LONDON: Rodrigo’s first Premier League goal gained Leeds a deserved point in a pulsating 1-1 draw against Manchester City at Elland Road.
Raheem Sterling’s drilled finish was all City had to show for a dominant first half and Leeds’ club-record £27million signing Rodrigo equalised from close range in the 59th minute.
The Spain striker’s header had been turned on to the crossbar by City goalkeeper Ederson minutes earlier, while Kevin De Bruyne’s early free-kick struck the woodwork.
City had enough chances early in the first half to have put the result beyond doubt, but Leeds grew in both confidence and stature after riding an early storm and created plenty of chances themselves.
It was another thrilling spectacle involving Marcelo Bielsa’s side and a fair result, but Pep Guardiola was left to rue a string of missed first-half chances.
Benjamin Mendy created the overload down the left and after Liam Cooper failed to clear, Sterling jinked inside Luke Ayling and buried a low shot inside the far post.
Phil Foden dragged his shot wide from in front of goal after being teed up by Sterling as City chased another goal that would certainly not have flattered them.
But Leeds responded through Patrick Bamford’s diagonal shot after neat interplay between Mateusz Klich and Helder Costa and the home side began to grow in confidence.
Foden fizzed a shot off target, but City were indebted to Ederson in the 36th minute when Stuart Dallas raced into the box after another flowing Leeds move, but his effort was smothered by the Brazilian goalkeeper.
And having ridden the early storm, the home side should have gone in level at the break. Ayling pounced on Mendy’s mistake and Ederson again came to City’s rescue.
Leeds substitute Ian Poveda, on at half-time for Alioski, made an instant impression as his run and cross was turned away by Dias.
Bielsa’s side picked up where they had left off at the end of the first half, with several sweeping moves pushing City on to the back foot.
Rodrigo replaced Tyler Roberts and his shot clipped the top of the crossbar before Leeds hauled themselves level in the 59th minute.
The City keeper made amends soon after when pushing Rodrigo’s goalbound header on to the crossbar as Leeds looked the more likely to find a winner.
Bamford was foiled by Ederson in a one-on-one in the closing stages and then almost won it for City at the death when his header following a corner was held by Meslier.
Everton on top
James Rodriguez scored twice and Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged his ninth of the season as impressive Everton beat Brighton 4-2.
Carlo Ancelotti celebrated his 100th Premier League game with a thoroughly enjoyable encounter at Goodison Park, played out in awful conditions on Merseyside.
Calvert-Lewin headed Everton in front after 18 minutes – his ninth goal in six games so far in an impressive start to the season.
Neal Maupay drew Brighton level but a Yerry Mina header and two goals from Rodriguez made sure Everton made it four wins out of four in the league to move to the top of the table.
The only down side on a fantastic afternoon for Everton was the dreadful mistake Jordan Pickford made for Maupay’s goal – with Pickford looking nervous and shaky for most of the game afterwards.
The England goalkeeper, who made two errors in the Carabao Cup win at Fleetwood last month, failed to hold a Leandro Trossard volley hit into the turf and bouncing above his head and Maupay latched onto the loose ball to score from close range.
With the international break now upon us, Gareth Southgate may well have a decision to make with Pickford making a number of high-profile errors in recent times.
Everton, though, will be delighted with the first part of their season, and confidence could not be higher going into the break – knowing that they play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby right after the international stoppage.
“I’ve always believed I can get here and I’ve never stopped listening and learning and sometimes its all about timing and age and maturity and I’ve been learning from my past experiences and now I’m reaping the rewards.”
On the win, the striker added: “I think today, particularly second half, we didn’t really play that well, to be honest. We scored goals in the second half and the best teams win when they aren’t always on top and I think it was just a solid performance.”
Rodriguez was also on the score-sheet and Calvert-Lewin was full of praise for his team-mate, saying: “He’s a top player and when he gets on the ball you see that quality he’s got.
“He draws people in and opens space up for other players and for me, as a centre forward, he creates chances and that’s all I can hope for.”
Chelsea in control
Ben Chilwell vindicated his £45million transfer with a Premier League debut goal and assist as Chelsea thumped Crystal Palace 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
The England full-back drilled home to put Chelsea ahead following a cagey, goalless first half, before laying on Kurt Zouma’s header.
Jorginho then stroked home two penalties in four minutes to seal a comfortable Chelsea win, their first home victory in the new league campaign.
The Italy midfielder had missed from the spot in Chelsea’s 2-0 home loss to Liverpool but delivered twice here, courtesy of his trademark skip-step run-up.
Chilwell showed exactly why Frank Lampard was so desperate to bring him to the Blues from Leicester in an impressive all-court performance.
The 23-year-old provided deadly set-piece delivery all day and kick-started the second-half goal glut with a fine finish.
Palace’s stifling tactics started well before kick-off, with the Eagles late out of the changing rooms to leave Chelsea’s quizzical players waving their arms in frustration.
Joel Ward got away with a sneaky elbow to Timo Werner’s face, with only the light contact letting the full-back escape censure.
Chelsea dominated possession but again lacked the speed of passing or fluidity of movement to break down the extremely well-drilled visitors.
Kai Havertz’s class and time on the ball stood out though, and the Germany playmaker’s ghosting run and pass laid on an inviting opening for Werner.
His national team-mate raced onto the ball only to scuff an attempted whipped effort, leaving Vicente Guaita a facile claim.
Abraham’s smart run across the face of goal not only opened up space for Havertz, it also perhaps provided the better option for a threaded pass.
Jorginho blazed over after Thiago Silva’s neatly flicked header, and then Callum Hudson-Odoi overhit a potentially threatening ball designed for Chilwell.
The bullish N’Golo Kante drove through midfield and split the defence with a delicate through ball – only for Abraham and Werner to make the same run and fluff a fine opening.
Mamadou Sakho nodded wide from a Palace corner in the visitors’ sole chance of the half, and the teams duly reached the interval in deadlock.
The stalemate was lifted quickly after the restart, however, when Chilwell drilled home sweetly for the hosts.
Hudson-Odoi lost then recovered the ball in the Palace box and laid off to Azpilicueta, and his deflected shot lofted across the box.
Abraham muscled his way to a smart flick-on, allowing the onrushing Chilwell to blast into the net.
Chelsea should have doubled their lead minutes later, but the unmarked Zouma could only head wide from Chilwell’s inch-perfect corner.
Zouma quickly atoned for that glaring miss by nodding home another Chilwell cross however, easing personal and collective Chelsea frustrations as the hosts took control.
Abraham should have made it three when thumping a header after Hudson-Odoi had skinned Tyrick Mitchell and delivered a fine cross.
The England striker won a penalty shortly afterwards though, drawing a foul from Mitchell.
Jorginho duly stepped up and converted in his typical calm fashion, leaving Chelsea in total control heading into the final stages.
Four minutes later Jorginho was hopping and skipping his way to another penalty goal, but only after Abraham had tried to swipe the spot-kick.
Skipper Azpilicueta was having none of it, calmly removing the ball from Abraham’s grasp and handing it to Jorginho.