Leeds United continued their winning ways at home tonight, with a dominant performance against Derby County at Elland Road.
Leeds started out on fire, setting the tempo early with four corners in the first ten minutes. For the first 30 minutes, all Derby really did was defend the countless onslaught by our boys in white.
Kyle Bartley was among the most active during the fury of corners, and should have had a penalty as Jason Shackell clearly held his shirt and impeded his way to the cross.
But try and try they might, our boys couldn't break through. In a flurry of events Souleymane Doukara went for an audacious bicycle kick, which ended up at the feet of Kyle Bartley who was all alone and had an empty net in front, but hit it off the wrong foot and went just wide.
You could just sense that Leeds were closing in on a breakthrough, but not before Thomas Ince had a strong crack at net to remind Leeds that Derby can have an attacking presence.
Many players had a very active first half, including the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe. As the game slowed down a bit, I jotted down in my notes that I hadn't heard Chris Wood's name mentioned much, and he must have seen that, because mere minutes afterwards, Leeds finally broke through Scott Carson and it was none other than the man himself, Chris Wood.
CHRIS WOOD SCORES WHEN HE WANTS. 1-0 just before the halftime whistle blows. #MOT pic.twitter.com/72waFszvZz— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) January 13, 2017
Leeds came into halftime on a definite high note thanks to Wood's 19th goal of the season. But as good as 1-0 seemed, the gap really could have been greater. If Bartley get the penalty call in his favor, and actually converts from 2 feet out, it's 3-0.
During halftime they showed a replay of Craig Bryson's foul on Pablo Hernandez, which during the spur of the moment didn't seem too threatening to me. But as the replays showed, Bryson really had it out for Pablo's nose, as he clearly elbowed him with intent to hurt. Derby was lucky to have a full squad going out onto the pitch for the second half.
At the start of the second half, the scrolls flipped a bit. Derby was on the attacking end of things early on, pressing forward and causing Rob Green some trouble. Green almost had a grave mistake, clearing the ball straight at Derby attacker Darren Bent, which deflected off him and rolled into the back of the net. Luckily, the ball hit Bent's hand and everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Beyond that, Derby never really posed too much of a threat, as Leeds played out a game where a good chunk of the action was in the first half.
We were able to secure three well deserved points and move into third place on the table. Next up is eighth placed Barnsley, and Leeds will look to keep up an impressive away record. Beautiful, worthy win tonight at Elland Road. Come on boys, MOT!
FT: Leeds United 1 - Derby County 0. 48 points on the season, 3rd place #LUFC have an eight point play-off cushion over 7th place #DCFC. pic.twitter.com/P5MaH9iX61— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) January 13, 2017