AFTER SEEING Leeds United batter Burton Albion, the YEP’s Lee Sobot looks at a few key talking points from Saturday’s 5-0 romp at Elland Road.
Lethal Lasogga up and running
There was naturally a big element of doubt as to whether Pierre-Michel Lasogga would feature against Burton with his girlfriend expecting the couple’s first child this weekend - even though the German striker had insisted he was happy to play.
And just 20 minutes into his Leeds United debut the new no 9 had already bagged his first Whites goal with the German then adding a second just before the hour.
Lasogga has big boots to fill with Chris Wood netting 30 goals in all competitions last season but the message from journalists in Germany was that Lasogga was a natural finisher and that if he was given a chance he would score.
That assessment proved spot on and from four good chances the striker scored two, hit the post with another and was then denied only by a top drawer save by Stephen Bywater.
Lasogga looks a very good centre forward and will surely soon be in double figures.
The Hamburg loanee is already joint-third favourite at 16-1 to be the Championship’s top scorer, behind Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga (7-1) and Norwich City’s Nelson Oliveira (12s).
Lasogga is the same odds as Cardiff’s Kenneth Zohore and Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp.
Automatic promotion chase
Head coach Thomas Christiansen has already stated on a few occasions that his principle aim this season is to improve United’s league finish of last term which would mean a place in the play-offs.
Clearly, the Dane is also here to get Leeds United finally back in the Premier League.
And based on recent progress there is no reason why United cannot challenge to seal automatic promotion to the country’s top flight.
The season is still very young with just six games played and stiffer tests await but Leeds are still unbeaten and producing some lovely football under Christiansen, looking a far better team than an already good one last year.
Furthermore, it could be argued that the divisions is weaker than last season with surprise package Cardiff City still leading the way.
Leeds, though, now sit second in the table and victory at home to fourth-bottom Birmingham City on Tuesday would send United top should Cardiff fail to win at Preston.
United are now third-favourites to win the league and no bigger than 8-1, behind 11-4 favourites Wolves and 7-1 second favourites Cardiff.
Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough are fourth-favourites at 8-1 with Fulham and Derby next at 16s.
Put simply, this is surely United’s best chance yet of finally going up.
Eight hours and counting
With Pablo Hernandez, Samu Saiz and Kemar Roofe pulling the strings, United’s free-flowing football and countless attacking options is earning all the plaudits at present but the form of the Leeds defence is impossible to overlook.
After yet another clean sheet in the league - United’s fifth in succession - the Whites have now gone almost eight hours without conceding a goal in the league; 473 minutes in fact since Adam Le Fondre struck from the penalty spot in the opening day 3-2 win at Bolton.
It has been 501 minutes since Leeds conceded a league goal in open play.
Everton loanee centre-back Matthew Pennington is very near to returning from his ankle injury but he is surely looking at place on the bench at present with skipper Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson in such dominating form.
Dallas the defender
Such was United’s dominance against Burton, Christiansen could afford to experiment even by half-time so when Vurnon Anita took a scratch to his eye the left back was substituted.
But with no full back option among the substitutes, on came winger Stuart Dallas in the unusual role of left back.
Burton hardly provided the sternest examination of United’s defence - with one shot on target compared to United’s 30 all you needed to know.
But Dallas looked untroubled by playing at left back and at least gives Christiansen another option there with the Dane clearly keen to name an attacking bench.
It should be remembered that Leeds blitzed Burton without wingers Gjanni Alioski and Pawel Cibicki even coming off the bench.
Centre midfielder Mateusz Klich also offered plenty of promise when coming on for the again excellent Eunan O’Kane in the second half with Klich seemingly preferred to Ronaldo Vieira who failed to make the bench along with left back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and winger Hadi Sacko.
Serious competition for places which will intensify further with Pennington and Gaetano Berardi on the cusp of returning from their injuries too.