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Leeds Utd                3 (Roberts 80, Gray 83, Bamford 90+4)

Leicester City           1 (Faes 15)


23rd February, 2024, EFL Championship.


What an incredible game of football! What incredible scenes of jubilation at Elland Road, probably the most manic scenes I’ve witnessed there since that Bristol Rovers game that took us into the Championship all those years ago!

And yet, for 80 minutes Leeds were not really at the races and most things we’d tried had gone wrong. There were a couple of early missed chances and there were a couple from Leicester too but then, on 15 minutes, we succumbed to a goal from a corner that had 2023 Leeds written all over it. An out-swinging corner from the left, a near post header from the troublesome Patson Daka and there was Faes coming in unseen and unmarked at the back post to head home. It was a weakness we saw from Leeds a lot early in the season and it was disappointing to see it again this time.

Much of the rest of the first half saw two sides cancelling each other out but there was no fluency from Leeds largely due to Georginio being unable to keep the ball. He tried his trademark turn half a dozen times but not once did it work and at other times he would be dispossessed far too easily by a quick-pressing Leicester side that looked more like us on a good day.

The second half started in much the same fashion and Leeds have an assistant ref to thank for chalking off a perfectly good goal for the Foxes that would surely have wrapped up the game. Once again it came from a corner on the Leicester left. Vestergaard rose highest to thunder a header that crashed against the bar and at that point, Daka was clearly onside. The ball then cannoned off Georginio and Daka sneaked in from behind to stick the ball in the net. Up went the flag but it looks like a clear error by the liner.

This was a game in which I wondered if we would finally succumb to something untoward; a poor ref’s call, a red card, a deflection or maybe a silly shooting in the foot action such as we saw a lot last year. I just felt we were due some bad luck. In fact though,  Leeds had all the luck and Leicester precious little! It is almost as if the football gods are determined to get us out of the Championship despite Sky TV seemingly wanting us to stay there to continue to boost their viewing figures!

The offside call was a stroke of luck but there was also an element of luck about all three Leeds goals! It took Georginio until the 80th minute to finally get something to go right as he scuffed and scraped his way through the Leicester box, going past four defenders before cutting the ball back from the byline. The ball then hit a defender and fell just about perfectly for Conor Roberts to rifle home his first goal just minutes after coming on! I think many of us would have settled for 1 – 1 but not this Leeds team! Roared on by a manic home crowd Leeds suddenly found some urgency and they do say the harder you work the luckier you’ll get. When Georginio again got involved, again somehow bulldozing his way past and around defenders to find Archie Gray, Archie decided it was well worth buying a ticket for the lottery. His left foot strike cannoned off the boot of one defender and then the knee of Faes sent it looping past the keeper who was by now totally wrong footed! Cue more wild celebrations from the fans and young Archie. This was his first goal for the club, assuming it’s not taken off him by the dubious goals panel!

As if all that wasn’t enough for the now dispirited Foxes they then had to suffer another deflection as a Dan James free kick was knocked past the keeper by the well-placed knee of Patrick Bamford! I can only hope that we haven’t used up too much of our 2024 luck allocation as we may still need a bit more sometime during the Championship run-in.

At the end of the day you have to say the one characteristic we showed in spades was determination. Had Leicester shown the same determination they would probably have seen the game out but they appeared to think it was job done when they took off most of their striking power. For Leeds, the arrival of Patrick Bamford and Dan James onto the pitch gave us something very different and ultimately the Pace of James and the unconventional pressing from Bamford was enough to snare the Foxes, that and Georginio finally coming good. He so reminds me of the way Pablo used to play the game, I used to call it omelettes – you have to break a few eggs to make one and you have to try a few unlikely runs and turns and passes sometimes before one comes off and creates a chance.

This is a fine Leicester team, let’s not forget that, and we’ve done the double over them. Yes, we had a bit of luck today, but we stuck in there and found a way. That should be the toughest game out of the way and we ought to take great heart and confidence from the game for the rest of this incredible season. Huddersfield here we come… let’s not worry too much about that trip to Stamford Bridge!

        Game Statistics:


              Leeds U    Leicester C


  Possession    60%         40%

  Shots             15            16

  On Target        4              5

  Corners           2              5

  Fouls             15             11

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