Cardiff City 0 Leeds United 2: YEP jury verdicts

0
Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 2-0 victory at Cardiff City on Saturday.

MATTHEW EVANS

Luke Ayling.

Luke Ayling.

CLAIMING Back to back wins was the very best response to last Saturday’s poor show against Huddersfield and, while United clearly weren’t at their best at Cardiff, it wad an almost textbook away win.

It’s still early days for the team and it’s even earlier days for Pontus Jansson but he looks like an absolutely crucial signing. Gone is the roulette defending of Bamba and Bellusci and, in its place, is Jansson’s committed, no nonsense style that seems to be rubbing off on his fellow defenders and helping the confidence of Rob Green no end.

Saturday’s win was built on that defence in a fragmented first half where Cardiff had the better of the play and the chances. The referee frustrated our efforts to win the ball in one of the fussier displays of officiating we’ve seen so far this season. An inch-perfect tackle from Luke Ayling brought an unwarranted yellow card shortly before half-time and decisions were made, and then changed, seemingly on a mere whim.

United eventually grew into the game and, after the break, we looked the more likely to grab a goal but for some poor decision making in attack. That lack of incision meant it needed a penalty decision to break the deadlock and, pleasingly, that seemed to settle United’s forward play rather than prompt the usual 30-minute, backs-against-the-wall effort.

Those of us in the away end, part of a disappointing turnout by Leeds United standards, were elated by Pablo Hernandez’s fantastic strike and at finding ourselves 2-0 up away from home. It must have been equally sweet for our ex-Swansea contingent which includes Garry Monk, a man who has had his credentials questioned from the word go this season. You can see what he is trying to do and where the team is headed. The transformation in defence alone is a credit to the coaching team. Apply that approach to our attacking play and we can do very well.

This is a simple league that’s full of average teams and if we can retain that solidity and consistently nick a goal then that’s all it requires.

Owner, manager, players and fans alike must hold their nerve, carry on down this route and see how far we can get. More wins like Saturday’s and we’ll be at the right end of the table in May.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds returned home from Wales with three points ‘in the bag’, the 2-0 victory over Cardiff City was well deserved and will remove a little more pressure off Garry Monk.

Not at this stage that there should be any pressure on him anyway after such a short period. But remember this is a club owned by Massimo Cellino!

Cardiff started well and could have been two goals up in the first half, first Morrison was denied by a combination of the post and Robert Green, Gunnarsson’s goal-bound shot deflected off Peltier, hit the post and bounced clear. At the other end Pablo Hernandez and Chris Wood had great opportunities for Leeds to take the lead but both chances were not taken.

The hosts nearly went in front at the start of the second half, Pontus Jansson deflecting Lambert’s effort over the bar. The breakthrough came just after the hour, Connolly man-handling Jansson in the penalty box, earning Leeds a penalty that Wood despatched. Green blocked a Lambert effort on goal before both Wood and Roofe had efforts to extend the visitors lead, Hernandez should have given Wood a easy opportunity but elected to go for goal himself.

He atoned for it a minute later with a superb goal that flew past Amos.

First class displays from Bartley and Jansson at the back and Sacko and Hernandez in midfield. Wood’s coolly taken penalty and Hernandez’s wonderful strike sent the Leeds fans back home in a very happy mood.

Men of the match: Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson.

DAVID WATKINS
My 2–0 to Leeds forecast was based on the assumption Leeds would progress from the tight win over Blackburn, maintain the solidity in defence we have started to show, and that Cardiff would continue their dire run of form.

For once, Leeds played to the latest form book as did Cardiff. There were no particular positives in the first half which was probably shaded by the Bluebirds who struck woodwork twice, although Wood’s continued slack finishing annoyingly saw him fluff the best chance.

In the second half though, driven on by an inspired Pablo Hernandez, Leeds started to show glimpses of their counter-attacking best. It took a penalty to get us going – another brave decision by a referee trying to curb holding in the box – but thereafter Leeds attacked brightly and Pablo capped his display with a wonderful curling shot. Finally we have some momentum to build on… let’s keep it going!

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

GARY NEWBOULD

Football’s a strange business! After waiting 30 years to win in Wales, United made it two in a row with a thoroughly deserved victory on Saturday lunchtime. The three points were even more impressive as they were achieved without captain Liam Bridcutt, absent due to injury.

Whilst a Chris Wood strike and Pablo Hernandez “stunner” will make the headlines, this victory was built on a superb defensive performance with Pontus Jansson simply outstanding.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

STEPHEN CLARK

Could the BBC’s Adam Pope have rescued Garry Monk’s Elland Road career? By questioning if Leeds United had an identity following the 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield last weekend, he seems to have prompted the manager into action. And rather than trying to please everyone by forcing square pegs into 4-4-2 shaped holes, he appears to have decided that if he is going to go down, he will go down doing it his way.

Let’s not get carried away, there was still a lot of average play in Saturday’s win against Cardiff City, but there was also a lot to admire. Even in the first half when the Bluebirds had most of the play and hit the woodwork twice, Leeds managed to create real chances with very little of the ball. In the second half, the Whites were far the better side and thoroughly deserved their victory.

What is startlingly clear is that in Pontus Jansson, Leeds fans have a new hero. Throwing his body in the way of shots, heading everything away and looking comfortable in possession, the Whites have a rock solid centre-half and alongside Kyle Bartley have suddenly made Leeds look competent at the back.

Leeds are finding their identity again. Hard work, battling football is the first step and has seen us find our comfort placing in the lower mid-table. Let’s hope the next step is to start winning consistently. One can but dream.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

MIKE GILL
Charlton and Hunter, Whyte and Fairclough, Radebe and Woodgate. All of our successful sides had a strong central defensive pairing.

Bartley and Janssen are now providing some of that stability. In a lacklustre first half they handled everything that Cardiff threw at them. No longer is every corner cause for panic. The whole back four looked much more composed.

The hard work paid off in the second half with a well struck penalty from the tireless Wood and a brilliant solo effort from Hernandez who is now showing us why he is preferred to Mowatt.

A very good shift also from Sacko and O’Kane.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

Leeds United Live.

Bristol City v Leeds United: Press Conference LIVE