MANCHESTER: Manchester City’s march to the Premier League title was halted by a 2-1 loss to 10-man Leeds on Saturday, with Stuart Dallas scoring the winner in second-half stoppage time for his second goal of the game.
Reduced to 10 men moments before halftime because of Liam Cooper’s straight red card, Leeds spent almost the entire second half camped inside its own area repelling wave after wave of attacks by City.
The runaway leaders finally got rewarded for their pressure with an equalizer by Ferran Torres in the 76th minute but Dallas, who had put Leeds in front in the 42nd, burst through a gap in City’s defense and slid a finish past goalkeeper Ederson for a stunning winning goal on a breakaway.
City’s dominance showed in the stats — Pep Guardiola’s team had 29 shots compared to Leeds’ two — but that didn’t translate into one of the four wins needed to regain the league trophy.
City, which is 14 points clear of second-place Manchester United, still requires a maximum of 11 points.
It was a fourth defeat in the league, three of them coming at home, as Guardiola lost to a team coached by his mentor, Marcelo Bielsa.
Cooper’s sending-off turned what had been an end-to-end game into one resembling a training-ground exercise of attack vs. defense.
Referee Andre Marriner initially showed the Scotland international a yellow card for a tackle that saw him get the ball but follow through, with his studs showing, into the leg of Gabriel Jesus.
As a result, City center back John Stones spent most of the second half on the edge of Leeds’ penalty area and right back Joao Cancelo as a right-winger.
Leeds, one of the Premier League’s flair teams, demonstrated unlikely resilience to hold off City until Torres’ goal 14 minutes from time, which came from a through ball from Bernardo Silva.
But the visitors had the final say as Dallas ran onto a pass from Ezgjan Alioski, pierced the center of City’s defence and beat Ederson.
“Against these teams, you don’t get chances so you need to be clinical," Dallas said. “I think I took one touch and closed my eyes.”
City ultimately paid the price for its heavy rotation that saw Guardiola make seven changes for a match that came in between the two legs against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarterfinals. Kevin De Bruyne was an unused substitute.