YEP Jury: Sending off sparks Leeds United into life against the Robins

Kemar Roofe congratulates Pablo Hernandez on his goal against Bristol City.
Kemar Roofe congratulates Pablo Hernandez on his goal against Bristol City.
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Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s 2-0 victory over Bristol City.

DAVID WATKINS

Gjanni Alioski tussles with  Bristol City's Josh Brownhill. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Gjanni Alioski tussles with Bristol City's Josh Brownhill. Picture: Tony Johnson.

For 55 minutes this game was in the balance. Leeds United dominated the possession but we created little with it and neither did Bristol City. But in the 55th minute Josh Brownhill got himself a second yellow and the game turned in our favour.

Whether it would have turned completely without the arrival of Samuel Saiz, I’m not sure. I am baffled why Saiz was left out for a fourth consecutive game having clearly shown at the Hawthorns what a difference he makes. We know he can be wasteful and we know he’s lost his shooting boots in a dark corner somewhere but without him we look toothless.

Playing with 10 men and trying to cope with Saiz proved too much for the Robins and by the end we could, maybe should, have been four or five goals to the good; that we weren’t was down to more poor finishing.

By the final whistle all was well and another game we ought to be winning if we are to maintain our challenge was won.

Leeds United debutant Aapo Halme.

Leeds United debutant Aapo Halme.

We move onto the same scenario now against Reading tomorrow.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

ANDY RHODES

That took some doing, didn’t it? Due to the scourge of injuries it wasn’t exactly Marcelo Bielsa’s first choice XI, but to be fair, the performance showed that they can cope.

In the end it was United’s attacking prowess that settled it, the effervescent Pablo Hernandez once again proving that he’s an invaluable piece of the jigsaw.

Any side with 10 men is asking for trouble when they face Hernandez and throw Samuel Saiz in the mix too and there’s only really going to be one outcome.

The red card put the spotlight on the forward line rather than the defence, which at the start of the game may have given some cause for concern. But credit to the make-shift defence, debutants Will Huffer and Aapo Halme did what was asked of them and kept a clean sheet.

If Leeds can find a way of playing against 11 men as they do against 10, they’ll go a long way this season.

Next up are Reading at home tomorrow night.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds maintained their push for a place in the Premier League with a unspectacular but important win over mid-table Bristol City.

The turning point in the game, the sending off of Josh Brownhill caused Lee Johnson to lose his temper at the post match interview. His comment that “Leeds got away with one” was wide of the mark as his side offered little to trouble the two debutants in the Leeds rearguard.

In a very forgettable first 45 minutes Leeds struggled to their their possession into an opening goal, Gjanni Alioski passed up a good opportunity when he tested out the hands of the City keeper. Kemar Roofe so nearly gave them the lead but his deflected effort went just past the post, Bristol offered little at the other end. During the break Leeds legend Eddie Gray summed the half up in the ‘rest room’ with the comment “too slow” as usual the winger was spot on.

From Brownhill’s sending off, Leeds moved up a gear, with Kalvin Phillips in excellent form they laid siege to the Bristol goal and it was only the brilliance of Niki Maenpaa in the Bristol goal that denied Barry Douglas. Leeds brought on Samuel Saiz and he was instrumental in the two goals that won the game. First, he was part of the move that ended with the ball at Mateusz Klich’s feet, the Polish midfielder’s ball into the box found Pablo Hernandez who shot towards goal and Roofe finished it off. The second with only minutes left was a beauty, Saiz delightfully finding Hernandez who netted his third goal in three games. A deft header akin to the one at the Hawthorns.

Just a word or two about the two debutants, Will Huffer and Aapo Halme, they had decent debuts and didn’t look out of place in the first team. Well done lads.

Leeds have looked a little ‘leggy’ in recent home games and the pace has disappeared, hopefully it will return tomorrow night when lowly Reading are the visitors.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

MATTHEW EVANS

Three points was all that mattered on Saturday and they came Leeds United’s way despite a lethargic first half at Elland Road.

It’s true to say that the game changed when Bristol City were reduced to 10 men but the better chances had fallen to Gjanni Alioski, Kalvin Phillips and Kemar Roofe before the deadlock was broken.

We can’t judge the performance too harshly given the injury problems we are facing, the back five had a right winger and two debutants.

We are lucky, however, that Bristol City were not more of a threat and if we are still relying on this make-shift line up in a week’s time then we will be in for a rough ride at Bramall Lane.

The older heads of Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper, Pablo Hernandez and substitute Samuel Saiz all kept the team ticking over with good performances and Kalvin Phillips got stuck in to every tackle with relish and seemed to cover every blade of grass.

Reading next and back-to-back home wins would be very welcome.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

SHAUN SMITH

For a large part of this game we had to endure something like one of those dreams when you’re running in treacle.

It took Bristol City to lose a man before Leeds started to look as if they were going to score. Tepidly dominant in the first half, the Whites began to look like a side who had run out of ideas but the sending off sparked new life into the home team. For the sake of our sanity, United need to find a way to score early because this was a game that should not have caused problems.

The debutants did okay but it was largely a below par performance. Another sell-out crowd emerged from Elland Road glad of a win but it’s not a good marketing ploy to wreck fans’ nerves along the way. Whether Leeds would have succeeded against a full XI we’ll never know.

There seems to be a hiatus in most games whilst players wait for something to happen. A reckless tackle on Kemar Roofe provided the stimulus.

It is imperative in future, that a more proactive approach is taken.

Man of the match: Barry Douglas.

MIKE GILL

Leeds United handed debuts to Aapo Halme and Will Huffer as their defensive selection problems deepened.

The first half against Bristol City was a dour affair with both sides sounding each other out.

The debutants both acquitted themselves well and both left the field at the break without any mishaps.

Almost an hour elapsed before the Whites came to life. Josh Brownhill had been sent off for a second bookable offence and this seemed to launch Leeds into action.

Buoyed by the introduction of Samuel Saiz and Jack Harrison, they started to batter the Bristol goal and on 67 minutes Pablo Hernandez set up Kemar Roofe with a finely weighted pass to put the Whites 1-0 up. The Spaniard later scored himself heading home a nice cross from Samuel Saiz.

And so a routine game was won in a routine fashion.

There could have been more goals but at least United have returned to having the best goal difference in the Championship.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.