In the Premier League championship battle, Manchester City moved ahead of Liverpool with a 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United.
Rodri gave City the lead at the break, and goals from Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus, and Fernandinho gave them the advantage they needed to reclaim first place.
Five changes were made by City manager Pep Guardiola after their Champions League victory over Real Madrid midweek, but it didn’t matter since they marched on to defend their domestic championship.
For the first time since 2022, they have won three consecutive league games, but it was no stroll in the park against a struggling Leeds team desperate for points in their struggle to avoid the relegation zone.
A goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Monday was a huge improvement for Leeds, but their first league loss in six games puts them one spot and five points above third-place Everton.
Ilkay Gundogan saved his teammate Ilkay Gundogan in the first minute of the match as Rodrigo raced unimpeded from halfway following a mistake by Joao Cancelo.
Captain Liam Cooper hobbled out of the warm-up for Leeds before kickoff, and Mateusz Klich came in to replace him.
In the 13th minute, Leeds’ new-look defense was undone by Robin Koch’s transfer back to center-back alongside Pascal Struijk.
Dallas was penalized for his tackle on Sterling, and Phil Foden’s free-kick was headed in by Rodri, who sprinted onto the ball unchallenged.
Before the half-hour mark, Leeds had hardly touched the ball and showed little cohesion when they did.
Junior Firpo sent a shot over the crossbar and Raphinha threatened in and around the box as Leeds exposed City’s final third.
However, Struijk’s spectacular diving save prevented Sterling from scoring City’s second goal following Luke Ayling’s miss kick within the penalty area in the 43rd minute.”
Dallas twisted his knee in a 50/50 battle with Jack Grealish and was taken off the field on a stretcher in first-half stoppage time for the home side.
In the second half, Leeds played effectively and put City under pressure, but City responded quickly again and scored again from a set-piece in the 54th minute to increase their advantage.
“Ake turned and swept the ball home at the far post from six yards out,” Foden said. “Ruben Dias headed it goalwards.”
Aymeric Laporte diverted Raphinha’s effort over the bar as he raced into the area after Ake limped off and was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
But a brilliant third goal from Manchester City in the 78th minute put the game to rest. Foden’s through-ball was buried by Jesus after Ederson’s clearing was chested into his path.
Illan Meslier denied Cancelo in a one-on-one shortly after, but Leeds fought valiantly until the very end.
Ederson made a stop on a goal-bound attempt from substitute Joe Gelhardt before Fernandinho, who came in for Rodri at the last minute, arrowed home a low shot in time added on.