Leeds United 1 Norwich City 0: Whites clinical at set-piece and in defence to keep Canaries quiet - YEP jury

Man-of-the-match goalscorer, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Simon Hulme
Man-of-the-match goalscorer, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Simon Hulme
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The Yorkshire Evening Post jurors return their verdict on Leeds United’s Championship victory over Norwich City at Elland Road.

David Watkins

Man-of-the-match contender, Liam Cooper. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Man-of-the-match contender, Liam Cooper. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

It was a bit of a close-run thing but this was one of those games that was all about getting the three points to ensure we kept hold of the coat tails of the top six.

With Villa and Sheffield United both losing, Leeds are right back in the mix, just a point behind both those sides.

There was not a lot between these teams, with the visitors just shading the stats with more possession and a couple more attempts at goal and yet, apart from the goal, it was Leeds that had the one other clear opportunity when Samu Saiz, for the umpteenth time this season, struck the woodwork.

Leeds are back doing what is expected, putting away teams that are struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Man-of-the-match contender, Pawel Cibicki. PIC: Simon Hulme

Man-of-the-match contender, Pawel Cibicki. PIC: Simon Hulme

We’ve now beaten all of the current bottom seven sides with the exception of Hull City who we’ve not yet faced.

Oh, wait, they’re next up!

That Yorkshire derby fixture now becomes another vital game against another struggling side.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

Mike Gill

Leeds United started unchanged against a Norwich City side buoyed by their recent win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The first half produced few clear chances for either side until Pontus Jansson headed home from a well-taken Pawel Cibicki free kick a few minutes before half-time. In the second half, however, United failed to press home their advantage and were often caught on the back foot.

Both sides hit the woodwork, Samuel Saiz having almost too much time in a one-on-one with Gunn in the Norwich goal after Alex Pritchard had grazed the Leeds crossbar with Felix Wiedwald beaten.

A nervous finish ensued, but United’s defence held firm with stand-out performances from Jansson, Wiedwald and Liam Cooper.

Other players who caught the eye were Saiz, Gjanni Alioski and Cibicki.

All in all, a tight but deserved win. Leeds will welcome Hull with confidence next week and can continue their assault on the top six.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

Matthew Evans

There wasn’t much in the opening 45 minutes to inspire the 30k crowd inside Elland Road and, as unlikely as it sounds, that was followed up with even less to get excited about in the second.

United’s midfield pair of Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira never really got going and any sort of fluidity in attack escaped us for most of the game.

That said, there was some crucial defensive work done with a particularly important Phillips challenge in the heart of our penalty area at 0-0.

Norwich looked a very poor side and it was important that United picked these points up no matter how ugly or disjointed the performance.

Goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald has another clean sheet to his name and made some crucial stops, and the entire back five deserves credit, especially the two centre-halves who, along with Pawel Cibicki, were our best players.

Pontus Jansson just edges man of the match for me thanks to a clinical header to win the game.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

Gary Newbould

Last week’s hat-trick hero Kemar Roofe retained his sole striker role with Pawel Cibicki also starting following his impressive contribution from the bench in last week’s victory at Loftus Road.

The visitors started the brighter but the Whites came more into things after around 15 minutes with Cibicki once again looking bright, whilst Pontus Jansson once again looked like the good-old commanding Swede of last season.

Kalvin Phillips struck an upright after the half-hour and not long after United took the lead when an excellent Cibicki free kick was despatched by Jansson, much to the delight of the loyal hordes who numbered an extremely impressive 30,000-plus. A specific set-piece coach reaping benefits at last?

The second half was a similar tight affair with both sides hitting the upright, including the once again impressive Samuel Saiz, who looked certain to score. The Whites held on to record their 13th point from a possible last 18 and move to just one point outside the play-off positions.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

Keith Ingham

There are games throughout the season that the result is far more important than the performance; this was one of those.

Leeds’ 1-0 victory over Norwich kept them in seventh place, but only one point from sixth-placed Sheffield United who lost at Preston. Thomas Christiansen made one change to the team that beat QPR, Pwel Cibicki replacing the injured Caleb Ekuban.

Throughout a pretty uninspiring first half Leeds struggled to get the upper hand. Their best chance fell to Kalvin Phillips, who hit the upright.

Leeds went in front just before the break, Pontus Jansson headed Cibick’s free kick past Gunn. Norwich missed their chance to level just after the break, while Leeds made further opportunities from distance, then Pritchard hit the crossbar. Despite six minutes of injury time, Norwich couldn’t find a way past a determined Leeds rearguard.

Funny thing: during the poor run, at times Leeds probably played better than against Norwich but lost; that’s football!

Men of the match: Pontus Janson, Liam Cooper.

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