Bristol City 0 Leeds United 3
Goodness me! This Leeds squad certainly makes forecasting results a perilous task! I was convinced we’d lose this game; I just couldn’t see how we could pick up our form and improve quickly enough on our recent poor displays to compete with a Bristol City side unbeaten in 10 league games and scoring goals for fun. But that’s the beauty of football; a team’s fortunes can change in the blink of an eye if it gets the right players on the pitch in the right frame of mind.
In hindsight, I suppose the signs were there that did point to us having a better chance than many thought. Thomas Christiansen finally came to the same conclusion as many of us fans by having a good look at the way we were setting our stall out in midfield. Often overrun there in recent games, he decided to strengthen that area by playing a four man engine room and most crucially including Ronnie Vieira as one of them. I said in my notes last week following the Reading game: “…if fit give Ronaldo Vieira a chance; after all, we saw last season that the lad has the cohonas the size of a randy bull elephant. He may be just the tonic we need.” My results forecasting may be crap but that sentence looks spot on after today’s evidence!
We were also helped a bit no doubt by Lady Luck; she gave us a tremendous early boost by directing the ball, following a blocked Kalvin Phillips tackle, right into the path of PM Lasogga and then nicely deflecting a Samu Saiz shot past the home keeper. I’m a firm believer though that you make your own luck and the goal really came about from the vastly better pressing and harrying we saw today from the whole of the Leeds side and an alertness to take the chances offered.
Another factor we shouldn’t overlook is that this was a weakened Bristol side from the one that has carried all before it in recent weeks. They had five changes from the side that drew 0 – 0 with Burton last weekend due to various illnesses and injuries. We can only beat what is put in front of us of course but let’s just keep that in mind when we line up against Sheffield United on Friday night. The match stats suggested that there wasn’t actually much between the two sides today with the only noticeable advantage Leeds had being a more clinical finishing ratio of 5 shots on target from 13 attempts and it has to be said that the timing of the three goals today was almost perfect … certainly from the point of view of our fans’ nerves!
So, let’s not get carried away this time (I know I did in those heady early days this season) but let’s just celebrate the fact that TC appears to have gotten together an XI today that not only looked more of a balanced unit but was also clearly possessed with an enthusiasm for the cause that had perhaps gone missing since that fateful trip to the Den.
Bristol City Leeds Utd
Possession 59% 41%
Shots 12 13
On Target 2 5
Corners 6 3
Fouls 11 14