Hull City 0
Leeds United 4 (Ayling 5, Hernandez 47, Roberts 81, 84)
Wow! That was some second half performance! In the end we’ve recorded our best away win since the 4 – 0 demolition of Nottingham Forest back in 2011, the ‘Gary Speed’ game, but at half time I’m sure many fans, like me, were concerned that we weren’t actually playing that well!
The first half saw some sloppy play from us with way too many passes going astray despite the early Luke Ayling goal, courtesy of a wicked and deceptive deflection. That shot should be a reminder to Leeds that it’s always worth pulling the trigger, you really never know what might happen! Pablo Hernandez was unlucky to find the woodwork shortly after the goal too but then even Pablo’s usually visionary passing game seemed somewhat stilted while too often we meekly handed the ball back to the home side. I’m sure Grant McCann would have been relatively happy to go in just the one goal down and, apart from that opening ten minutes, always being in the game.
The early second half goal from our Spanish Maestro, turning quickly to speer home a clever little pass from the ever improving Helder Costa, seemed to rip the heart out of the previously buoyant Tigers and from that point on there was only ever going to be one outcome.
I do wonder though whether we’d have scored the third and fourth goals had we continued with Patrick Bamford up front. Bamford didn’t get any clear sights of goal today and, to be honest, his famed hold up play wasn’t that clever either. He still looks like a man haunted by his many missed chances this season and the constant stream of free kicks he gives away from his annoying habit of holding his marker behind his back, is starting to annoy and frustrate in equal measure. It may well have been an inspired piece of thinking by Marcelo Bielsa to replace Bamford with the very eager looking Tyler Roberts just after the hour mark. While Bamford had the look of the haunted, Roberts had the look of a man with something to prove and he did just that with a couple of well taken goals. Would Bamford have taken those chances? That’s the beauty of the game: we’ll never know!
Costa and Klich should probably have done better with their chances and Jack Harrison can count himself unlucky to have found woodwork and not netting with a fine long range shot before we saw Tyler give us a finishing master class. At the other end, it might also have been a different last twenty minutes had Norbert Balogh’s shot gone in rather than hitting the right post. Equally though Harrison and Costa again hit much better shots that George Long did well to keep out. It could have been a cricket score!
The two that Roberts did get were exquisite finishes: firstly smashing home a neat lay-back by Matty Klich and then leaping like the proverbial salmon to nod home another perfect Klich assist.
As always, all that really matters is the result and another three points on a day when Fulham beat Preston to keep that gap at just 5 points was all important. The dominance of that second half display though, albeit against a poor looking Hull City that lost all heart, will give us all, fans and players alike, encouragement that we can go on to claim many more wins like this one. Another against our rivals from just down the M62 next Saturday and we can almost smell those Premier League prawn sandwiches!
Hull City Leeds Utd
Possession 33% 67%
Shots 8 17
On Target 2 8
Corners 5 11
Fouls Committed 13 13