Leeds Utd 0
22nd January 2023, Premier League.
I had this down as a must-win game at 2 pm today, but by 4 pm I’d already persuaded myself that a point and a clean sheet against a side currently sat above Liverpool and Chelsea in the table and one that had gone eight league games without defeat, was actually OK! More than OK!
The performance is also something to take heart from; Leeds were undisputedly the better side all afternoon and the stats tend to support that view with Leeds managing five good attempts on the Bees’ goal and giving away none on our own. Only the brilliance of David Raya (why do all keepers always perform well against us?) kept out cracking efforts by Rodrigo and Gnonto and lesser efforts from Aaronson and Rodrigo again.
Most encouraging though was the clean sheet and a performance in which our defence gave away no gift goals nor committed any calamitous errors. We looked solid throughout and Max Wober has maintained his record of never seeing a goal conceded in his, admittedly, short time on the pitch since his arrival. The only attempt that came near to requiring Illan Meslier to intervene was a decent shot in the first half that cannoned off Robin Koch's bonce. The pairing of Max Wober with Robin Koch looked secure and Max was also prepared to try his luck with a fairly decent free-kick while Pascal Struijk looked back to his best after a couple of dodgy games and, on the other side, Luke Ayling also seemed more like his old self.
Chances were limited and there was none of the swashbuckling attacking we saw against Cardiff but, again, we must put that down to the respective qualities of the Welsh and the Londoners.
We sort of put the league campaign on ice again now while we play our 4th round FA Cup tie, hopefully, next weekend, though we won’t know whether that will be Accrington or Boreham Wood until Tuesday night – weather permitting. As I’ve said before, my preference would be a trip down to Meadow Park in Hertfordshire from the purely selfish aspect that I’ve never been there and I might one day need to include it in my “92” as ‘The Wood’ are in with a chance of promotion this season to the Football League.
Whomever it proves to be, we need to win that convincingly, continue to build some momentum and then go to the City Ground and get that overdue league win against Forest. Lots of work to do but most signals appear to be positive ones at the moment! That cup tie will surely see Georginio Rutter in action for a first start too, and hopefully, his acquisition further boosts our already strong attacking armoury. Whether the addition of just Max for our flaky defence is enough, only time will tell.
Possession 59% 41%
Shots 9 6
On Target 5 0
Corners 2 3
Fouls 10 18