What a difference a week makes in football, this time last week Leeds United had only just beaten Bradford City in the Carling Cup. Now the fans are happy after a near perfect performance at home against Hull to settle the early season nerves.
Prior to kick-off Leeds fans knew the team would be without the suspended Max Gradel and Jonny Howson. But Simon Grayson was forced to make further changes, injured Ben Parker was replaced by Aidy White, Darren O'Dea moved to centre-back to replace the injured Leigh Bromby, Ramon Nunez played on the left of midfield and Andy Keogh started up top with Ross McCormack.
Leeds started strongly just like they did on Saturday against Boro, Andy Lonergan was once again in full command of his defence and Leeds were looking dangerous going forward. As the clock ticked on Leeds got closer and closer to finding the back of the net. Nunez came close when his shot cannoned off the bar after some good build up play. Leeds were eventually 1-0 up minutes later thanks to a Ross McCormack goal. Snodgrass was given space on the right, and his cross was headed in by McCormack after two attempts.
The lead didn't last long though and Hull were level thanks to an own goal from Tom Lees. The defender had to deal with the cross due to the pressure from an oncoming attacker, but his clearance went straight into the back of the net. The game was then spun on its head, and Hull grew in confidence and looked dangerous. Leeds weren't helping themselves by making little mistakes and inviting pressure. Lees in particular was struggling after his mistake, the crowd and players were doing their best to keep his spirits high. He was on top of the world though shortly after when his carefully placed shot found the top corner to make it 2-1.
At the start of the second-half Leeds were awarded a free-kick outside the box. Robert Snodgrass took control of the situation perfectly, by curling his shot straight into the the back of the net. The relief around the ground was clear to see as fans could see the victory in site. Andy Lonergan was on hand to keep Leeds' two goal cushion with a fantastic diving stop to keep Aaron McLean's header out. The Leeds defence continued to stand-up to the barrage of attacks and in the 69th minute Leeds finished the game off in style after another Ramon Nunez goal.
Hull missed several key chances at the end, surprisingly through striker Matty Fryatt. Adam Clayton could have made it 5-1 but he was halted by some terrific Hull defending and the game finished 4-1. The performance was top class from Leeds against a good Hull side. Hull weren't at their best tonight that is for sure, but they picked up a big three points at Ipswich last week so they are no pushovers. The defence looked solid even with the dodgy Darren O'Dea at centre-back. For me Simon Grayson would be stupid to change the side for the visit to West Ham. Jonny Howson and Max Gradel are huge players within the team, but dropping those who gave their all sends the wrong message out to the squad. Besides a bit of competition never hurts anyone!
Man of the match
When a team picks up a resounding win the attackers usually get the credit. But I just can't ignore the performance of Andy Lonergan in between the sticks. Once again he bossed the box and made several key saves at crucial moments during the match. Adam Clayton was a close second, after only four games the midfielder is becoming a real fan favourite.