By Sam Stone

29th Dec, 2022 | 1:40pm

Phil Hay details what Erling Haaland did in aftermath of Leeds United Premier League defeat v Manchester City

Phil Hay has shared what Manchester City striker Erling Haaland did with Leeds United coach Rene Maric in the aftermath of the Whites’ 3-1 defeat at Elland Road.

The Manchester City superstar netted two goals to become the fastest player in Premier League history to reach 20 goals.

Haaland was born in Leeds and has previously worked with Jesse Marsch and Hay has revealed the 22-year-old shared a “big hug” with Maric after the game.

“It’s hard to think of a player who’s never played for Leeds getting as good a reception as Haaland is getting tonight,” wrote The Athletic journalist (via Twitter, 28 December).

“He’s handled it all perfectly. Gives Rene Maric a big hug before heading for the tunnel.”

Different planet

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The sad reality for Leeds and the majority of the Premier League is that the likes of Manchester City are simply too far ahead in terms of spending power and quality of players. Leeds did well to keep the scoreline to three, and on a different day, it could well have been far worse.

It was always going to be a struggle up against the Norwegian and Marsch will be disappointed with the defending for his opening goal which essentially took the game out of reach of Leeds. Against the top sides, you cannot afford to gift them opportunities, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Whites did.

Games against City won’t define Leeds’ season with games against bottom-half sides set to determine where they end up come May. The Yorkshire side travel to face Newcastle in their next match, in what is another stern test.

It’s certainly a tough run of fixtures for the Whites and Marsch will be hoping for some sort of points return when they travel to St James’ Park on 31 December.

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