Hull City 0
Leeds United 1
At the end of the day the most important thing about that trip to Hull was that we came home with three points – something we have done all too rarely in recent seasons. The first half performance was also pretty damn good and if our finishing had been better (how many times have we said that recently?) we’d have had the game won by half time.
As it was, we were again reckless in the way we spurned opportunities in front of goal throughout the first half and too often seemed to want to walk the ball home rather than having a pop at the first sight of goal.
Early in the second half, with Tyler Roberts jinking his way across the edge of the Hull area and thousands of Leeds fans crying out “Shoot for f*** sake”, he finally did just that and hey presto, the ball was in the corner of the net. That should have been the signal for Leeds to go on and significantly improve our goal difference but, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. For the first time this season I actually thought Leeds looked tired and, despite another possession dominating 67% stat, we actually created little more than Hull did with their meagre possession – 11 attempts to their 10 and 4 corners to their 3 – and both sides recorded just a single shot on target in the whole 90 minutes. Fortunately Roberts struck gold with ours and Bailey Peacock-Farrell stopped theirs.
But looking at the positive side of things again, we went to Hull a few days later than Middlesbrough and whereas they came away with 1 point, we have the three and, as I mentioned, in the first half I thought we played some fabulous football again. It was also encouraging to hear yet another opposition manager sing our praises as Nigel Adkins confessed after the game “We've probably played against one of the best teams in the Championship I've seen in many years. They are going to take teams to the cleaners this season.” After all, these are the people who should know.
Another hurdle cleared successfully and so we quickly turn our attentions to Saturday lunchtime and another tricky looking fixture, this time against the buzzing Bees from Brentford. We know that none of our crop of injured players will be available again, Bielsa told us so in the Hull press conference, but I do wonder if we’d be better served by making a few changes to just freshen things up. Gjanni Alioski was again pretty wasteful with a lot of the ball he had last night and he is so lightweight in a challenge that I do wonder if there is a change we could make there – maybe use Stuart Dallas for a change or possibly throw Jack Clarke in to see what he could do. Having said that I’d still expect Bielsa to stick with the same starting XI and, no one will argue with that either if we can replicate our first half Hull performance rather than the second half one. As always it will be another fascinating Championship encounter.
Hull City Leeds Utd
Possession 33% 67%
Shots 10 11
On Target 1 1
Corners 3 4
Fouls 13 9