Leeds United came into the match reeling a bit after three straight defeats, including an ugly loss at Elland Road against Reading FC. Bristol City was coming off of a 0-0 draw against lowly Burton Albion, but both teams were in the top six and looked to move up the table.
While Leeds United’s success early in the season drew a little surprise from the pundits, Bristol City endured a campaign to forget in the 2016-17 season, barely escaping relegation at the end of the season. For them to be in the playoff places in late October caught almost everyone by surprise, not least of which the rumour peddlers in the national press who had Aden Flint and Joe Bryan off to new destinations on almost a daily basis in the summer transfer window.
However, after a couple early goals from Samu Saiz, Leeds was able to keep a clean sheet and score three goals to get all three points and move on up in the table.
Leeds controlled the early part of the match, and unlike in past matches where Leeds would look good for spells with nothing to show for it, Samu Saiz made sure that Leeds would have a better afternoon, scoring two goals in 15 minutes. The first goal was scored from the left side of the box after a fantastic bit of build up play from Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Lasogga was dribbling past a couple Bristol City defenders and put a backheel into space for Saiz to run onto the ball. Saiz hit a good shot that took a slight deflection and went into the back of the net in the 4th minute.
Leeds kept on the front foot for the next few minutes and were rewarded again in the 14th minute as Samu Saiz latched onto a loose ball in the box and smashed it home to give Leeds the 2-0 lead.
Alioski back on his feet and back on the pitch. Three minutes to half-time. 0-2. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
Gjanni Alioski went down injured in the 40th minute after a challenge from Marlin Pack of Bristol City outside the Leeds box, but was able to continue after receiving treatment on the pitch.
CHANCE: Corner comes out to O'Dowda who's totally unmarked, smashes a volley but Ayling throws himself in front of it.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
Vieira selection = a big injection of energy. Phillips has been superb and Saiz, obviously. Strong midfield gave the defence an easy half.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
Leeds went into half-time leading 2-0 after dealing with some late pressure from Bristol City, but kept the clean sheet going into half-time.
The midfield did yeoman’s work in the first half, shielding the back four and doing their best to create forward momentum for the attacking players. Eunan O’Kane played alongside Ronaldo Vieira in the back while Kalvin Phillips had license to roam in between the forwards and the central midfield. O’Kane’s through ball to Alioski is what created the second goal, as Bristol dealt with the pressure poorly.
Bristol City had a chance from a free kick from a dangerous area after Ronaldo Vieira was booked for a challenge, but Leeds was able to deal with the chance well enough.
CHANCE: Hegeler heads straight at Lonergan after Brownhill chips a cross to him 12 yards out. Good opportunity. 0-2 on 61 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
Saiz had a chance for a hat trick but his shot went just wide after being played into space by Ronaldo Vieira. Bristol City had another chance a few minutes later, but Hegeler was only able to head straight into the safe hands of Andy Lonergan.
Easy - Phillips corner to the near post, Lasogga meets it with a glancing header. 0-3, good night. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
After Hegeland tried to pull down Vieira by trying to swap shirts early, a Lasogga free kick went off the Bristol City’s wall and out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Lasogga headed the ball into the Bristol City net to sink Bristol City’s chances.
Ludicrous. Close to halfway, in a challenge and stuck the head on him. Jansson now trying to fight with the Bristol City bench— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 21, 2017
Gaetano Berardi was sent off for a rather stupid red card in the 79 minute, but luckily for Leeds, Matty Taylor, who had been subbed on earlier in the match, was also sent off in the dust-up that occurred after it appeared that Berardi head-butted a Bristol City player after the City player felt aggrieved by the challenge from Berardi.
Leeds saw the rest of the match out without any challenge, with only a free header from Bristol City’s Diedhiou that went wide the only real danger.
Remarkable performance. Leeds are the first side to beat Bristol City at home in 2017/18, who conceded 1 in their last 4 games before today.— Chris Taylor (@LUFCDATA) October 21, 2017
So Leeds righted the ship and grabbed all three points on their travels down to Bristol today, with a midweek League Cup match against Leicester City, who won at Swansea despite having their manager Craig Shakespeare sacked this week. Samu Saiz the obvious choice for Man of the Match as his brace helped Leeds blow past Bristol in a match that always had one result.