Leeds United 3 Rotherham 0
The sign of top side is that it does what it is supposed to; sees off supposedly lesser teams efficiently and competes on equal terms with other top sides. We have now passed sufficient tests this season to be able to confirm that we are indeed top side in this year’s Championship. The only sides to have beaten us in our current run since the last international break are Newcastle and Brighton and Liverpool of course (and we might have beaten them with better luck on the day) in the League Cup. The rest we have disposed of except Villa the other day when we refused the couple of chances they proffered to us. We are clearly a top side.
Not that an alien visiting Eland Road in the first half would have realised that; such a visitor might well have concluded that Rotherham were the side fighting near the top for a play-off spot, not Leeds. We have had spells in games even during this good run when we have looked out of sorts for whatever reason – it sometimes almost looks as if some of our players have been given the wrong hymn sheet – and the first half against Rotherham was such a spell. Once Garry Monk got hold of them at half-time, made a couple of tactical changes and checked they all had the right instructions, they came out and showed their quality and efficiently disposed of a clearly struggling Rotherham side.
Once again it took Captain Cool, Kyle Bartley to get our ball rolling with another fine headed goal but once it went in Leeds looked likely to get the bag full we all expected. Had the post not denied Pablo late on then I’d have got my 4 – 0 bet up at 16/1… Chris Wood weighed in with two more goals that ought to ensure he easily surpasses the 20 goal target this season. His second and 16th for the season was a tap in that just needed him to be alert but his first was a quality strike from a man in form and I’m ready to admit again that he has made me eat my words about him in recent months.
Most of the top sides are now regularly winning games so it is vital that we hang on to the leading bunch. There will be slip ups as Newcastle found out today in losing at home to Blackburn and as long as we continue to beat the sides below us we should be there or thereabouts come May. That play-off final in on Monday 29th May if anyone wants to just make a note in their diaries!
Leeds Utd Rotherham
Possession 63% 37%
Shots 9 11
On Target 4 2
Corners 4 7
Fouls 8 10