

RB: Joao Cancelo - 8/10 - Got away with his early error and went on to have a sublime game, dominating the right flank.

CB: Ruben Dias - 8/10 - Strong at the back and did well to assist Ake's goal.

CB: Aymeric Laporte - 7/10 - Should probably have been substituted after a nasty clash of heads with Koch. Made a brilliant challenge on Raphinha in the second half.

LB: Nathan Ake - 7/10 - On skates defensively but scored an important goal in City's season. Funny old game, football.

CM: Rodri - 8/10 - Another calm and composed performance. Scored his 11th goal in City colours.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan - 6/10 - Looked sharp on the ball but definitely not so much off it.

RM: Raheem Sterling - 6/10 - Got himself into some great positions but couldn't quite find the finishing touches.

AM: Phil Foden - 9/10 - Two killer set piece deliveries and one open play assist capped a great performance.

LM: Jack Grealish - 7/10 - A constant thorn in Leeds' side, even if he didn't tangibly produce much. Leeds fans enjoyed throwing paper from their pre-match tifo at him and eventually he saw the funny side to it.

CF: Gabriel Jesus - 8/10 - Some neat touches and long lacked the killer instinct that he's possessed in recent weeks, but took his chance emphatically when given a clear sight of goal.

SUB: Oleksandr Zinchenko (59' for Ake) - 6/10

SUB: Bernardo Silva (80' for Foden) - N/A

SUB: Fernandinho (83' for Rodri) - N/A