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Last Gasp Gradel Goal Gives Grayson Great Relief!

Well the boy has done it again!

Max Gradel saves the day once more for leeds united coming on off the bench to score the winner in a 1-0 victory for the Whites against Leyton orient.

max gradel

He seems to have a knack of coming on and changing games, and thats exactly what he did.

Once he came on for Vokes, the crowd got excited and gave the players a boost to once more lead Leeds to victory, that probably wasn't deserved.

I went to the game, and as I alluded to on a previous post, i thought this would be a reasonably easy game. Turns out it wasn't and we did put in an ugly performance. Phantom of the Opera ugly liked i hoped wouldn't happen against Andrew Lloyd Webber's team.

But all power to Orient's elbow, they came to Elland Road well organised under boss Geraint Williams and frustrated fans and players alike who were associated with leeds.

If Brighton was their best away performance of the season last saturday, this was quite possibly their worst home performance.

Grayson tried an experimental formation it seemed, with no natural wide man on the right preferring Jonny Howson to come inside and play almost as part of a front three with Beckford and Vokes. I noticed this early on and feared about a lack of width.

And thats exactly what happened. Leesd kept trying to play it down the middle, be it either a long ball or short passing game, but with Orient so quick and well organised, they were closing down every Leeds player and frustrating them perfectly.

The lack of width meant Leeds couldn't get at Orient, but they were vulnerable on the occasion when the ball went to Snodgrass on the left.

But with visitors playing so solidly, they tried to hit Leeds on the counter attack. And they thought they took the lead from a free kick early on. It was played short and a stunning 30 yard effort flew over Casper Ankergren's head, but the whistle had long gone as they took the free kick too quickly it seemed and had to be re-taken. The second attempt was dealt with.

Leeds somehow just couldn't get at Orient as much as the fans and manager would've wanted. It was sheer frustration watching at times. Again all due to Orient's firm resistance, and some last ditch defending helped saved Leeds on a couple of occasions. Kisnorbo once again the leader at the back.

It was good to know that we have such a good defence, because if we didn't then Tuesday could've ended oh so differently.

Not being unfair to Leeds though, they did create some chances when they did play it around, but none forcing any real saves.

The second half saw Snodgrass swap wings but it just meant the other wing was free. Obviously you can't blame Grayson for sticking with the same midfield after they did so well against Brighton. But it was more of an away formation, but at home it wasn't attacking enough. It just got Leeds nowhere.

You expect the visitors at Elland Road to form a guard like the Roman Army, who also happen to have invented buses before anyone else, cause they parked some of them in front as well. So you have to be attacking and get down the wings.

It seemed that the message was getting across as Gradel came on to the loudest cheer of the night, but for Vokes. Meaning Gradel was up front with Beckford, and once again playing the strange 4-3-3 formation. But at least Gradel's energy did mean he could cover wing and up front.

He was like lightening round the pitch and carved out chances for himself and others.

Finally with ten minutes to go Grella came on for Howson, meaning Gradel on one wing, Snodgrass on the other and Beckford and Grella up front.

Alleluia. Two natural wingers, two natural strikers, balance. And sure enough it worked.

The pressure was then relentless and Leeds bombarded the visitors goal and finally a bit of skill (and luck) as Gradel turned two defenders, found himself in space in the left hand side of the box and smashed home into the top corner with his left foot on 89 minutes, to send Leeds fans into delirium once more.

Well maybe more relief than delirium but with Charlton winning, the win meant Leeds stayed top by 6 points and 9 ahead of the play offs.

Frustrating but another victory and Leeds are by far and away top. And everyone relax, it was just a blip performance wise, but result wise, it's ever the same. Another win.