Leeds United 1 (Raphinha 26)
Leicester City 1 (Barnes 28)
That was more like it folks! The old intensity was there and this time it was there for 90 minutes. It wasn’t the perfect display by any means, but if the football gods handed out points based on quality of performance; we’d have won that game hands down! If they handed out points based on the crowd’s contribution we’d also have won that as well! The Elland Road crowd was once again immense.
Right from the start this was the Bielsaball rip-roaring and dominating performance we’ve been waiting to see all season and one that finally lasted for the full 90 minutes, non-stop; everyone looked up for it, the quick high press was back to its disruptive best and a very good Leicester City side was made to look very ordinary indeed.
Raphinha was my Man of the Match - as he usually is of course - but other than too many wasteful final balls from Jack Harrison, who I thought had a bit of a mare, and some wayward shooting, it was hard to fault anyone: everyone looked back to their scintillating best. A special word too for Adam Forshaw who I thought was outstanding and, alongside Kalvin Phillips seemed to provide a very secure and powerful midfield that gave little away and was quick to get it back if they did!
Why wasn’t it perfect? Well, enough chances came and went to have won a couple of games and, whilst it was good to rack up 18 attempts, it is not good enough to be only hitting the target with five of them. Too many shots cleared the crossbar. We really ought to be making more of our own corners too; ten of those came and went in this game, providing hardly a chance. Giving an equaliser away so soon after taking the lead was also a bit of a downer, we did the same only last week, albeit whereas at Norwich it was of our own making, at least the shot Harvey Barnes came up with was in the worldie category! We should have closed him down better than we did but it was without question a fabulous shot.
On the positive side, we dealt with four of the five Leicester corners better than we’ve done of late and, but for a couple of very Keystone Cops defensive moments, giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous situations, defensively we kept Vardy and Co. pretty quiet. The one corner we didn’t deal with ended up in our net of course but that’s what VAR is for, to spot offsides.
I had this game down as a draw so, I can’t be too disappointed with the result but it was a performance deserving of all three points really. If we can play like this once the season resumes again then I think we can look forward to plenty of points in this next run of games , a run that only two weeks ago looked distinctly worrying! We’re back folks, I don’t know where we’ve been hiding it, but let’s just rejoice that it’s back!
Leeds Utd Leicester C
Possession 56% 44%
Shots 18 9
On Target 5 3
Corners 10 5
Fouls Committed 12 5