Premier League fans were left baffled by the relentlessly booing of Jack Grealish by Leeds United fans – but he had the last laugh.
Grealish’s price tag and abrasive playing style makes him the easiest of targets, and as chance after chance came and went in a frustrating first half at Elland Road, you could see the blood pressure starting to boil over.
The Manchester City star set-up two goals for Erling Haaland in the second as Pep Guardiola’s men ran into a 3-0 lead on Wednesday evening (December 28).
Given Grealish’s attempts in vain to score in the first half, he would have been forgiven for going for goal himself as he raced clear after poor defending from Leeds’ Robin Koch, but in key moments, big players make the right call, with Haaland the most grateful of recipients.
A second assist soon followed, again from a position Grealish would have been forgiven for shooting himself from.
Although Leeds did get one back, much of social media was still confused as to why Leeds fans chose to boo Grealish from the start – but the pair have history.
One Twitter user said: “Why do Leeds fans boo Grealish, what’s there to boo?”
A second said: “Funny that grealish is booed everywhere he goes. But the risk is that he will score one of his 5 annual goals, and silence those boos.”
A third wrote: “Very loud boos in here anytime Jack Grealish touches the ball.”
As a fourth added: “Feel like grealish is one of them players if you boo him that much he’ll probably score.”
Pep Guardiola admits Man City need more goals from Jack Grealish
It was a good performance and comfortable win for Guardiola’s men, but it could and probably should have been a lot easier.
Grealish missed three clear chances in the first half and was unable to work the goalkeeper on any of them.
“Grealish made two assists, he allowed us to give an extra pass when he had it,” Guardiola told Amazon Prime.
“With Riyad [Mahrez] and Jack the tempo was better, but he has to be more ambitious. He has to score more goals and be competitive because he has the quality to do it.
The win saw Man City cut Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League to five points, and Guardiola was happy to get the win considering Leeds had the whole World Cup break to prepare for the fixture.
“We played really well against this team in this stadium,” he said. “We made a great performance in the second half when they were a bit more open.
“After the World Cup, nobody knows how we were going to react and the way Leeds were playing lately. Today with the ball we were brilliant.”
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