Leeds United 1 Norwich City 0
The name of this game was win at all costs; it was another game against a side languishing at the wrong end of the table and we’d beaten most of the other sides down there already this season even though we’ve found it tougher against sides further up the Championship. We just have to make sure we get as many points as possible in this run we’re now in against what look to be poor sides.
Norwich were no pushovers and yet, had that Samu Saiz solo effort sneaked an inch further left we’d have probably run out comfortable winners by two goals to nil. Such are these fine margins that we constantly see in this division. Norwich shaded the possession, goal attempts and the ones that found the target but Leeds got the goal and the one other great chance in the game. We are once again starting to look professional in the way we are despatching these so called lesser sides (with apologies to Norwich but they are struggling in 16th place at the moment); we’re taking our chances, we’re using our set pieces to much better effect and we’re protecting our keeper from having too much to do, with Pontus Jansson immense at both ends of the pitch again today.
I didn’t think Thomas Christiansen would be bold enough to start Cibicki today, even after the good showing he put up at Loftus Road last weekend. I felt sure TC would play conservatively and go back to using the four midfield players now that Pablo was fit again at least until he’d seen what the Canaries had to offer. But he did go with Cibicki and in this case fortune favoured the brave as it was Cibicki who swung in the free kick for the goal as well as delivering several other good set piece balls. That’s another area where maybe the recruitment of a set piece specialist shows again how we are becoming more professional in our approach. Long may it continue.
So, we file this one away and we move on to next Saturday and another game against a side in the bottom third of the table. We’ve now beaten seven of the current bottom nine sides with the two exceptions being those perennial thorns in our side, Millwall, and Hull City who we’ve yet to face. They visit Elland Road next Saturday and we need to ensure there are no slip ups. A win in that game and we are guaranteed to be in the top six on Christmas Day, at the half way point of the season. How can I guarantee that you ask? Well, Villa play Sheffield United so they can’t both get three points! And why is that important I hear you ask? Well, if you look at the top six from Christmas Day last season, five of them were in the top six come the end of the season. The one difference was that Leeds had that dire end of season and we dropped out while Fulham had a terrific second half to the season and climbed above us. So, no guarantees of course, but I’d be far happier if we’re in that top six this time next week. Fingers Crossed!
Leeds Utd Norwich C
Possession 44% 56%
Shots 12 14
On Target 3 4
Corners 5 4
Fouls 16 16