Manchester City VS Leeds final LIVE Football Score 15 Dec 2021
The Champions League draw for the round of 16 was a wild one on Monday, having to be redone due to a technical error. The last 16 teams were paired into eight ties set to be played in February and March, with numerous tasty battles now on the schedule. The slate is highlighted by PSG vs. Real Madrid, while Manchester United face Atletico Madrid. The first draw that had to be redone actually saw Lionel Messi and PSG drawn against Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United, but alas, it did not stand.
That first draw was a tough one for United, getting handed mighty PSG. While United did bounce the Parisians from the competition in 2019, this is a stronger PSG on paper after landing Lionel Messi, and the Red Devils would have been the massive underdog. So, with the do-over, United avoid PSG and instead get Atletico Madrid. They are far from an easy opponent, but it is a much better draw considering Atleti can’t stay healthy in defense, while Ronaldo has a history of terrorizing Los Colchoneros.
If you like orderliness, this wasn’t the draw for you. Things began to seem off when Manchester United were paired with Villarreal, something that wasn’t supposed to happen due to them being in the same group. So they tried again, and it was Manchester United against PSG, which was fine. But wait, because it didn’t end there. Then Liverpool were paired against a team from their own group in Atletico, and that actually stood without anybody saying anything. Shortly after, UEFA announced that the draw would be redone.
I hope former Russian soccer star Andrey Arshavin didn’t have any plans in Switzerland for this draw. The former Arsenal and Zenit Saint Petersburg man was tasked with opening balls at the draw for the initial event, then having to return for the redo hours later in what had to be an uncomfortable spot. Not to mention that those little plastic balls seem a bit tricky to spin open. I’d like to think Arshavin had an open day and not awesome dinner planes for some lovely fondue in Geneva.
After a slow start to the season, Manchester City seems to be shifting into top gear as they have been gaining serious momentum in recent weeks. The Cityzens’ defensive resilience has seen them become a major contender for the Premier League crown. Chelsea’s injury woes have caused them to slip a little, and despite the modest point differential between the top three, it appears to be a two-horse race once more.
The Sky Blues are coming on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Wolves, as Raul Jimenez’s foolish red card and a dubious penalty proved to be the difference on Saturday. England winger Raheem Sterling stepped up and calmly slotted home from 12 yards to solidify City’s position at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool while two points clear of Chelsea after 16 rounds of fixtures.
Leeds has been a bustling Premier League club under Marcelo Bielsa, with their attractive style of play winning the hearts of the neutrals, but constant injury woes have hampered their progression drastically this season. The Whites’ returned home empty-handed despite their valiant efforts in a dramatic 3-2 defeat against Chelsea, which saw three penalties, but with favourable results elsewhere, they remain in 15th place, six points clear of the relegation zone.
Manchester City will have to make do without the services of suspended Joao Cancelo for Tuesday’s clash after he picked up his fifth booking of the league season. Ilkay Gundogan was seen struggling with back pain after coming off against Wolves last weekend and is a doubt, while Ferran Torres remains sidelined until the turn of the year.
Pep Guardiola could line up Manchester City in his preferred 4-3-3 formation with slight personnel changes to the side that took to field against Wolves. Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez could return to the starting lineup this midweek to provide fresh legs, while Kyle Walker could come back as a forced change following Cancelo’s suspension.
Fresh from completing a century of clean sheets, Ederson Moraes is a certain starter in between the sticks. Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias will aim to continue their partnership at the heart of City’s backline despite England defender John Stones pushing for a start, with Nathan Ake fit enough to make the bench on Tuesday.
Walker will fill in on the right-back position, whereas Oleksandr Zinchenko should retain his spot on the left flank. Both will look to dominate the flanks while making some fruitful forward runs. Rodri will again anchor the midfield from the holding midfield position while shielding the home side’s back-four.
Despite the veteran midfielder’s protests and gestures towards his armpit, Raheem Sterling was granted the opportunity to win the day from the penalty spot for handball, and the ex-Liverpool man calmly slotted home for his 100th Premier League goal.
The attacker has not had the easiest time of things under Guardiola in recent months, but his confident spot kick cemented City’s place at the top of the table – one point above Liverpool and two clear of Chelsea after 16 games in the 2021-22 season.
It is now six top-flight wins on the bounce for Guardiola’s ruthless crop, who would do well to utilise their impressive squad depth heading into the hectic festive period, but the Catalan coach will certainly be encouraged by his side’s defensive resilience on home soil.
Indeed, the reigning champions have only conceded three Premier League goals at the Etihad this season – keeping clean sheets on six occasions – and Marcelo Bielsa’s side do not exactly boast the same sort of solidity at the back.
It was a tale of three penalties at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea’s clash with Leeds, as Raphinha opened the scoring from 12 yards before Mason Mount silenced the vibrant Leeds support with a home equaliser just before the break.
Bielsa’s men held their own for large portions of the contest, but Antonio Rudiger was felled twice inside the box either side of Joe Gelhardt’s equaliser, and Jorginho dispatched both penalties to hand the European champions all three points on the day.
It was certainly a cruel way for Leeds to travel back home empty-handed, but with results elsewhere in the bottom half going their way, the Whites remain in 15th and six points clear of the relegation zone at the time of writing.
Defeat to Chelsea marked just Leeds’ second loss from their last eight in the top flight, but they have only claimed one win and kept one clean sheet in their eight road games so far, which does not bode well before a trip to the champions.
The Whites did manage to hold City to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road before prevailing 2-1 at the Etihad during their eye-catching 2020-21 campaign, but Leeds are a far cry from their former selves.