From the heroics of Jose Sa and Conor Coady, Raul Jimenez’s foolish red card and a highly controversial penalty awarded against Joao Moutinho, Man City’s clash with Wolves on a miserable Saturday lunchtime had it all.
Despite the veteran midfielder’s protests and gestures towards his armpit, Raheemeem Sterling was granted the opportunity to win the day from the penalty spot for handball, and the ex-Liverpool man calmly slotted home for his 100th Premier League goal.
The attacker has not had the easiest time of things under Guardiola in recent months, but his confident spot kick cemented City’s place at the top of the table – one point above Liverpool and two clear of Chelsea after 16 games in the 2021-22 season.
It is now six top-flight wins on the bounce for Guardiola’s ruthless crop, who would do well to utilise their impressive squad depth heading into the hectic festive period, but the Catalan coach will certainly be encouraged by his side’s defensive resilience on home soil.
Indeed, the reigning champions have only conceded three Premier League goals at the Etihad this season – keeping clean sheets on six occasions – and Marcelo Bielsa’s side do not exactly boast the same sort of solidity at the back.
It was a tale of three penalties at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea’s clash with Leeds, as Raphinha opened the scoring from 12 yards before Mason Mount silenced the vibrant Leeds support with a home equaliser just before the break.
Bielsa’s men held their own for large portions of the contest, but Antonio Rudiger was felled twice inside the box either side of Joe Gelhardt’s equaliser, and Jorginho dispatched both penalties to hand the European champions all three points on the day.
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It was certainly a cruel way for Leeds to travel back home empty-handed, but with results elsewhere in the bottom half going their way, the Whites remain in 15th and six points clear of the relegation zone at the time of writing.
Defeat to Chelsea marked just Leeds’ second loss from their last eight in the top flight, but they have only claimed one win and kept one clean sheet in their eight road games so far, which does not bode well before a trip to the champions.
The Whites did manage to hold City to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road before prevailing 2-1 at the Etihad during their eye-catching 2020-21 campaign, but Leeds are a far cry from their former selves