YEP Jury: Relief all round as Leeds United get that first win on the board

Our fans’ panel can now enjoy the international break a little bit more after Leeds United’s dominant 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday. Here’s what they made of the match:

Monday, 4th October 2021, 6:00 am
Diego Llorente celebrates with Liam Cooper after scoring against Watford. Picture: Simon Hulme.

DAVID WATKINS

I thought Leeds would romp this game, my 4-0 prediction was made in the genuine belief that Watford are not very good and we are far better than results suggest. As it happens, I think it should have been at least 4-0!

Leeds dominated from start to finish, with perhaps only one or two moments of worry throughout. Opportunities came regularly for Leeds to stretch the one-goal lead Diego Llorente had given us in the 18th minute and, like the Newcastle and West Ham games, we only have ourselves to blame that we couldn’t take the sting out of the Hornets.

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Captain Liam Cooper embraces Raphinha and Rodrigo after full time. Picture: Simon Hulme.

The word that comes to mind is ruthlessness or, in our case, a lack of it. Ruthlessness in front of goal, ruthlessness in getting crosses accurately into the box and ruthlessness in closing out the game. I’m sure every Leeds fan was worrying Watford would get lucky, score a late goal and scurry down the M1 with a totally undeserved point.

Still, we have a win on the board and it was another fine, dominant performance. Now, let’s get ruthless!

Man of the match: Raphinha.

KEITH INGHAM

Watford players chase the referee after they had a 'goal' disallowed against Leeds United. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Leeds win! After seven games a victory is registered in their results column and how the fans felt a sense of relief, but this was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests but it wasn’t without its odd scare.

Leeds were on the front foot from the first minute and went ahead before 20 minutes when a corner was headed across the penalty area and the returning Llorente swept the ball home with a superb finish.

How Leeds didn’t go into the break leading by at least three goals is down to some good keeping by Ben Foster and some wayward finishing.

In the second half, United continued to go after that important second goal but unfortunately it never came and because it didn’t, Watford came into the game and they actually got the ball into the Leeds net when a corner kick was spilled by Meslier, moments after he received a knock saving a goal-bound shot.

Marcelo Bielsa watches from the sidelines. Picture: Simon Hulme.

The ‘goal’ was disallowed and not reviewed by VAR. It looked that Cooper had been fouled before the ball went into the net.

This was an important win but it may come with a cost as Stuart Dallas was injured late in the game. Hopefully it won’t be serious and the Northern Ireland international may not be out for long.

Llorente made a difference but you couldn’t fault any player in white, they once again gave their all.

Man of the match: Diego Llorente.

Leeds United fans getbehind their team at Elland Road. Picture: Simon Hulme.

ANDY RHODES

At last! We can celebrate three points and relax a little bit.

Had Leeds not got the win, the nerves would have really kicked in but, no matter the margin, United can press on now.

Without Patrick Bamford, the front four of Rodrigo, Dan James, Mateusz Klich and Raphinha were fluid and got forward at pace and allowed Leeds to attack without having a specific target man to aim for.

Without Bamford in the middle, Raphinha and James were possibly given more license to shoot, particularly in Raphinha’s case.

Watford couldn’t cope with it and while you can never sit comfortably when an opposition side attack, the win never looked in doubt, other than in the nervy final few moments.

The win should help build some confidence and push Leeds up the league with more favourable games to come.

Typically the international break may now be here but it will only give Marcelo Bielsa more time to refine his team’s style.

Man of the match: Dan James.

MIKE GILL

When the final whistle signalled the end of this match a collective sigh of relief was expressed around Elland Road. And yet, it shouldn’t have been a nervous finish.

United dominated and outplayed Watford in every department and the Hornets should not have been at the races. The much-vaunted Sarr didn’t get a look in against Junior Firpo, Josh King was quiet and eventually replaced and the gulf in class between the two sides was enormous.

In every respect but one, United played really well. The conversion of chances was again a concern with several gilt-edged opportunities going to waste.

Indecisiveness in front of goal, making one pass too many, allayed to wayward shooting accounted for the wastefulness.

Only Tyler Roberts could count himself unlucky as his spectacular effort cannoned off the bar at the end.

The imperious Diego Llorente had put the Whites ahead with an instinctive scrambled shot on 18 minutes before Dan James was felled in the area but no penalty was given.

A trip to Southampton awaits after the International Break and Leeds can start to look upwards.

Man of the match: Diego Llorente.

JACOB STARR

Finally, a first Premier League win of the season for the Whites, and it should have been a lot more convincing.

If we were to lose against Watford, things would have looked very bleak, although I don’t recall them having a shot on target of note.

That could be down to the return of Diego Llorente from injury. The Spaniard also netted the only goal of the game in fabulous fashion from a corner. What a player.

Tyler Roberts came on and had chances cleared off the line and the bar. It really could have been three or four on another day, even without the likes of Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford.

With games against Southampton, Norwich and Wolves coming up, it was massively important to gain our first victory so that we can begin to climb up the table.

Another international break is upon us, so the significance of this win is even greater.

The other four teams who had failed to win this campaign were all unsuccessful in their quest to gain a first victory of the season over the weekend.

Man of the match: Dan James.

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