The Leeds United YEP Jury’s Barnsley verdict: ‘Domination’ ... ‘superb Saiz’ ... ‘fully-deserved’

Samuel Saiz celebrates scoring at Barnsley.
Samuel Saiz celebrates scoring at Barnsley.
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Have your say

THE YEP jury have their say after watching Leeds United beat Barnsley 2-0 at Oakwell.

Have a read below on how our panel saw Saturday’s comprehensive victory and add your own thoughts in the comments section below.

Gjanni Alioski salutes the Leeds United fans.

Gjanni Alioski salutes the Leeds United fans.

DAVID WATKINS

In a game that many worried could be fatal for our season, Leeds dominated for 70 minutes against an old enemy that often inflicts mortal damage on our campaigns.

Two fine first-half finishes from Samuel Saiz and Gjanni Alioski eased the pressure on the team and settled any nerves and doubts amongst the Leeds fans squinting into the autumn sunshine trying as best they could to see the action!

Once again though there was sufficient pressure applied by the Tykes in the last 20 minutes to just remind us that against better opposition we will need to step up another gear or two if we are to now go on any sort of a long productive run of games. Leeds gave the ball away far too cheaply in that final period and only some wayward passing and finishing from the home side let us off what could have been a painful hook.

Choosing the man of the match was difficult, suggesting that everyone played their part but I plumped for Alioski for one of his best games yet in a Leeds shirt.

Man of the match: Gjanni Alioski.

MATTHEW EVANS

It was a good win at Oakwell with a set-up not too dissimilar to the one deployed at Molineux earlier in the week. Barnsley and Wolves were worlds apart and United were in control for most of the game.

Caleb Ekuban had looked bright in his two recent cameos from the bench and deserved his start.

His work rate justified Thomas Christiansen’s decision and Kemar Roofe could learn a thing or two from the pressure Ekuban put on the Barnsley defence.

Elsewhere, Gjanni Alioski is becoming the player we all thought we’d signed in the summer and Pablo Hernandez did his best to dispell the idea that he can’t play away.

Samuel Saiz stole the show with a goal and another superb performance.

Lunchtime kick-offs are never much fun, we can blame Sky TV for that, and trips to Barnsley are generally miserable so it’s a huge relief to take three points and stay in touch ahead of Aston Villa’s visit on Friday night.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.

KEITH INGHAM

That was better! Probably the easiest win Leeds have ever had at Oakwell and the 2-0 win was well deserved, the victory moved them up two places and three points before the three o’clock kick offs had started.

Leeds were on the front foot from the kick off, with Caleb Ekuban offering muscle up front and with Gjanni Alioski, Samuel Saiz and Pablo Hernandez providing the industry it was only a matter of time before they went in front – Alioski’s superb ball found the mercurial feet of the diminutive Saiz and the midfielder strode through the Barnsley defence to beat Adam Davies with ease.

It was to get better in first half injury time for Leeds as Alioski pounced on a bouncing ball and superbly beat the Barnsley goalkeeper – it was the winger’s fourth goal in four games.

I’ve openly criticised Thomas Christiansen lately, but he got his team and tactics right against Barnsley, Ekuban may just be the player to lead the line. The three players behind him (Alioski, Saiz and Hernandez) were the outstanding players in a great afternoon at Oakwell.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.

MIKE GILL

Eunan O’Kane’s selection was forced by Ronaldo Vieira’s absence but the two other introductions to Thomas Christiansen’s side were a bigger talking point.

Caleb Ekuban had earned his inclusion with a couple of decent cameos but Felix Wiedwald was the surprise choice between the sticks.

To play the German was either a knee-jerk decision or an inspiring one. In the end both calls were justified.

Ekuban made a big contribution with his running and aggression and Wiedwald kept a clean sheet and played well in his own style.

From the start, United bossed the game, forcing a plethora of corners in the first few minutes. Samuel Saiz opened the scoring with a well-worked effort and Alioski scored another peach of a goal to send the Whites into the half-time break in control at 2-0 up.

United continued to dominate most of the second half and were unlucky not to add to their goal tally.

This was a comprehensive and well earned victory.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

GARY NEWBOULD

Leeds United registered a second successive weekend victory to register six points out of a potential nine over the last seven days.

As predicted at Barnsley it was cold and wet but thankfully the Whites turned the usual Oakwell form book on its head to out-compete the home side.

Coach Thomas Christiansen recalled Eunan O’Kane in place of the suspended Ronaldo Vieira and Caleb Ekuban was selected to take up the lead striker role. Meanwhile, Andy Lonergan made way for Felix Wiedwald in goal.

Straight from the off the visitors looked up for it and on 23 minutes courtesy of a long-range speculative effort from Samuel Saiz, United got what they deserved in terms of the opening goal.

Just prior to the half-time interval, Gjanni Alioski scored his fourth goal in his last four outings to double the advantage.

The Whites sensibly managed the second half to return from South Yorkshire with a fully deserved haul of three points.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.

England manager Gareth Southgate and defender Ashley Young.

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