YEP Jury: White-hot Leeds United put Lampard's Rams and '˜spygate' in the shade
We’ll never know how important it was for Pablo Hernandez to play in this game; would it have been any different without him? I’m pretty sure our performance wouldn’t have been quite so complete had he not been out there.
Equally important from the derby perspective was probably that Harry Wilson was still missing for them. Those factors surely had a bearing, but the way Leeds attacked the Rams from the start and dominated from first whistle to last has completely changed the mood again, sweeping away the concern that maybe we were faltering, “falling apart” as the song goes! Looking back at the Hull and Forest defeats now in the light of this display, it is quite easy to accept Marcelo Bielsa’s conclusion that, actually, we were unlucky not to win those games too.
It was a stunning performance, and had the assistant referee not incorrectly called the offside decision in the first minute and allowed the penalty to stand, maybe a 3-0 scoreline would have been more a reflection of Leeds’ true dominance.
Man of the match: Adam Forshaw.
Back to winning ways and three points never tasted so sweet.
The drama of Thursday and Friday showed Leeds at their least and most professional, and in the end they answered their critics on the pitch.
It was the kind of performance Leeds required after the drama of the previous 12 hours, and to be honest, spies or not, Derby never looked like winning.
The Rams weren’t their usual selves and failed to make any real impact on the game, which is much to the credit of United’s dominant display.
The returning Liam Cooper looked like he’d never been away, while Adam Forshaw put in his finest performance in a Leeds shirt, collecting every loose ball and driving the team forward.
For many it was Jack Clarke who stole the show, proving that he’s more than the impact player he’s often billed as.
When Leeds put in performances like that there’s no better team in the Championship. More of the same next week please.
Man of the match: Adam Forshaw.
Leeds United moved four points clear of second-placed Norwich City after one of the best performances I’ve witnessed in a long time.
The 2-0 scoreline was scant reward for the complete domination of a Derby team that at the start of proceedings were sixth in the Championship, unfortunately matters off the field soured the taste of the victory wine.
‘Spygate’ may come back and cost Leeds either a fine or, worse still, a points deduction at a key stage of the season.
Leeds aren’t liked so why give the authorities the ammunition to fire at us? Not one of Bielsa’s cleverest ideas, even if it is done elsewhere where he has coached. So sad that in a season that is showing the club in a wonderful light football-wise an incident like Thursday’s ‘folly’ will also be remembered.
It’s pretty hard to give the plaudits to one player as nearly every one of the men in white had good games, but the returning Liam Cooper was superb at the back, Adam Forshaw absolutely superb in midfield and Jack Clarke mesmerised the Derby defence.
Leeds dominated Derby County from the opening minutes and they could, and maybe should have been out of the sight by the break. The one-touch football thrilling a once-again packed Elland Road. One of those moments brought the only goal of the half, Clarke putting a ball across the six-yard box for Kemar Roofe to smash into the back the net to open the scoring.
Jack Harrison made it two after young Clarke fired in a bullet of a shot that Scott Carson could only parry to Gjanni Alioski who side-footed the ball to Harrison to score with ease. From then on in the ‘ole’s’ came, the scarfs were swung around fans’ heads and the atmosphere was electric. ‘Frank Lampard’s Derby County’ were given a football lesson and their left-back must have gone to bed dizzy and still wondering where the mercurial Clarke was!
Fellow juror David Watkins had ‘a bad feeling’ about the game, he’d previously said Villa and Sheffield United would beat us before his prediction that Derby would win. All I can say is maybe keep doing it till the season end my friend!
Man of the match: Adam Forshaw.
The fans’ jury unanimously said that this match would be tight. In the end it was anything but.
Leeds United dominated in a way I have not seen at Elland Road since the days of Don Revie. Bielsa is a man who deserves to be mentioned in that kind of company. Frank Lampard’s Derby County were made to look like boys against men. Almost literally, there was only one team in this and it had very little to do with a man standing on a main road in Derbyshire but everything to do with a genius honing a team that this city can be truly proud of.
The fans were on board and the players devoured the game like hungry tigers. The atmosphere was like the Knights of old and Leeds United are back. They will call us cheats. They will do so because they are jealous. They will ignore the moral profundity that is Marcelo Bielsa and this near-perfect performance. I have rarely felt so proud of my football club and how magnanimous of Bielsa to comfort Frank Lampard by saying that his team had looked so much better in training.
Man of the match: Gjanni Alioski.
Leading up to this game, there seemed to be a lot of negativity about. No Kalvin Phillips or Barry Douglas, Pablo Hernandez doubtful, threadbare bench – unsustainable.
Yet Leeds started the game like an express train, buoyed by the return of Liam Cooper and the availability of Hernandez. From the disallowed ‘penalty’ to Kemar Roofe’s goal to half-time Leeds dominated with stand-out performances from Adam Forshaw, Gjanni Alioski, Roofe and Jack Clarke.
Early in the second half, Jack Harrison tapped in Alioski’s pass after another brilliant cross from Clarke.
The upbeat tempo continued until the end of the match and justified Marcelo Bielsa’s selections against QPR. The ‘rested’ players looked very sharp indeed. This was United’s most complete performance since the early autumn and the 2-0 scoreline flattered clueless Derby.
Spygate? A hysterical over reaction to a practice that is commonplace throughout the game. Bielsa handled it perfectly by putting his hands up and taking responsibility. What a man!
Man of the match: Jack Clarke.