Leeds United 2 Derby County 0: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Stephen Warnock.
Stephen Warnock.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 2-0 victory over Derby County

MATTHEW EVANS

It was a real measure of the progression made under Neil Redfearn that, when things finally clicked on Saturday, it was against the team currently topping the table.

There were fantastic performances right across the United side but it shouldn’t be considered an anomaly. A goal either side of half-time and a clean sheet was clinical but the way the team played wasn’t a huge step up or wildly different to previous games. We simply found the net at the right times and kept our concentration for a full 90 minutes.

The opening exchanges had some worrying signs, a little bit of panic was apparent as Derby’s power threatened to make a breakthrough while the referee’s decision to brandish a number of early yellow cards left several Leeds players walking a tightrope for much of the game.

Slowly we grew into the game and started to match Derby as well as stringing some quality together ourselves.

Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, who look like they’ve gained a full season’s experience with every game, were at the heart of everything. Further forward, Adryan was having his best game to date in a white shirt and Souleymane Doukara and Mirco Antenucci were testing Derby’s backline.

Antenucci’s tireless efforts up front have been a highlight of the season so far and he was rewarded with two fantastic goals either side of the break. The first came after some excellent work from Mowatt and the second was an even better assist from Stephen Warnock bombing forward from left-back.

Antenucci dispatched both with aplomb and ensured Leeds only had to remain tight at the back for a valuable three points.

Neil Redfearn took a gamble by dropping Jason Pearce but was left vindicated by the clean sheet.

Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper rode their luck at times but Marco Silvestri barely had a save to make in the Leeds goal.

Pearce’s replacement as captain, Stephen Warnock, was imperious; organising the defence and dovetailing well with Cooper while also linking up well in attack.

Warnock’s last-ditch challenge to prevent a Derby chance late on typified his performance.

We can go to Ipswich next week with real optimism, the next step for Redfearn is to translate our home form into picking up points on the road but that seems almost inevitable with the steady progress being made and the experience that the young players are gaining with every match.

The most heartening thing from Saturday’s performance was how visibly the previous week’s collapse at Blackburn had influenced the team’s determination not to let it happen again.

Keep learning those lessons and we’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the second half of the season.

Man of the match: Stephen Warnock.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds put in a impressive display to beat Derby 2-0 for their first win over the Rams since 2005.

Derby started the better but it was Leeds who had the first sight of goal, Antenucci flashing a shot over the bar.

Rams keeper Lee Grant saved Mowatt’s effort, while Antenucci fired high into the South Stand. Leeds though went ahead when Mowatt found Antenucci and the Italian made no mistake from inside the penalty area.

Within minutes of the second half starting, Leeds doubled their lead, Antenucci firing in again after superb work by Stephen Warnock.

Leeds continued to dominate the match, Sam Byram and Antenucci having efforts on the Derby goal.

Rudy Austin replaced Tommaso Bianchi with 20 minutes to play, Simon Dawkins gave the visitors encouragement but hit his effort over Silvestri’s goal.

Warnock saved a certain goal with a brilliantly timed tackle and Antenucci nearly got his hat-trick but Grant foiled him when he blocked his effort.

Everything that Redfearn had called for from his team was evident on Saturday. Strong in defence, very busy in the midfield and Antenucci took his goals brilliantly.

So glad the Leeds fan writing this was totally wrong with his pre-match prediction! A great team performance.

Man of the match: Stephen Warnock.

STEPHEN CLARK

If you are going to end a 13-match winless run against an opponent, then Leeds United did it in style by dispatching the league leaders, Derby County, in an enthralling 2-0 win.

The Whites responded to a crackling atmosphere inside Elland Road to produce a brilliant display and move away from the teams at the foot of the table.

After a shaky opening to the game, Leeds grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and took charge of the midfield, where Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook totally outshone the highly-rated Will Hughes.

Chances were at a premium in the game, so despite having the best of the game, it was a relief when Leeds took the lead just before half-time, with Mirco Antenucci slotting home.

The second half was as absorbing as anything I’ve seen at Elland Road in a long time, and Antenucci’s second gave Leeds that little bit of breathing space.

After that Leeds always had the upper hand, and looked rock solid at the back, with Silvestri not having a save to make. Only once was the Leeds goal seriously threatened, and then Stephen Warnock capped a fine display with a goalline challenge which was worth a goal in itself.

Man of the match: To choose one would take away from a great team performance.

GARY NEWBOULD

After a wait of over nine years, United finally registered a victory over Derby County at Elland Road. The Whites thoroughly deserved the victory against the league leaders with a goal either side of half-time from Mirco Antenucci sending the 26,000 crowd into raptures.

Man of the match: Stephen Warnock.

JAMES HARRISON

I have never been as happy to see my prediction be wrong.

After the first 10 minutes, I thought my 2-0 Derby County victory was looking like a good bet but as soon as we got a foothold in the game, we were the better team.

We created a lot of chances against a strong side and that is something that will please Neil Redfearn the most. Stephen Warnock was terrific and again he made some outstanding last-ditch tackles.

Mirco Antenucci is one of the best signings we have made in years; he scores goals and works extremely hard for the team and he is forming a good partnership with Souleymane Doukara. On to Ipswich!

Man of the match: Stephen Warnock.

JONATHAN FORD

after nine years of waiting, a win against Derby is here, and against the best team in the league makes it even sweeter. We were outstanding and played them off the park. When the opposition manager says they wouldn’t have scored if they’d played until midnight, it shows me how well we played.

Man of the match: Stephen Warnock.

Rob Green, centre, looks like staying at Elland Road.

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