IT’S time for everyone connected with Leeds United to take a breather as the Premiership pauses for the international break.

Another lung-busting performance by the Whites on Saturday evening earned a thrilling 1-1 draw at a sodden Elland Road with big-spending Manchester City.

The encounter was billed as master v pupil with Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa taking on Pep Guardiola in a battle of tactical wills. The home side lined up in their usual white with City stripped in black but what followed was nothing remotely like chess.

It was a match played at such speed and intensity that it was near impossible to analysis both coaches’ tactics.

Even Guardiola, who was asked by Bielsa immediately after the final whistle what he thought of the game, had no answer.

“I said after one second, I am not able to analyse the game. He is much cleverer than me. I need time to process but I said it was a good game and that the result was fair,” said the former Barcelona chief

That speaks volumes about the progress United have made under Bielsa, moulding a meandering Championship club into one which can trade punches with Premiership heavyweights.

Leeds hardly laid a glove on City in the opening exchanges as the visitors came out fighting. Kevin De Bryune’s clever third-minute curling free-kick smacked against a post and Stuart Dallas blocked a goal-bound effort as Leeds were penned in by a relentless City.

Guardiola’s men got their reward with a typical curling finish by Raheem Sterling on 16 minutes but Leeds dug in and gradually got on the ball themselves.

After Gianni Alioski wasted a good headed chance before Sterling’s goal, Leeds found they were able to get at City’s defence which included £65m debutant Ruben Dias.

Goalkeeper Ederson was forced into good saves from Dallas and Luke Ayling as Leeds finished the first-half strongly but Bielsa had not been satisfied with what he had seen.

Ian Poveda, a former City player, replaced Alioski with Helder Costa switching flanks. He had an immediate effect racing beyond Benjamin Mendy whose powerful driving runs from full-back had caused Leeds early problems. Now he, and City, were on the back foot.

Fellow sub Rodrigo Moreno, on after 55 minutes, had an even bigger impact. He forced Ederson to tip a fierce shot away via the woodwork but from the resulting corner the keeper punched the ball into the back of Mendy and Rodrigo gobbled up his first goal since his £27m arrival in Yorkshire.

Ederson made amends with an athletic leap to prevent a Rodrigo header give rejuvenated Leeds the lead.

Guardiola reacted by replacing Mendy with Nathan Ake and bringing in midfield enforcer Fernandiho to regain control. Both moves worked as City finished the game strongly but the Leeds defence, excellent throughout, would not yield. Two wins and a draw from their opening four games represents a good start to United’s Premiership return and the fearless nature of the way they have tackled those games has been mesmerising to watch.

Leeds are next in action before the cameras on Monday, 19 October, when Wolves visit Elland Road. Armchair watchers can’t wait.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich (Davis 76), Roberts (Rodrigo HT), Costa, Alioksi (Poveda HT), Bamford. Subs (not used): Caprile, Llorente, Strujik, Shackleton. Caution: Bamford, Dallas

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy (Ake 71), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Torres (Silva 64), Foden, Sterling, Mahrez (Fernandinho 76). Subs (not used): Steffan, Stones, Delap, Palmer. Caution: Mendy

Ref: Mike Dean Att: Behind closed doors

By Martin Jarred