Manchester City have been on a roll, winning three of their last four. They are currently second in the Premier League table and look like legitimate contenders for the EPL crown. Pep Guardiola has said that he is happy with Jack Grealish’s performance recently after it had drawn criticisms previously.,
Manchester City have been looking ominous for the past few weeks. Jack Grealish, who is only 19 years of age, has been clicking into Pep Guardiola’s system and has been a key player in Manchester City’s recent success. Read more in detail here: man city coach.
6:38 p.m. Eastern Time
Dawson, Rob Correspondent
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Manchester City and Jack Grealish both had a good time against Leeds United on Tuesday night.
At the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola’s team led 3-0 after half an hour and went on to win 7-0, moving four points ahead at the top of the Premier League standings.
It was the kind of performance that demonstrated why City remain the favourites to win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Grealish reminded them of why they were ready to pay a British record £100 million for his services.
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After leaving Aston Villa in the summer, he admits it hasn’t been an easy transition to life in Manchester. Things haven’t always come as effortlessly as they did at his home club, but the swagger was back against Leeds.
He scored City’s second goal of the game and had chances to score more.
Leeds had resorted to kicking him as high as they could by the middle of the second half, only to see him bounce back up, grab the ball, and burrow forward again and again.
He was a key component of a City performance that was among the greatest of Guardiola’s tenure, demonstrating without a shadow of a question that he belongs at this level.
Guardiola said after the game, “He was outstanding.” “I don’t pass judgment on players based on their aspirations.” I’m interested in seeing how they act and make judgments.
“Congratulations to the squad; we had a strong showing.”
“We had a wonderful performance, and the atmosphere in the stadium today was great — it was sold out, and the fans were fantastic.”
“We played a fantastic game.” Last season, we lost five points to Leeds with the same players, and we will never forget it.
“You obtain these outcomes because they [the players] are outstanding individually.”
Given Grealish’s poor start to his City career, it wouldn’t have come as a major surprise if he had been left out against Leeds.
It’s not that he’s been poor; it’s that he’s up against Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Gabriel Jesus, and any lapse in form is magnified because the rest of the team is typically doing well.
Grealish could have feared the worse when Guardiola named his squad against Leeds after being substituted early against Wolves on Saturday and Watford a week before, but he was handed another chance and grabbed it.
He was rushing forward as early as two minutes, dazzled Luke Ayling with a couple of step-overs before slamming a low shot at Illan Meslier. He bounced a ball off De Bruyne on the outside of the area two minutes later and nearly got on the end of the return.
As Pep Guardiola’s team delivered a message to their Premier League championship opponents, Jack Grealish produced his greatest performance in a Manchester City jersey. Getty Images/Alex Livesey
It’s the kind of thing Guardiola would want to see more of. Grealish has been told many times that his method is rigorous, yet there is still flexibility inside it. The message has been to keep doing what he did so effectively at Villa, and Guardiola’s plan isn’t to squeeze the life out of the England midfielder, but rather to put him in better positions more often.
It worked against Leeds, as Marcelo Bielsa’s squad couldn’t adapt for significant stretches of the game.
Grealish’s greatest moment came in the 12th minute, when he had a night full of eye-catching runs and touches. A City corner was returned to Mahrez’s foot, and when the Algerian whipped a cross into the box, Grealish was on hand to head in from six yards out for his first league goal since August.
It was a striker’s goal for a side that didn’t have one.
After Foden scored City’s 500th Premier League goal in only 206 games under Guardiola, the score was already 1-0. De Bruyne (2), Mahrez, John Stones, and Nathan Ake added five more goals before full-time, although Leeds were pleased it wasn’t ten.
After the game, Bielsa said that his squad “had never performed so poorly in these four years.”
Only five points clear of the relegation zone, their survival this season is in doubt, and a humiliating night in Manchester will do little to boost their confidence ahead of back-to-back games against Arsenal and Liverpool.
While Biesla said that “there was nothing to take away from the game,” Guardiola saw plenty of positives.
He’ll appreciate his team’s total domination above any individual performance, but after all the doubts about Grealish since his transfer, watching him appear so at ease as a vital cog in that familiar, seamless machine will have given him a quiet contentment.
Grealish returned to the changing room after the final whistle and said on Instagram, “Perfect night at the Etihad.”
It was difficult to disagree with his judgment.
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