YEP Jury: Leeds United show real swagger in dominant victory over Bristol City

Our panel of fans have their say on Leeds United's 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 4:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th February 2020, 4:19 pm
Luke Ayling is congratulated after his goal against Bristol City.

DAVID WATKINS

Well that feels a heck of a lot better; three points, a clean sheet and with most of our rivals for those coveted automatic promotion places stumbling, we are back in a much stronger position relative to those in the chasing pack.

This was an accomplished performance against a team that’s been flying in recent weeks and the only reason the score was not more comfortable was the age old problem of finishing. Even Marcelo Bielsa commented after this one that: “We attacked well. We missed a lot of chances”.

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Jack Harrison on the attack against Bristol City.

On another day of course those missed chances might be costly as they have been already far too often this season, but with Big Kev Augustin clearly not yet acclimatised to the Championship, it looks as though we will have to struggle to the bitter end without that clinical finisher we all crave, even assuming he is that beast.

Our other issue – frailty at set pieces – was hardly given a chance to raise its head as Bristol enjoyed only 31 per cent of the ball and zero corners and they only managed a miserly three goal attempts.

It’s fine margins though and until we start banging in those chances I’ll remain nervous.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

Jean-Kevin Augustin.

JACOB STARR

Three points and a clean sheet – the first time Leeds United have achieved that combination in a match since December 10.

A defeat would have been damaging, so the Whites’ intense start that was rewarded with Luke Ayling’s 16th-minute finish after a goalmouth scramble helped to settle any nerves.

Ultimately, it should have been five or six by the end but Bristol City keeper Daniel Bentley was in inspired form, denying Patrick Bamford from point-blank range before replicating the same feat against Helder Costa. Jack Harrison smashed the crossbar amidst wave after wave of Leeds pressure, and it was 90 minutes of one-way traffic in all honesty.

Luke Ayling.

The Robins offered nothing going forward, so much so that Lee Johnson may as well have had a stint up top.

Results elsewhere went in our favour too, with West Brom and Nottingham Forest sharing the spoils, Brentford were held at Birmingham, and Fulham suffered a shock 3-0 drubbing by bottom side Barnsley.

All of this means that United have regained their three point advantage ahead of third, and only trail the Baggies by four points.

Man of the match: Jack Harrison.

MATTHEW EVANS

It’s incredible to think that we have been on such a bad run and still haven’t dropped out of the automatic promotion places.

In one sense we have been lucky that teams around us have been equally wasteful and, in another sense, it’s nothing less than we deserve given our performances week in, week out. Saturday’s outing was vintage Leeds under Bielsa, totally dominant with some lovely play and great chances to put the fixture beyond Bristol City’s reach.

We’ve seen teams come to Leeds and shut up shop, bully and time waste their way to victory but Bristol didn’t seem to have that in their locker.

It was pleasing to see that both the players and the fans seem to be grasping the nettle now and going to work on this promotion challenge. A decent atmosphere inside Elland Road was matched by good performances all over the pitch. Luke Ayling came good against his old club and got the winning goal, Kalvin Phillips was fantastic again as was Mateusz Klich but my man of the match goes to Jack Harrison who deserved a goal for a great all round effort.

Man of the match: Jack Harrison.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds registered their first win in February with a 1-0 win over promotion play-off hopefuls Bristol City. Defender Luke Ayling’s first-half goal was sufficient in one of the most one-sided games I’ve seen in a long while.

Leeds played some of the best football I’ve watched in a first half this season that was completely dominated by the home team, wave after wave of attacks came to an abrupt end when the final ball just simply wasn’t good enough. All that was missing were more goals.

The one time it fell right in the first half, Luke Ayling smashed the ball into the City net after a goalmouth scramble. Leeds should have at least doubled their lead with the chances they created before the break.

The second half followed the same pattern with United pressing the visitors back in their half and once again chances came and were spurned, how Helder Costa’s effort was kept out by the City keeper only he will know and was probably Leeds’ best chance to double their score in the second period.

Bristol to my knowledge had one serous effort on goal, ‘hand-ball’ expert Nahki Wells getting behind the Leeds defence but putting a high, wide and not handsome shot over Kiko Casilla’s bar. The rest of the time they seemed mesmerised as United went from one flank to another with ultimate ease.

With WBA drawing with Forest, Barnsley surprisingly beating Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage and Birmingham City holding Brentford to a 1-1 draw at St Andrews it was a pretty good weekend for Leeds as they closed the gap on Albion and extended the gap to third to three points.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

MIKE GILL

The clear message was ringing around Elland Road. “United are back’.

They may have only won one nil but this was as comprehensive a demolition as you are ever likely to see.

The Whites dominated possession and led every other meaningful statistic by a wide margin.

Even before the inspirational Luke Ayling’s 16th-minute goal, there was only one team in it. Fine performances were recorded from Ayling himself as well as Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas, Jack Harrison Mateusz Klich and Helder Costa.

The conditions were awful but United adapted better. Passes went astray for both sides but the Whites mopped up the midfield and regained possession countless times

The relentless pressure continued in the second half with Harrison hitting the crossbar and Bentley making a wonder save after being rounded by Costa. The match was reminiscent of many during United’s successful run in the autumn when they ground out results without taking full advantage.

This, of course led to the obligatory nervous finish but the closest City came was when White sent a badly judged back pass but Casilla dealt with it.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

ANDY RHODES

That performance was much more like it. On a day when they really needed it, Leeds played with their usual flair and style, although the scoreline would leave you thinking otherwise.

It’s not the goals that matter most at the moment but the points, as long as we score one more than the opponent United could waste 20 decent opportunities for me.

This weekend they came close, scoring just once from 21 attempts, but the stats showed that they were getting into scoring position again.

Much of that was down to the combination of Luke Ayling and Helder Costa down the right. Ayling popped up in the box on countless occasions, eventually sticking the ball in the back of the net.

It was a day for the attacking players to stand out and they could have had a few more goals between them.

Kiko Casilla didn’t have much to do in goal on a day when United’s promotion rivals all slipped up.

Another few days like this who knows where we’ll be.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.