Leeds United: Serious title contenders is the Yorkshire Evening Post jurors’ verdict after the Whites’ win at Wigan

Man-of-the-match contender, Pablo Hernandez. PIC: Simon Hulme
Man-of-the-match contender, Pablo Hernandez. PIC: Simon Hulme
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The Yorkshire Evening Post fans’ jury runs through Leeds United’s 2-1 comeback Championship victory at Wigan Athletic on Sunday afternoon.

Slight conerns were raised by most after United conceded another goal from a set-piece, but, on the whole, their verdicts were positive with an overriding sense that Leeds United are genuine title contenders.

Man-of-the-match contender, Kalvin Phillips. PIC: Simon Hulme

Man-of-the-match contender, Kalvin Phillips. PIC: Simon Hulme

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Another excellent result, similar in its importance to our recent home win against Ipswich; we have to win such games if we are going to remain serious contenders for promotion.

Once again it could hardly be described as a totally fluent performance but the result was everything and, with a little hand from the Wigan defence we eventually got the win our dominance of the ball probably deserved. We also need to remember that seven other teams have been to the DW Stadium before us this season and none managed to win; a list that includes the likes of Forest, Swansea and West Brom.

Man-of-the-match contender, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Man-of-the-match contender, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

There is a little 17-second video doing the rounds on social media showing how seven Leeds players chased back to help out Adam Forshaw who’d tracked back as Josh Windass broke up-field. It was a moment that drew the appreciation of every Leeds fan in the ground at the time and it encapsulates the determination the team is showing to get through these difficult games.

Now, if we can just stop giving the opposition a one-goal start we might begin to believe that everything is in place for that promotion!

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.


A much-deserved victory over Championship hosts Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium and a game we should have won much more comfortably.

The only concern for me at the moment is that it took a horrible error from the Wigan keeper to complete a comeback that was only necessary thanks to us conceding yet another early goal.

We succumbed to the set-piece once again, albeit this time as a result of a goal from a direct freekick rather than a corner.

Five minutes in and there was a sense among the travelling crowd that a draw might be the best we could do.

In the end, our play was positive, pretty and comfortably out of reach of anything Wigan had to offer.

The simplicity of our equalising goal was a joy to behold and, in the end, the boisterous away section of the crowd was sent home happy.

Adam Forshaw had an excellent game but just misses out for man of the match to Pablo Hernandez who is aging spectacularly well.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.


Leeds failed to score first and for the briefest of moments it looked like one of those days again.

Wigan hit the net but no sooner than you could say ‘it’s the play-offs lads’ it was one-all and time to play Bielsaball.

Leeds sparkled brightly whilst Wigan emerged as the dimwits bereft of anything much at all.

Adam Forshaw adds that little bit of spine and such is the passing of this Whites side, Samuel Saiz’s mercurial talents were hardly missed.

Indeed, until Pablo Hernandez took one heavy hit too many, forcing him into a lower gear, this was one of United’s better performances.

Dominant once again but one begins to wonder whether without the extra touches of Saiz the ball moves more slickly and with more purpose.

This is an important phase of games.

That’s seven from nine points and there was both pragmatism and panache in this performance to suggest there’s a chance that the side could start to pull away at the top.

Some tough journeys ahead but Leeds have the makings to be the best side in the league.

Kalvin Phillips, meanwhile, continues to catch the eye and, if Leeds keep up this trajectory, surely a cap for the national under-23s is on the cards.

Yes, he’s still a young lad, but with plenty of time to get even better.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.


Leeds brushed Wigan aside with some pulsating football, revealing some of the mastery which they showed earlier in the season.

In all honesty, the scoreline flattered the home side who barely threatened.

Of course, it didn’t start like that. Liam Cooper was very unlucky to concede a freekick after being fouled himself.

James buried the freekick and the ‘set-piece curse’ manifested itself again.

Within a few minutes, Barry Douglas sent Mateusz Klich away with a defence-splitting pass and the Polish international picked out Pablo Hernandez who side-footed the ball into the net.

After that, there was only one team in it. United’s second goal, from a horrendous defensive error, barely did them justice.

Nevertheless, Kemar Roofe was on hand to tap the ball into the empty net.

What really defined this game was United’s total dominance.

From front to back, they worked as a super efficient unit. Bring on the Baggies!

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.


Leeds United returned to the top of the Championship thanks to an impressive 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic.

They have the same points as Norwich City but have a better goal difference than the East Anglian’s. This was Wigan’s first defeat on home soil. It’s always heartening when your team comes back from a goal down early on, James beating Peacock-Farrell in the early minutes of the clash.

The lead didn’t last long as the mercurial Pablo Hernandez equalised when left unmarked in the six-yard box. From that point Leeds surged up the gears and should have been ahead before the break.

It didn’t take long in the second half for Leeds to press home their advantage. Hernandez was the architect with a ball into the Wigan area.

Unbelievably, Wigan keeper Walton let the ball squirm from his grasp when he collided with his own defender, leaving Kemar Roofe the easiest goal he will score this season.

Once again Leeds could and should have increased their lead but chances were spurned.

And Wigan nearly shared the spoils when McManaman’s curled effort went just over Peacock-Farrell’s bar.

Hernandez so nearly increased the lead in injury time when his effort came back off the woodwork and substitute Jamie Shackleton hit the rebound well wide when the ball came back into play.

Marcelo Bielsa was forced into a change at right-back because of Luke Ayling’s injury. Stuart Dallas came in, Douglas returned to left-back, and Adam Forshaw was again preferred to Samuel Saiz in midfield.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez, one goal, one assist and Leeds are so much better with the Spaniard in the side.


That result almost seemed too easy for Leeds, didn’t it? They never really seemed to reach top gear but they didn’t need to against a lacklustre Wigan.

Winning from behind for the first time since last Boxing Day against a team who were unbeaten at home will please Marcelo Bielsa.

As will the manner in which they picked up the three points. Despite going behind inside seven minutes Leeds didn’t look phased and didn’t let Wigan get a grip of the game.

Instead, United played the majority of the game on the front foot and Pablo Hernandez was a key part of that.

His goal was of the high quality we’ve come to expect under Bielsa and he was equally pivotal in the second, causing chaos which Kemar Roofe capitalised on. His performance deserved a late third but the post denied him.

Wigan had their chances but they let Leeds have the ball, and if United keep playing like that, not many teams will have an opportunity to stop them.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.