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Leeds 2, Huddersfield 1: Pluses & Minuses

In what was a spirited and action packed derby match, Leeds emerged victorious 2-1. There were plenty of positives on the afternoon, but also some things that should have Leeds worrying some.

Sam Byram scored Leeds' first against Huddersfield from his right midfield position.
Sam Byram scored Leeds' first against Huddersfield from his right midfield position.
Rob Munro/Getty Images

Leeds United carried along with their winning ways at John Smith's Stadium when they defeated Huddersfield by a score of 2-1 in dramatic fashion. Leeds grabbed an early goal through Sam Byram in the 7th minute and capped off a fine effort with a last-gasp winner from Billy Sharp in the 90th minute.

The Whites are now unbeaten in their last four matches, have earned eight points in January, and appear to be on the upswing away from the relegation zone. Below are several positives from the match against the Terriers as well as a couple points that should cause Leeds fans some worry.


Sharp to the Rescue: The biggest moment from the win was undoubtedly Billy Sharp's winner in the 90th minute. As time was winding down, Sharp displayed predator-like instincts to nod home an excellent ball from Mirco Antenucci at the back post. While Sharp hasn't been receiving the lion's share of minutes lately, he made the most of his chance and showed up at the right spot at the right time. Neil Redfearn offered praise for Sharp in his post-match comments, highlighting the Englishman's knack for timely goals.

Super Sam: As of late the dynamite performances of Lewis Cook, Rodolph Austin, and Luke Murphy have been the talk of the town. While those three have had brilliant moments, Sam Byram has slowly, but surely, been making a case for himself and getting chances aplenty. The former right-back's efforts finally payed off against Huddersfield when he delicately lofted Murphy's through ball past the onrushing goalkeeper in the 7th minute. Byram's goal has been a long time coming and hopefully is a positive omen for the future.

Fighting Spirit: Leeds' recent green patch of form can largely be attributed to a renewed spirit amongst the squad. The team lacked conviction and an edge in the past, but lately has been fighting until the final minute in every match. This renewed energy and never-say-die attitude was widely apparent against Huddersfield, as Billy Sharp scored in the 90th minute and the lads fought off a sizable chunk of stoppage time to hold on for the victory.


Preventable Allowed Goal: While it is unrealistic to expect Leeds never to concede, especially away from home, the goal Huddersfield grabbed could have been avoided. On a routine corner kick, Harry Bunn was able to nod home with relative ease at the back post and Redfearn was surely shaking his head with disappointment after the play. To make matters worse, Marco Silvestri, who usually is solid on aerial services, was caught in no-man's land and helplessly flapped at the ball.

Austin Lucky to Avoid Red: Due to the emotionally-charged result and overall solid performance, this last negative was difficult to come up with. However, it must be noted that Rudy Austin had fortune on his side, as the central-midfielder was lucky not to see red against the Terriers. The Jamaican international finished the match with five fouls and at times played with too much exuberance when attempting to challenge. Austin definitely brings a fair amount of steel and bite to the center of the park, but those characteristics almost cost Leeds the match.