This. This is the reaction I wanted to see following the Brighton debacle. Winning against Bolton was nice, but that’s all it was. Cardiff away, a game we haven’t won since 1984, a game that’s caused us as much torture over the past 30 years as the Manitowoc County Sheriff Department has caused Steve Avery. We won a game that even last night we had no right to win. But we did, after a gutsy selection from Steve Evans, a smash and grab performance from the team, and away we go back to Thorp Arch with 6 points from 2 games and a newfound confidence that should serve us well in the fixtures to come.
It's nights like last night that give me faith in not only Leeds United, but in football in general. Let's be honest, Cardiff had much the better of the game. Their pressure was relentless at times, none more so then when they were reduced to 10 men. Marco Silvestri getting man of the match in a two-goal win tells you half the story in itself. The other, more beautiful half of the story is that on a cold, wet, windy night in Cardiff, Leeds took their chances.
When the squad was announced it was clear from the get-go that Steve Evans didn’t want to sit back and soak up the Cardiff pressure. Murphy came in for Diagouraga. Mowatt and Cook both started and 2, count them, 2 strikers. Why haven't we done this lately? It was not the defensive look we have become used to over the past few months. Credit to Evans for this, it was a gutsy line up, gutsy for the reason that if it didn’t work and Cardiff hammered us, his job would have once again been the main post match talking point.
Lean, mean and never in the team, Chris Wood sat this one out again which meant our goal-scoring hopes sat with Antenucci and Doukara. They did not disappoint: two breakaway counter-attacking goals were very well executed, the second of which killed off the game when Cardiff threatened to steal a last minute equaliser.
Credit to both of them for taking the chances that game, but the main hero of the day has to be Marco Silvestri. I lost count of how many great saves he had to make and without a keeper on top form, this night would have certainly not ended in glory for the Whites.
So where does this memorable victory leave Leeds now then? Evans aim of top ten is starting to look a little less laughable and any worry over a relegation battle must have been put to bed. With three games coming up against teams in and around us (Blackburn, Huddersfield Town, and Rotherham), Leeds have the chance to go on a very good run and rocket up the table. It doesn’t mean that is what we will do, but we are now in the position to end this 2016 season in style.
I’m sure it wont be as simple as we all want it to be, and I’m sure the unhappiness regarding ownership is going nowhere, but for now at least there is a bit of optimism on the pitch and I for one could do with welcome distraction like last night to help me forget about all our other worries.