Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 2: YEP jury verdicts

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 2-1 victory at Bolton Wanderers.

KEITH INGHAM

Lewis Cook gets away from Bolton's Dorian Dervite.

Lewis Cook gets away from Bolton's Dorian Dervite.

Leeds progressed to the fifth round with a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers but it wasn’t without a few scares before the referee blew the final whistle.

Steve Evans changed the team against Bolton for the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Macron Stadium in Bolton. In came Sol Bamba for the injured Liam Cooper, Mirco Antenucci for Chris Wood and Toumani Diagouraga replaced Luke Murphy. It looked like a 4-4-2, but with Evans you never know and, as the game progressed, it was a 4-2-3-1.

Bolton were first to show but both Madine’s and Pratley’s efforts caused few problems for Marco Silvestri. Leeds went in front shortly after, man-of-the-moment Souleymane Doukara getting on the end of a superb Stuart Dallas cross. They nearly doubled the lead but for a fantastic save by Amos, when Cook laid the ball back to Antenucci.

This is what nearly 7,000 fans travelled across the Pennines for. Leeds looked really good and, apart from the odd scare, were well on top.

Diagouraga doubled the lead just before the break when set up by Antenucci. A great first 45 minutes by Leeds.

In the second half, although Madine had an early chance, both Taylor and Wootton were wasteful with chances that were created for them to extend the visitors’ lead, and, as in a few games when Leeds have been on top, the opponents gradually came back into the game. Bellusci blocked a Bolton effort before Pratley gave the home side a lifeline when a corner was headed on to him with less than 10 minutes still to play.

Worse could have followed but for a smart stop from Silvestri when he saved goalscorer Pratley’s goal-bound effort, Madine hitting the Leeds post from the rebound. Leeds hung on for the last few minutes to win. Not for the first time Leeds could have been punished by not finishing off teams when they had the opportunity.

The sight of Scott Wootton in a no4 shirt with the captain’s armband on caused a few comments, maybe unfairly on social media.

Leeds through to the fifth round for only the second time in 13 years, the last being in 2008 after beating Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road to get there. A great first half nearly spoiled by a failure to continue it in the second period. When will they play for the full 90 minutes instead of parts of games?

This game should have been over before Bolton had the chance to get back into it.

Superb support by nearly 7,000 fans.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds moved into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a win over an ailing Bolton Wanderers side which was made a little more uncomfortable than it should have been.

Steve Evans seems to have discovered the right formation after United’s first-half display saw them totally dominate proceedings. The comfort blanket of Liam Bridcutt and Diagouraga in front of the back four allowed United’s attacking players the freedom to express themselves.

In particular it seemed to release the shackles on Lewis Cook and he produced a dominant display, which showed what a talent he can be. If he can add goals to his game we will have a class act on our hands.

Leeds were home and hosed before half-time and, despite Bolton’s late fightback which saw them come within a whisker of earning a replay, United are into the hat for the last 16.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

MATTHEW EVANS

It wouldn’t have been Leeds if they hadn’t had to hold on to a narrow lead for the last 10 minutes of the game would it?

The final whistle brought us a deserved place in the fifth round of the cup and another meaningful game when league interest is slipping away.

Steve Evans picked out some good signs: Lewis Cook was excellent in a forward role and Diagouraga, along with Bridcutt, brought great presence in the centre. Doukara is finding consistency and Taylor put in his standard quality performance at left-back. We shouldn’t get too carried away; Bolton were very poor. But if Evans can add a striker it could be a comfortable end to the season – the best we can hope for.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

JAMES HARRISON

What a first-half performance! We showed real class and the Lewis Cook doubters were silenced as he proved how sensational he is. Though the players got nervous towards the end, it was all about getting into the hat for the next round.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

DAVID WATKINS

This was as comfortable as it gets with Leeds United! 2-0 up away from home and cruising. Okay, we then conceded in the final 10 minutes and it had all the hallmarks of another Leeds United capitulation for a while, but we got there this time and we are safely through to the fifth round.

Souleymane Doukara is fast-making his name as a regular goalscorer and fully justified the praise heaped upon him by Steve Evans, while Toumani Diagouraga got a debut goal and looks a very useful aquisition! With a top-six finish in the Championship looking a very long shot, perhaps progress in the cup is a more viable proposition.

Man of the match: Souleymane Doukara.

GARY NEWBOULD

United progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup at a freezing Bolton. An impressive first half saw the Whites go two goals to the good through Doukara and new boy “Dave” Diagouraga who was impressive throughout.

A late sloppy concession saw the customary last ten minutes of panic stations but United deservedly progressed to the last sixteen.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.

Man-of-the-match goalscorer, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Simon Hulme

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