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Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League lasted just five hours as Manchester City beat Leeds United 4-0 to leapfrog them in the table.

A feisty affair at Elland Road was certainly a threat to Pep Guardiola and his title hopes but in the end his men were able to claim an important three points.

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Man City sit top of the table on 83 points – one ahead of Liverpool

In an atmosphere described by ex-Man City winger Trevor Sinclair as ‘on fire’ the visitors took an early lead to settle any nerves.

Guardiola’s side had netted 16 goals from set-pieces prior to the game and they made it 17 with just 13 minutes on the clock.

A delightfully timed free-kick from the left from Phil Foden did the trick with Rodri netting with a flicked header.

And in the second period 17 became 18 as Nathan Ake stabbed home from a Ruben Dias knockdown before Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho struck to seal the victory.

The result isn’t helpful to Leeds’ survival hopes as they sit just five points outside the relegation zone but their performance, until the two late goals, will give manager Jesse Marsch some hope.

An injury to versatile star Stuart Dallas, which saw him stretchered off, is a blow, however.

Ake doubled City’s lead at Elland Road thanks to some quick reactions

AFP

Ake doubled City’s lead at Elland Road thanks to some quick reactions

And Gabriel Jesus rounded it all off with a third

Getty

And Gabriel Jesus rounded it all off with a third


It was a tempestuous affair with numerous challenges failing to raise the attention of referee Paul Tierney.

Former City star Sinclair believed his reticence may have played a part in Dallas’ injury moments before the break.

He told talkSPORT: “I think the Leeds United players realised they have got to get physical if they want to get anything out of this game, and they need it because they are right down there at the bottom of the league.

“They need to leave little feet in here and there, that’s what they are doing but unfortunately, when they leave a bit too much in there, Paul Tierney has let it go and it’s unacceptable. He’s got to be pulling them up for a lot more of these fouls.

Dallas attempted to tackled Grealish but injured himself

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Dallas attempted to tackled Grealish but injured himself

Dallas was in a lot of pain and was stretchered off the pitch

Getty

Dallas was in a lot of pain and was stretchered off the pitch

“We’ve just seen that incident there with Stuart Dallas. I’m absolutely gutted for him but I think the referee being so lenient in that opening 45 minutes, it was almost an invitation for Dallas to go in for that challenge. Someone was going to get injured and unfortunately that’s happened.”

Action from the stands also contributed to some tension early on with balls of scrunched up paper thrown at Man City players during thrown-ins and corners.

At one point in a break of play, players were forced to clear the pitch of the debris, while later in the match Grealish laughed off being pelted by more of the paper balls.

Grealish faced a bombardment from Leeds fans as screwed up paper balls were launched his way

@NBCSports

Grealish faced a bombardment from Leeds fans as screwed up paper balls were launched his way

But Raphinha didn’t take too kindly to being struck by one of his own fans

@NBCSports

But Raphinha didn’t take too kindly to being struck by one of his own fans

Even Leeds star Raphinha, wasn’t exempt, with the Brazilian shooting his own supporters some furious glances as he was struck while waiting to take a corner.

But the schoolboy japes from Leeds supporters didn’t stop City from passing this tough exam.

Foden excelled, Grealish showed graft, and they were able to face-down a frenetic Leeds display and come out with a clean sheet.

Jesus showed why he’s still got a huge role to play, despite a probable exit in the summer with Arsenal interested as he snatched a cool third.

And Fernandinho took a bow in front of the adoring City fans with his long range strike at the death making him the club’s oldest ever Premier League goalscorer – the Brazilian turned 37 next week.

Another match down for both Liverpool and Man City in this unbelievable title race – and neither team have blinked.

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