Gundogan brace against Leeds takes Man City four points clear

City move four points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League after beating Leeds United 2-1.

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring their first goal
Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring City's first goal against Leeds United [Lee Smith Action Images via Reuters]

Manchester City have gone four points clear of Arsenal at the top the Premier League, beating Leeds United 2-1 with a pair of near-identical goals from Ilkay Gundogan, stretching their winning league run to 10 games.

City’s prolific striker Erling Haaland graciously handed the ball to Gundogan to take a penalty kick in the 84th minute for what would have been a hat trick in the game on Saturday, but his shot hit the post.

City had run circles around Leeds with numerous excellent scoring chances before Gundogan struck in the 19th minute from the edge of the 18-yard box off a pass from Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez teed up Gundogan again eight minutes later in a carbon copy of his first goal.

Rodrigo Moreno pulled one back for Leeds in the 85th minute.

With four games left, Pep Guardiola’s side have 82 points to Arsenal’s 78, and if the Gunners lose to Newcastle on Sunday, City will have all but locked up an illustrious third consecutive title.

Leeds, playing their first game under interim manager Sam Allardyce who was parachuted in in a last-ditch effort to avoid relegation, are teetering in 17th place – and all three teams below them have a game in hand.

Despite numerous scoring chances, and with the Etihad Stadium crowd cheering him on, Haaland was unable to extend the Premier League single-season record of 35 goals he set on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Norwegian, who is running roughshod over the record books in his debut Premier League season, could have had at least a couple of goals on Saturday, clanging one shot off the crossbar, another off the post, and narrowly missing a couple of others that left him shaking his head in frustration.

Treble-chasing Manchester City, who play Real Madrid on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, are unbeaten in 20 games through all competitions.

The odds were stacked against Leeds, who have been in freefall for weeks and have the leakiest defence in the top flight, with 69 goals conceded in 35 games.

Elsewhere in the Premier League on Saturday, Chelsea won for the first time under Frank Lampard’s second stint as boss, beating Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium. Troubled Chelsea are now mathematically safe from relegation.

Harry Kane overtook Wayne Rooney as the Premier League’s second-highest goalscorer in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over London rivals Crystal Palace.

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa lost 1-0 away to Wolves, further denting Villa’s chances of Champions League qualification.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies