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Leeds United at Preston North End: Three takeaways from a dominating display at Deepdale

Leeds knocked the stuffing out of Preston on Boxing Day.

Liverpool v Leeds United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final
I am sure this man will still be smiling today.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Yesterday’s game was a statement of intent from the players of Leeds United; any questions around the sustainability of the club’s promotion credentials were well and truly put to bed in a dominating display at Deepdale.

Our Joshua Gilbert put together a quick recap of the match, but the day after, we bring you three points, takeaways you’ll likely be talking about with friends the day after. Our three takeaway points from the match yesterday:

Talking Point 1: The Roofe is on fire

It did take a while for Kemar Roofe to settle into the Championship, but over the last few weeks he has gradually become a real focus on the attack for this Leeds squad. The quality performance against Liverpool was the spark, and since then, his performances have been lighting up the Leeds faithful with praise.

Yesterday’s performance was no different. Roofe was in the right place for the opening goal as he guided his header into the back of the net after a good header from Pontus Jansson.

For me though, it was his beautiful one two play with Sakho which truly showed the man’s quality. His pass through was poetry in motion - just an absolute brilliant piece of football. If he keeps playing to this standard, then the sky is the limit for Roofe... and Leeds as a result.

Talking Point 2: The Strength within the 18

When the starting XI was released before the match, I was a little concerned. Charlie Taylor wasn’t named in the 18 (hopefully just injured), Chris Wood still wasn’t at full match fitness and the flair of Hernandez was still missing as he also started on the bench.

This game would really highlight how much we would cope without three of our most influential players.

However, even without those players in the starting XI, Leeds United played the best all-around game of football we have played all season.

Gaetano Berardi had struggled to break into the starting XI since his injury in the opening weekend due to the quality of Taylor and Ayling, but he grasped the chance with both hands and showed his quality throughout making some important challenges.

I was also impressed with Doukara leading the line this week. Against Brentford last week he seemed to struggle with the responsibility of being the only striker. However, yesterday he worked hard and was rewarded with the team’s third goal.

Talking Point 3: A Statement of Intent

After last week’s less-than-convincing win at home, some questions were still being asked about whether we would continue to push for promotion. Well, yesterday the club answered that question emphatically with a top performance.

The match against Preston was different from anything we’ve seen so far this season. The Reading game showed they can compete with the big boys in the division. Rotherham and Brentford showed we can win ugly. But this victory showed our ability to absolutely dismantle teams.

After we scored the first goal, it felt like the players could smell the fear of the Preston players and attacked with force and passion. Even in the last few minutes after Hernandez had put the icing on the cake, the lads still kept chasing and were unlucky not to have scored again.

The Leeds players also showed something else: they showed their ability to hold a lead. Preston went for it in the first 20 minutes of the second half. This was to no avail, as the players did something Leeds teams have struggled to do and they saw out the game comfortably.

Overall, everything was brilliant yesterday. I honestly had a tear in my eye as Marching on Together boomed around Deepdale. The performance from every man in blue was brilliant.

This Leeds team are tactically, physically and mentally the strongest Leeds side we have had in the last 13 years, and with the Leeds support alongside them, they are slowly becoming unstoppable. #InMonkWeTrust.

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