Manchester City handed Leeds United a torturous Premier League defeat on Tuesday evening, beating the injury-hit visitors 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
A scintillating showing from Phil Foden saw the England midfielder open the scoring and provide the assist for substitute Nathan Ake’s goal – the seventh of the night – but it was De Bruyne who starred with two powerful finishes.
Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and John Stones – the latter out of position at right-back – also got on the scoresheet, as Pep Guardiola’s unusual line-up erased any doubts that it could function efficiently.
Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa was left to rue his team’s weak performance, though a number of player injuries ahead of the fixture did not help the Leeds coach.
Here’s how each player performed.
Ederson – 6: Had almost nothing to do.
John Stones – 7: Little to criticise in the case of the central defender, despite his unusual deployment at right-back. Scored with a high, accurate finish in the second half.
Ruben Dias – 6: Captain was largely calm at the back but did receive a yellow card for dragging down Roberts.
Aymeric Laporte – 6: Hardly troubled at all in the centre of City’s defence.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6: Was granted a rare start and performed decently.
Rodri – 8: Forward run into the visitors’ box led to the chaotic Leeds defending that allowed Foden to make it 1-0. Set up De Bruyne’s first goal with a clever, outside-of-the-foot pass. Replaced by Fernandinho on 55 minutes.
Bernardo Silva – 6: Miraculously dragged a close-range shot wide with most of the goal to aim at. Later showed silky footwork to wriggle his way through defenders in the Leeds area. Replaced by Gundogan at half-time.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9: Denied an assist by Bernardo’s poor miss early on. Was a constant threat, though, and blasted a shot past Meslier for City’s third goal. Scored with an even more powerful, long-rage effort to make it 5-0.
Phil Foden – 9: Opened the scoring by tucking away a loose ball with a composed finish. Provided numerous deft touches and passes, and assisted Ake’s goal for 7-0. Scintillating at times.
Jack Grealish – 7: Buried a header to double City’s lead and buzzed about throughout.
Riyad Mahrez – 8: Picked out Grealish with a nasty, curling cross for the midfielder to make it 2-0. Scored City’s fourth with a low, deflected shot. Then almost assisted Gundogan with a delicious clipped pass.
Substitutes: Ilkay Gundogan – 8; Fernandinho – 6; Nathan Ake – 7.
Illan Meslier – 5: Might have done better with Grealish’s headed goal, though that’s perhaps harsh; the effort was right at the goalkeeper but was close-ranged and powerful. Made a good double-save right before Stones’ goal.
Jamie Shackleton – 6: Made numerous well-timed blocks to keep the scoreline down in the first half. Unfortunately could not make it to half-time before being forced off with an injury. Replaced by Klich.
Luke Ayling – 4: Largely struggled to deal with City’s unorthodox but incredibly talented forward line.
Diego Llorente – 4: Gave the ball away in the lead-up to Bernardo’s stunning miss.
Junior Firpo – 4: Lost possession in a torrid spell for the visitors but was let off when De Bruyne’s subsequent shot was blocked. Picked up a booking that keeps him out of Saturday’s hosting of Arsenal. Replaced by Drameh.
Stuart Dallas – 5: Should have kept out Foden’s opener; was off-balance on the goal line but well positioned to clear the ball. Hit the post with a fine effort in the second half.
Adam Forshaw – 5: Notably made a last-ditch block to stop De Bruyne from likely recording a first-half assist.
Tyler Roberts – 6: Leeds rarely got forward but the midfielder was involved on the few occasions that they did.
Raphinha – 5: Could not impact the match.
Jack Harrison – 6: Had barely seen the ball until being involved in Leeds’ best attack, late in the first half. As vibrant as he could be in the second half, too.
Daniel James – 5: Barely had a chance to affect the game. Replaced by Gelhardt at half-time.
Substitutes: Mateusz Klich – 5; Joe Gelhardt – 5; Cody Drameh – 5.
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