YEP Jury: Mateusz Klich stars as Leeds United claim priceless victory at Blackburn Rovers

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s crucial 3-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers yesterday.

Sunday, 5th July 2020, 4:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th July 2020, 4:39 pm

ANDY RHODES

Sometimes I don’t know why Leeds United cause me the stress they do.

We’ve all been in this position before. We get our hopes up and, ultimately, we get let down. However, under Marcelo Bielsa, the ability to deal with pressure comes naturally.

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Patrick Bamford celebrates his opening goal at Blackburn with Mateusz Klich. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

After Tuesday’s disappointment it was essential to win across the Pennines.

After a nervy start, Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Klich was immense throughout, giving the commanding but creative midfield performance every championship-winning side needs. In a way, he was the best of both Pablo Hernandez and Kalvin Phillips.

The latter didn’t disappoint either with his strike. After receiving criticism for his set-piece deliveries of late, that finish will do him the world of good. More performances like that in the home straight and it will be difficult to stop them.

Marcelo Bielsa on the sidelines at Blackburn. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

When the heat is on, only the players can ease the pressure and calm us down.

Man of the match: Mateusz Klich.

MATTHEW EVANS

‘Another step closer to where we need to be’ must be the overriding feeling after a decent performance on Saturday. I’ve been to Ewood Park the previous 12 occasions we’ve played there and, typically, this was a better performance than any of those.

Kalvin Phillips celebrates his goal with Barry Douglas. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

There were some unusual refereeing decisions but even they evened themselves out. Nine times out of 10, Mateusz Klich would have been penalised for the way he won the ball for Patrick Bamford’s opener but the free-kick that led to Blackburn’s only goal was even softer.

United played well across the park. The introduction of Barry Douglas and Gjanni Alioski seemed to improve our play and both had good games to contribute to the win. Kalvin Phillips was approaching his best performances in the middle just behind Klich who was an obvious contender for man of the match.

My vote goes to Ben White who was immense in defence yet again. His reading of the game combined with a real willingness to go marauding up the field brought so much to our game.

Man of the match: Ben White.

Mateusz Klich celebrates scoring Leeds United's third goal at Blackburn. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds United put the disappointing 1-1 draw with Luton behind them with an impressive 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. The win keeps United ahead of West Brom and more importantly keeps a six-point gap to third-placed Brentford who beat Wigan 3-0.

Leeds were impressive from the start and deservedly went ahead in the first 10 minutes, Mateusz Klich bullied a Blackburn player outside the area and after winning the ball he put it through to Patrick Bamford who slotted away the chance.

It was a cracking half with both teams going for goals and the ball went from one end to the other. United went two up from their first goal from a direct free-kick since 2017. Phillips lifting the ball over the Rovers wall and past Christian Walton into the net.

After the restart Blackburn were given a way back into the game when the referee gave them a free-kick just outside the box, the decision seemed very harsh on Phillips. Adam Armstrong lifted the ball over the wall and past the static Illan Meslier. Leeds though made it 3-1 when Jack Harrison tested Walton and the ball rebounded to Klich who beat the keeper with a shot that went through his hands.

Leeds strode through the last 10 minutes with ease to get an important three points.

Gjanni Alioski on the break chased by Sam Gallagher. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

By the time Leeds kick-off their game with Stoke on Thursday their gap to third place may be down to three points because Brentford play Charlton on Tuesday and you would expect them to win. The emphasis is on United to get another three points.

Men of the match: Ben White and Liam Cooper and a notable mention for Patrick Bamford, impressive throughout and a well taken goal.

JACOB STARR

Another game ticked off and another huge step towards the Premier League after Leeds overcame Blackburn at Ewood Park.

It was common knowledge that anything less than a victory would have likely been damaging for the Whites’ automatic promotion chances, psychologically and mathematically with the momentum being gained by Brentford in third place.

However, Patrick Bamford’s seventh-minute strike after intense pressing from Mateusz Klich won United the ball high up the pitch, went some way to calming the nerves...for about five minutes until the hosts missed a one on one and rattled the woodwork.

Bamford himself hit the post before an outstanding Kalvin Phillips free-kick doubled the advantage, although just after the interval, Adam Armstrong provided a mirror image of the the strike to pull one back.

This had seemingly set up an anxious second half, but Christian Walton failed to keep out Klich’s shot which ensured the three points and maintains the six-point gap to Brentford.

Man of the match: Barry Douglas.

DAVID WATKINS

The more I watch Leeds this season the more I think the most crucial factor is a bit of luck!

This was another vital game, more vital when we saw our rivals’ results but the first 15 minutes was, to say the least, nervewracking. Leeds took the lead through another Patrick Bamford goal but the most significant factor was that Blackburn, with two excellent early opportunities, saw Sam Gallagher pull one wide with eight yards to aim at and Lewis Holtby strike the post!

On another day those might have gone in and who knows what the outcome would be.

They didn’t of course and once Leeds got a second with a sumptuous Kalvin Phillips free-kick (no luck about that!) Leeds hardly looked in trouble. Even the second half reply from Rovers, with an equally exquisite free-kick, was met with such a quick response that we were able to coast to the end. That bit of luck helped again though as Rovers’ keeper 
Christian Walton made a mess of Mateusz Klich’s shot.

Better from Leeds, especially in front of goal, but still not our fluent best.

Man of the match: Mateusz Klich.

MIKE GILL

Watching this game on LUTV seemed all the more poignant as this is one of the away matches which always carries a huge allocation of tickets.

Patrick Bamford did the business on seven minutes after Mateusz Klich had dispossessed Lewis Travis about 30 yards from the goal. Our favourite Pole deftly placed the ball within shooting distance of Bamford’s left boot, leaving the striker with an easy shot.

Blackburn came back into the game briefly with Lewis Holtby smashing the ball against the post.

Then Leeds were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out from the Blackburn goal. Although Barry Douglas was in attendance, Kalvin Phillips smashed the ball into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Shortly after the start of the second half, Adam Armstrong caused a stir by hitting a fine free-kick himself.

To their credit, United quickly regained their composure and Klich did the business with a bouncing shot that evaded Rovers keeper Christian Walton.

After this, the result was not in doubt as United moved closer to their objective.

Man of the match: Mateusz Klich.

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