YEP Jury: ‘Deserved’ derby victory takes Leeds United over the magic 40-point mark
Our fans’ panel all predicted a Leeds United victory over Sheffield United but it proved to be tighter than most expected with the Whites running out 2-1 winners.
Another win against another bottom seven side; we’ve won nine out of the 10 games played so far against those teams.
That was all that mattered; it would have been really disappointing not to beat the worst team in the pack especially in a Yorkshire derby.
If there is a disappointment, it’s that we all know the scoreline could have been vastly more in our favour. Leeds were far and away the better of the two sides and yet, time after time, promising attacks came to nothing because our final ball or shot wasn’t accurate enough.
That meant the game was in the balance until the final whistle, although a second equaliser was only ever coming from a corner as the Blades won a few of those. In terms of attempts from open play we never looked in trouble, as witness zero attempts on target from the Blades throughout the second half.
We’ve now created the perfect base upon which to build, knowing that a few quality acquisitions should have us competing as well against the top teams next season as the bottom ones!
Man of the match: Raphinha… as he always is!
Another win takes us over the magic 40-point mark that all but guarantees us Premier League football next season. We now have nine more points than we achieved in the entirety of 2003/2004, our last campaign at this level.
Truth be told the 2-1 scoreline flattered Sheffield United who put in the worst performance I’ve ever seen from a Blades side.
If they can’t raise their game for a trip to Elland Road (usually a given) then you know they’re in trouble and having a bad season.
Leeds, for their part, had very good performances all over the park and the only criticisms you can really level at Bielsa’s side was a creeping complacency in the first half and a lack of clinical finishing throughout.
Stuart Dallas was at the centre of our best work and Kalvin Phillips never looked anything other than in control. Diego Llorente seems to be getting better with every match but my man of the match was Jack Harrison who gets more stick than he deserves and picked up a goal and an assist.
Our next three are tough but we can play with the shackles off and see what happens.
Man of the match: Jack Harrison.
Leeds completed another Premier League ‘double’ after a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United. The win takes United to over the ‘magic‘ 40 points which has been enough for most teams to guarantee another season in the top flight.
Leeds started with confidence and it was no surprise that Phillips and Dallas had a part to play in it. Raphinha showed his trickery as he made his way to the byline and squared a ball across to Jack Harrison who could not miss.
Against the run of play Sheffield United equalised, a ball went across the Leeds penalty area and McBurnie fired towards goal and Osborn netted, Ayling who was behind the line stopped the ball with his hand but the goal was given. Leeds continued to force Sheffield back and it was no surprise that they went back ahead. Harrison clipped the ball across the six-yard box and with Raphinha in close attention Jagielka put the ball in his own net.
Leeds should have doubled, maybe trebled their tally but it was a good win, not spectacular, but a win is a win.
Players who stood out were Llorente, Phillips, Raphinha, Harrison and my man of the match Dallas who had an excellent game in midfield.
Bring on Man City!
Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.
Into the top half of the table after three points in a match which should have had a more convincing scoreline. A win is a win, though.
As the club paid its respects to three Leeds United heroes, a victory was the least that was required to honour them – all time club top goal scorer, Peter Lorimer, who sadly passed away recently, as well as Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, ahead of the 21st anniversary of their tragic deaths in Istanbul.
It wasn’t vintage Leeds, and the margin of victory wasn’t as wide as I predicted, although it probably ought to have been, nevertheless.
Raphinha did what Raphinha does best and set up Jack Harrison for an easy tap in for the opening goal, however, Ben Osborn’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time was a result of the Whites not taking their chances.
Harrison’s cross early in the second half was turned into his own net by Phil Jagielka, which ultimately turned out to be the winner, despite Leeds wasting plenty more good openings.
On an emotional day for everyone associated with the club, three points. That is all.
Man of the match: Diego Llorente.
In what was billed as a must-win game for both sides, it only really looked like the team from the West of Yorkshire would pick up the points.
Sheffield United look resigned to their fate this season. Beaten, bruised and out of ideas, the Blades need a full restart in the Championship. Leeds, however, can almost start planning for their second season in the Premier League, and hope they get it more right than Saturday’s opponents.
Leeds looked in the mood from the first whistle.
Paul Heckingbottom said the key was to match United’s energy but they came nowhere near.
Stuart Dallas and Kalvin Phillips were first to every loose ball while Raphinha was sharp enough to create the first goal.
The defensive lapse to gift Sheffield United their equaliser looked on the cards, with both Gjanni Alioski and Luke Ayling losing their men on the break.
Despite not being at their best, Leeds were well worth the win and pass the magic 40-point mark that tends to guarantee safety.
Man of the match: Diego Llorente.
Any result other than a Leeds win would have been a travesty of justice as they besieged the Blades goal with attack after attack.
In the end, the game was won by two killer crosses. First of all Raphinha completed a dazzling run by cutting the ball back from the byline for a grateful Jack Harrison to tap in.
Early in the second half, it was Harrison himself who put an indefensible ball behind most of the Blades defence. Jagielka did his best but was unable to do anything other than turn the ball into his own net.
In between these events, the Blades scored an unlikely equaliser as Osborn scrambled the ball home at the far post.
Although it often appeared differently, this was enough to give the Whites all three points which they totally deserved.
As he usually does, Aaron Ramsdale had a fine game between the sticks for the visitors as he and his fellow defenders toiled hard throughout the match.
It was their efforts, rather than Leeds not taking their chances, which kept the score down.
Man of the match: Tyler Roberts.
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