Now that’s more like it. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Leeds United returned to their winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Tuesday night, and everyone was able to breathe a little bit easier as a result.
It hadn’t been a good ten days for Leeds: two losses (at Huddersfield and home against Cardiff City) made for a lot of panic on the internet. We’re a bipolar bunch, us Leeds United supporters: win two in a row and we’re getting promoted... lose two in a row and the sky is falling, the whole season was a sham, and we’re finally getting the crap results we deserve.
So are we back to “getting promoted” now? Maybe. At the very least, we’re not jumping off cliffs, so that’s a good thing. Two goals, one from Chris Wood in the 27th minute and one from Pablo Hernandez in the 47th minute, sealed the three points, and a late (and I mean late) goal for Bristol couldn’t stop the final whistle celebrations. Let’s take a look at how this one played out.
Underway at Elland Road, Leeds off to a great start with Roofe, Hernandez, Sacko, and Wood on attack. We’ll have goals here on Twitter. #MOT— Thru It All Together (@ThruItAllLUFC) February 14, 2017
Immediately after the opening kick, fans knew they’d be in for a treat at Elland Road, as both sides came out on fire. Kemar Roofe and Hadi Sacko made their return to Garry Monk’s starting XI, and in the second minute, they combined with Pablo Hernandez for the first chance of the first half. Pablo’s cross barely missed Roofe, but Bristol came to play too, forcing Green into a save on the counter. It was game on.
The Leeds attack looked strong again in the first half, as the Robins couldn’t handle the front four of Sacko, Roofe, Hernandez and of course, Chris Wood. Chances kept coming for the quartet, as Roofe had a shot go wide in the 10th, Hernandez had another in the 14th, and Roofe had another chance that went just over, resulting in two consecutive corner kicks.
The pressure finally paid off in the 27th minute when Chris Wood scored the game’s opening goal. A quick free kick from Hernandez found Wood amongst a sleepy/surprised Bristol defence, and he slotted it home.
Bristol didn’t like it, obviously, and Lee Tomlin was booked for dissent, but the Leeds attack kept on coming, as Vieira had a chance just afterwards, putting a left-footed blast just over the goal.
Maybe the key moment of the match came in the 37th minute though, as Bristol’s top man Tammy Abraham went down injured and had to come out of the game. He hadn’t made an impact yet, but it’s hard to mount a comeback on the road without your top goal scorer.
Abraham off, who was struggling to get any joy against Jansson.— I'd Radebe Leeds (@Radebe_Leeds) February 14, 2017
Roofe had another chance to score before the break but couldn’t find the net, and Bristol tried to put one past Green in the 45th minute and failed, but the first half was really all Leeds United. No complaints whatsoever, a performance more like the ones we saw at the beginning of January than the beginning of February:
Great half - more Derby than Cardiff. Hernandez has been excellent and Sacko a threat from the first minute. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 14, 2017
The second half started off just as fast as the first: Bristol had a chance when half-time substitute Milan Djuric nearly scored in the first minute after chaos in the box. But in the second minute, Leeds put the game to bed, as Pablo Hernandez scored on accident. A through-pass to Chris Wood took a deflection and went past Giefer for goal number 2:
Leeds also should’ve scored a third on the night when Bristol’s Aden Flint stretched out his arm in the box to block a shot from Luke Ayling, but referee Jeremy Simpson doesn’t understand the rules of the game and awarded a corner instead. Rules be damned.
Leeds had more chances for substitutes Mo Barrow and Kalvin Phillips, but they would finish the match with only the two goals.
Bristol kept fighting throughout the second half, putting several great shots on net, but Rob Green earned our TIAT Man of the Match through a number of amazing saves. He should’ve earned a clean sheet as well, as Leeds cleared the 95th minute ahead 2-0 and only five minutes were supposed to have been added. In the 96th (?!?) minute, Djuric put a header past Green, and the final whistle blew. Again, rules be damned I guess. Thanks ref.
Djuric got the City goal with a header from a corner. Literally the last touch of the game. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 14, 2017
So, a 2-1 win at home against a crap team. We’ll take it: it should’ve been 2-0, and Leeds dominated much of the match, looking like the team we remembered from October-January instead of the one we saw last week. More of this please, lads. Three points, more secure in the play off places, and marching on through the final third of the season. Back with you on Saturday at Ipswich. MOT.