YEP Jury: Ruthless Leeds United make a real statement of intent at Potters

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s dominant 3-0 victory at Stoke City.

By Mark Absolon
Monday, 26th August 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 26th August 2019, 7:00 am
Stuart Dallas celebrates his opening goal at Stoke City.
Stuart Dallas celebrates his opening goal at Stoke City.


For me this was a real statement by Leeds, a win at a side struggling at the foot of the table and, you would think, battling for their lives.

We came here last season with Stoke similarly struggling and we all remember how badly that one ended.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Leeds United fans celebrate at Stoke City.

No such problems this time in the first game where we really thought we must win if we are to be taken as serious promotion contenders. This was as dominant a win as you could hope for and the only thing we cannot be sure of is just how bad this Stoke City side really is. Let’s not beat about the bush here, they were atrocious and I can’t see how Nathan Jones can survive.

Leeds bossed the possession as always and managed three times the number of goal attempts than the home side achieved. Even more impressive is the fact we got 10 of those 21 attempts on target and converted three.

It is almost impossible to pick a man of the match but, for his sheer composure on the ball and his calming influence, I’ve gone for Ben White.

Man of the match: Ben White.

Adam Forshaw is challenged by the Stoke defence.


After five league games it feels like United are getting fully into their stride.

With four wins in those five matches, Leeds have proved to their doubters that they can continue to perform in the Championship.

As is essential to any good team, Leeds had performances from all over the pitch in Staffordshire and the goals were shared around too. Pablo Hernandez returned to his usual best following a disappointing performance in midweek, while Stuart Dallas put in another good showing and was well worth his goal.

Patrick Bamford is congratulated after scoring Leeds United's third goal.

There were plenty of good performances while Patrick Bamford continues to be amongst the goals. It’s looking more likely that he will be the 20-goal striker we’ve been craving.

This fixture last season got the better of Leeds at a time when they desperately needed the points. This season, Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping the creases have been ironed out. Another match against Stoke beckons tomorrow and after being outclassed at home, Nathan Jones’ men might not fancy the trip north.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.


There’s that old cliché about whether a team can ‘do it’ on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke that was even deployed by big Steve Evans (once of this parish) referring to his current successor Marcelo Bielsa.

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about it this season because the fixture list gave us a hot Saturday afternoon in Stoke for the first time I can remember and we ‘did it’ in style.

Stoke’s changes to their starting XI made for a scrappy start to the game in a first half that Bielsa called ‘complicated’ but once Stuart Dallas had stuck away the opener just before the break, Stoke looked dead and buried. United were sublime in spells and should have scored more despite the pre-game clamour for Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa to start. Patrick Bamford and Gaetano Berardi took some early hammer from the away end but both had rammed it back down their critics’ throats by the end of the game.

There were lots of candidates for man of the match, as seems to be the way these days, but Ben White stands out as an exceptional signing.

Man of the match: Ben White.


So the juggernaut rolls on! Three away Championship fixtures, three straight wins and I predicted that we’d draw them all. Just shows I might need to show a little more faith in my team!

Marcelo Bielsa brought in Gaetano Berardi for the injured Liam Cooper but it made little difference as once again for the fourth game (including the cup game) a clean sheet was kept by the impressive defence.

It’s hard not to go ‘over the top’ over one game but this was as much as a professional performance that you could wish to see, with goals by Stuart Dallas (who was the man of the match), Gjanni Alioski and Patrick Bamford giving Leeds the three points. They were superbly assisted by Adam Forshaw in midfield – both Dallas and Forshaw weren’t seen as key players for this season but week after week they impress and deserve their plaudits.

Stoke City will once again be the opposition when Leeds play them in the second round of the Carabao Cup at Elland Road tomorrow night. Expect a multitude of changes as Marcelo Bielsa will bring in Shackleton, Costa, Clarke and Nketiah and probably a few more.

I’ve been really impressed how Leeds have put behind the disappointment of last May behind them and started this season so impressively.

Even a old cynic like me is starting to get a little excited at what is happening so far this season.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.


Nathan Jones played what is often the manager’s final card, he publicly berated his players in the media before making six changes for the game.

In the first half, he cut an animated figure prancing around his technical area like a manic marionette.

Just before half-time he slowed down and dropped his shoulders, just like his players did.

The shoulder dropping was caused by Stuart Dallas. Pablo Hernandez who had been having a quiet afternoon sent a sublime pass from the left over to the Irishman who made no mistake with his shot.

In the second half, United carried on where they had left off. Alioski had a simple tap in from a cross from Patrick Bamford. The big striker added one of his own on 66 minutes. They could have added more with good efforts from Jack Harrison, Helda Costa and Adam Forshaw.

As for Nathan Jones, he disappeared from the technical area altogether and sat on the bench except when he was supervising substitutions.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.


For about half an hour Stoke City looked like a team.

Competitive and progressive it gave Leeds United a chance to have a bit of defending practice.

Come the half hour, the visitors had got the measure of the pitch and the prevailing wind conditions and started to dissemble the rock bottom side.

It was hot, Pablo Hernandez hot and though the 
Castellon conjuror has been going through a rough spell, he charmed a ball into Stuart Dallas’ path and that was an invitation too good to pass up.

Leeds produced an hour’s worth of football too good for the Championship and Stoke in particular.

Some of the players in white are beginning to look world class in this sort of company and a swagger is emerging that is seductively assured. Every player had a good game. It was slick.

It was slicker than slick. It oozed. How a defender managed to pull off the man-of-the- match award is astounding. But he did.

Man of the match: Ben White.