Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s derby victory over Barnsley
After years of waiting for it to happen, it finally has; Leeds are winning games they ought to win!
It makes forecasting that much easier of course and hence the Jury picked up a rare full house this week with all six of us going for a win. We knew if Leeds could reproduce the display we put together against Ipswich last week then a faltering Barnsley were there for the taking. And so it proved, although we never quite achieved the fluency we saw against the Tractor Boys.
There is now just one problem with this latest team of ours; our final ball, final decision and many of our shots are nowhere near clinical enough. We saw it at Bristol in midweek where we let the Robins off the hook with some woeful finishing and against the Tykes it was all that prevented us killing off the game earlier.
If we can just get that right we are surely going to give someone a good thrashing but as it stands, we kept Barnsley interested right to the final whistle.
I reckon Leeds had four of the five best players on the pitch, with my man of the match going to the new cult hero around Elland Road, the mighty Pontus Jansson.
Not only did he once again command the air space for miles around, but he also showed us he has a trick or two in his locker as he danced around a Barnsley player down in the South West corner. The man is a colossus. But his centre-back partner Kyle Bartley is no slouch either and the two of them have transformed our back line.
In the middle, Pablo Hernandez started slowly but once Barnsley had to chase the game we again saw what a driving force he can be, weaving through the Tykes just as he did down at Cardiff and scoring another fine goal.
Kalvin Phillips was also in my top five.
So, we go into the international break on a high, five wins from six games and sitting comfortably in 11th spot in the table, just seven points off the top two.
Take some deep breaths Leeds fans, before a trip to Derby provides the next test of our progress.
Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.
KEITH INGHAM September and early October have been a very good for Leeds United, five games won out of six is a pretty good return and the three points move the club up to 11th in the Championship.
In a open first half, despite having the lion’s share of the early possession, Barnsley could not get past a resolute Leeds back line. Although Leeds had Pablo Hernandez, Stuart Dallas and Hadi Sacko pulling the strings in midfield it was only a matter of time before the hosts got their noses in front – Kyle Bartley’s thigh forcing the ball past the Barnsley keeper. Leeds deserved the lead at the break.
Hernandez could and should have doubled Leeds’ lead but he fired wide, but made amends when he found himself through on goal. He made no mistake, cooly slotting the ball past Adam Davies.
Barnsley still offered a threat and a ball into the Leeds penalty area found its way into the net via Rob Green and Charlie Taylor. Marcus Antonsson was denied late on by Davies and at the other end Green first, then Pontus Jansson saved Leeds, the latter heading clear in the six yard box with Green beaten.
The head coach must be delighted with his players and especially three homes wins on the bounce, the old adage of winning your home games and picking points away is a sign of better times ahead for Leeds.
Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.
Watching Leeds United in the last few weeks has certainly taken a surreal turn. It’s almost as if we have gone back in time. No longer do I have to drag myself to games out of a sense of duty. There is actually a palpable sense of anticipation on a matchday morning and after another win against Barnsley, the international break becomes a hindrance rather than blessed relief.
Being at Elland Road on Saturday was a trip back to the good old days. The ground was not packed, but well populated. The atmosphere was top notch from the off and the football was of a quality that we used to accept as the norm. Leeds were on top and pressing forward from the off and even when things got sticky midway through the first half as Barnsley got a foothold in the game, the mood was one of encouragement rather than discontent.
Kyle Bartley’s goal gave both the team and the crowd a lift and Pablo Hernandez’s second-half strike gave Leeds a two-goal cushion for the first time in what seems like decades.
This being Leeds there was a nervy ending, but with Kalvin Phillips tackling everything in sight and Pontus Jansson being Pontus like, Leeds saw out the Barnsley storm and moved into the top half of the table.
Garry Monk deserves massive credit for the way he has developed this team into a cohesive hard working unit. On a day that the fans remembered one of the Revie family, it was nice to see the team remember his ethos. Keep fighting. If we continue in this vein, then the good times will surely be back soon.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.
There were more home comforts for the Whites as they registered another three points at LS11 with a hard-earned victory against Barnsley.
In a close opening 45 minutes the difference between the sides was a corner, converted by skipper Kyle Bartley. The increasingly influential Pablo Hernandez doubled United’s advantage just before the hour mark with a composed finish, however a scramble in the Whites’ box, resulting in a Charlie Taylor own goal, ensured a nervous last 20 minutes for the loyal hordes who numbered in excess of 27,000. United held on for the much-needed three points and the always welcome Yorkshire bragging rights.
Man of the match: Kyle Bartley.
This was another good display and easily one of the more entertaining games we’ve seen at Elland Road in recent years. Unusually, for a Championship fixture, this was a match played out between two good sides, both desperate for the win.
United’s newly-found determination and drive to win is the most pleasing aspect of our recent upturn in form and is being driven by the new signings, the ever- improving Kalvin Phillips and performances from Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas that simply didn’t happen last season.
If we can come out of the international break in the same form and pick up seven or nine points from the first three games then people will have to start taking United very seriously.
Man of the match: Kyle Bartley.
MIKE GILL A dour first half dominated by both midfields was enlivened by Kyle Bartley’s goal from a well-taken Pablo Hernandez corner.
It doesn’t seem too long ago that we hardly ever scored from corners and we were terrified of defending them.
Hernandez scored a classy goal in the second half and that should have been that.
Barnsley then came back into the game and set up the matche for a nervous finish. But this side has steel and showed it. A good three points.
Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.