By Saikat Mandal

29th Dec, 2022 | 10:40am

Andy Townsend blown away by Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier v Manchester City

Andy Townsend has praised Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier during the Whites’ 3-1 defeat against Manchester City at Elland Road on Wednesday (28 December).

The French goalkeeper was superb during the game and denied Erling Haaland a clear scoring opportunity in the first half when he was put through on goal by Kevin de Bruyne.

Townsend has described the save as “excellent” and praised the 22-year-old on several other occasions for his overall contributions.

“Wow! That’s a great chance. Brilliant work from Meslier,” said Townsend on Premier League World feed (28 December, 34 mins).

“Fabulous play from City. Watch out for the link-up play. De Bruyne. That pass is inch-perfect. Expecting Haaland to score, we all are. Excellent work from Meslier again.”

Leaky defence

Leeds were resilient in the first half and Pep Guardiola’s side really struggled to create clear-cut opportunities.

However, a sloppy defending right at the stroke of the first half allowed City to take the lead through Rodri. 

It changed the momentum completely. The Whites did manage to pull back a goal, and Joe Gelhardt could have added another. 

Halaand was outstanding once again but the Leeds defence played their part too. The second goal is the best example where Robin Koch and Liam Cooper made a horrendous error at the back. 

Cooper had loads of time to pick the right pass, and yet he chose to play the ball to his next defender who was being chased by Jack Grealish at that time. It was a poor pass from the skipper and City were gifted a goal. Against a quality opposition, this is simply unacceptable.

Koch was equally culpable. He was in a terrible position and didn’t pay attention to the movement of Grealish.

Meslier did an incredible job to keep the Whites in the game, but once again poor defending had led the team down.

In other Leeds United news, we can exclusively reveal a big update on Stuart Dallas’ recovery from his fractured femur.