Manchester City ran to a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table as Pep Guardiola outclassed his mentor Marcelo Bielsa in City’s 7-0 triumph over Leeds.
The Yorkshire outfit had won in their last visit to the Etihad, but they could not put up a decent fight this time around as the Citizens never took their feet off the paddle throughout the match.
Jack Grealish set the mood in the early stages as he raced into the Leeds box and forced Illan Meslier into action.
It was the beginning of a very long evening for the visitors.
It did not take the reigning Premier League champions long to pick the locks in Leeds’ defence.
Foden draws first blood
Minutes later Meslier made another save from Rodri and Phil Foden was there to pounce, taking advantage of Stuart Dallas’s terrible clearance.
It was the 500th goal City had scored under Pep Guardiola in the Premier League.
Leeds were already facing an uphill battle, as they traveled to Manchester without some of their regular defenders.
The hosts showed no mercy to exploit Leeds’s defensive woes and expose their tactical naivety.
Jack Grealish scored his first-ever headed goal in the Premier League in the 13th minute to extend City’s lead and right after the clock hit the half-hour mark, Kevin de Bruyne grabbed his first goal of the night.
Sensational De Bruyne
The Belgian started for the first time since November 6 as he was sidelined with Covid.
But, De Bruyne showed little signs of rustiness as he ran the show in the first half and rattled the back of the net in the 32nd minute, receiving the ball from an incisive Rodri pass.
Despite having a comfortable three-goal cushion, City pressed for more goals in the second half.
Only four minutes after the restart, Meslier was beat again as a Riyad Mahrez effort took a deflection off Junior Firpo and crawled into the net.
Stuart Dallas hit the post in a rare Leeds attack, but City came close to scoring their fifth in the opposite end, as Ilkay Gundogan missed the target by inches.
Foden did get the ball into the net, but the offside flag went up.
De Bruyne whacked in the fifth as he found the top corner from outside of the box, nearly uprooting the goalpost.
Biggest ever defeat for Leeds
John Stones and Nathan Ake joined the party later on to make the scoreline 7-0; the biggest defeat Leeds suffered in their Premier League history.
Now, Liverpool and Chelsea will have to win their respective games to stay close to the defending champions.
The heavy defeat leaves Leeds 16th on the table.
They are five points clear of 18th place Burnley, but the Clarets have played two games less.