Wigan Athletic 0
Leeds United 2 (Bamford 34,65)
I have a feeling I may be in the minority with this summary as the majority of reports I’ve already seen have been glowing. For me, this performance today was a bit stodgy, a bit lacking in the fluency we have come to know and love from this Bielsa inspired team of ours. Too many promising attacks came to nothing today and such chances as we created were seldom clear cut. I thought we lacked pace and movement particularly down each flank where we had plenty of ball. But a win is a win and that leaves us top of the pile tonight.
We dominated of course, we always do anyway, but with Wigan down to ten as early as the 21st minute they were always going to have to rely on a pauper’s share of the ball from that point onwards. Up ‘til then the Latics looked bright and a real handful and Kiko did well to punch away an early free kick and then we rode our luck as a ball glanced across the face of goal before being hacked away.
It may well have been another tiresome performance from another fussy referee that spoiled the flow of the game; an astonishing 36 fouls were blown for by Andy Madley today when the usual number is around 22! It could also have something to do with the pitch which looked OK from the stands but which hosted the Wigan Warriors less than 24 hours earlier.
Whatever the reason, for me, we were far more fluent at Bristol and against Forest last week and yet we were still pretty comfortable. It is going to be a long hard season for the Latics I’d suggest.
For Leeds no single player stood out, Pablo Hernandez was marginally my choice as MOTM simply for the fact he, as always, provided moments of quality on the ball. No player played badly either but too often we were in promising wide positions but the resulting cross was either blocked or over hit and too often the final ball was poor.
Patrick Bamford is not usually known as a “Johnny on the Spot” but he’ll have received a confidence boost from his poacher’s brace today and another good show of support and encouragement from the travelling fans. The defence was pretty much untroubled yet again and has yet to be put under any sustained pressure this season; long may that continue.
So, a win is a win as they say and, a look at the Championship table tonight tells us we are right where we need to be: at the top regardless of what happens in tomorrow’s game between Reading and Cardiff. I reckon we will need to be back to our fluent best on Wednesday night though if we are to still be there at the end of round 4 of games. Standing in our way will be the Bees of Brentford and a certain brick-heading Swede!
Wigan Ath Leeds United
Possession 24% 76%
Shots 6 20
On Target 2 6
Corners 6 6
Fouls Committed 17 19