Leeds United 5 Huddersfield Town 1: YEP jury verdict

Luke Murphy (left) and Sam Byram (right) tackle  Huddersfield's Paul Dixon. PIC: PA
Luke Murphy (left) and Sam Byram (right) tackle Huddersfield's Paul Dixon. PIC: PA
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The YEP jury have their say after Leeds United’s 5-1 win against Huddersfield Town at Elland Road.

MICHAEL HEMSWORTH

If you were to script the events at Leeds United over the past few days and pitch it as a storyline for Dream Team, you would be laughed at for creating something too far-fetched even for them.

To summarise, on Friday night the story broke of Brian McDermott’s sacking. Our captain called Sky Sports News to express his dismay at the news. Fans blockaded the prospective new owner inside the ground. Directors were sacked or left in protest. Two major sponsors pulled out. The club was in tatters.

On Saturday morning, the club finally broke its silence to announce an agreed 75 per cent sale to Massimo Cellino. Rumours were afoot that the club wanted Brian McDermott back. Gianluca Festa was due to be in the dugout, then he wasn’t.

As we approached kick-off, the stadium broke into a defiant chorus of “oh Brian McDermott”. The players, inspired by the atmosphere, started brightly. Cameron Stewart should have given Leeds the lead but fired wide when through on goal. Huddersfield came back and took a deserved lead. Had Nahki Wells brought his shooting boots they would have been out of sight by half-time.

Instead, a free-kick fell kindly for the skipper who fired home an equaliser. Somehow, Leeds went into the interval on terms.

Then, the craziest part of this ludicrous weekend happened. A Leeds United side, without a win since December, amidst the backdrop of all of this chaos, played the best football they have done all season. Jimmy Kebe, a man transformed from his Ipswich display, gave us the lead with a deft finish. Ross McCormack put the transfer window speculation behind him and completed his second hat-trick of the season.

Alex Mowatt signalled his return to form with a lovely lobbed finish.

For the first time in nearly three years, Leeds had put five past somebody. There were inspired performances in the second half from the likes of Sam Byram, Rudy Austin and Luke Murphy. Make no mistake, this was a performance for McDermott.

He set this formation up the previous day and the players did their (former?) boss proud.

The announcement mid-way through the second half that McDermott was still in charge topped off the strangest 24 hours in the history of this club.

While the result was a welcome distraction from off the field wranglings, in reality the club remains in limbo.

Leeds don’t play at Elland Road again until March 8.

If this much chaos can be caused in a few days, I dread to think what state we will be in by then.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds fired back to winning ways with a 5-1 hammering of local rivals Huddersfield Town.

Things are never simple with Leeds United as the preceding day showed when the club was ‘sold’ and Brian McDermott ‘sacked’ – crazy does not even go close to describing it.

Back to football, Nigel Gibbs brought in Luke Murphy and changed the formation to a 4-3-3.

Leeds were soon on the back foot and it was Huddersfield who came closest to scoring. The opener had to come and on 25 minutes Ward scored beating Kenny.

Town then went for more goals and by half-time could have been out of sight but incredibly Leeds forced an injury-time equaliser through McCormack.

With the second half only minutes old, McCormack flicked on for Kebe to register his first in Leeds colours. Austin then ran through the midfield to play in Byram whose cross found McCormack to raise the Elland Road roof. Stewart then beat a defender to lay on McCormack’s hat-trick goal via an upright and better was to come when the Town keeper ran out and Mowatt got his first goal in a Leeds shirt with a delightful lob to make it five.

Brian McDermott, that was for you. Whether the man returns only he can say but the fans clearly want him to continue.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

JONATHAN FORD

I consider Saturday’s to be the best second-half performance I have seen in the past five years. We showed passion, fight determination and commitment which made me proud to watch. The players stood up at such a mind-boggling time and deserve all the credit.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

STEPHEN CLARK

If ever anyone doubted the power of the fans then Saturday’s display against Huddersfield Town following on from the events of Friday night should be used as evidence that we can make a difference.

The air of despondency surrounding Leeds last week meant that I could not have imagined a 5-1 win in my wildest dreams. Alex Mowatt’s sublime chip showed his genuine class but the third goal was my favourite, a classic counter ended with a quality finish by Ross McCormack. I was lustily singing Brian McDermott’s name at every available opportunity. Whether he will get the chance to be in the stadium to hear it sung again is the issue.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

ELLIOT BRANSBY

Wow, what a result and even by the standards of our recent history, we lived through a completely bizarre 24 hours. It was a great result but what’s going on behind the scenes is far more important and I am glad to see Brian McDermott back. That win was for you!

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

GARY NEWBOULD

After a turbulent week which ended with manager Brian McDermott being literally thrown out of the transfer window, finally some football emerged from the ongoing pantomime that is the takeover of Leeds United.

Whatever Nigel Gibbs and Neil Redfearn said at half-time certainly worked as the Whites produced some of their best football for years and goals came at regular intervals from Kebe, Mowatt and Ross McCormack who completed his second hat-trick of the season and also 50 goals for the club, again underlining why he must not be sold. The full-time whistle was followed by McDermott being re-instated although we were told he was never sacked.

Man of the match: Brian McDermott ‘posthumously’.

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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