Rodri’s late decisive goal secured Manchester City a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sheffield United, propelling them to the top of the Premier League standings.
In the dying minutes of the match, City’s midfielder struck a shot from within the penalty area, mere moments after Blades’ substitute Jayden Bogle had equalized with an 85th-minute goal to cancel out Erling Haaland’s header earlier in the second half.
The game concluded with a frenetic finish, despite City’s domination throughout the match. Haaland, who missed a penalty in the first half, proved instrumental again as he nodded in the opening goal.
However, Rodri’s strike ultimately shattered Sheffield United’s resilient defense, sealing an important win for City and marking Pep Guardiola’s 200th Premier League victory as he continues to recover from back surgery in Barcelona.
City vs. Sheffield: How it all went down
Guided by assistant coach Juanma Lillo while Guardiola recuperates, City took just 12 minutes to create their initial chance, with Haaland heading straight at Blades’ goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
City was allowed to take the lead when Alvarez’s cross struck John Egan’s arm, leading to a penalty. However, Haaland’s left-footed spot-kick struck the post, keeping the score level.
The first half saw Blades’ defender George Baldock receive a booking for a robust challenge on Jack Grealish, and the half-time whistle sounded with a score of 0-0, accompanied by a standing ovation from the home fans.
Shortly after the second half commenced, Haaland narrowly missed a chance from Kyle Walker’s cross. City’s urgency grew, and Rodri’s low attempt veered wide. Foderingham came to Sheffield United’s rescue again, parrying Haaland’s dinked shot for a corner, and Alvarez’s strike from Grealish’s setup narrowly missed the mark.
Walker then fired over the crossbar, and City finally broke through in the 63rd minute. Grealish delivered a well-placed cross to the far post, where Haaland headed in his third league goal of the season with a commanding header.
Sheffield United responded, with substitute Oli McBurnie heading wide from a corner. Meanwhile, Foderingham thwarted Mateo Kovacic’s free-kick at the other end.
Amidst the electric atmosphere at Bramall Lane, substitute Bogle’s well-placed shot found the net inside the far post in the 85th minute, equalizing for Sheffield United after Walker’s earlier mishap.
However, the match’s pace remained relentless, and Walker redeemed himself by overpowering Larouci on the wing. His subsequent cross was struck home by Rodri, following a mis-control by Phil Foden.
In the dying moments, Blades’ Anel Ahmedhodzic narrowly missed a chance to equalize again from McBurnie’s cross, but City held firm, securing their perfect start to the season in front of a crowd of 31,336.