Everyone, we can breathe a sign of relief. Leeds United welcomed Preston North End to Elland Road, needing a win to right the ship after two straight defeats.
And our boys in white responded in perfect fashion.
The first three minutes were all Preston. Very early on, the Lilywhites had two early free headers, and flashbacks to our last game at Brentford quickly filled my mind. But Leeds very quickly calmed the storm and turned it around.
Just before the 18th minute, Kemar Roofe almost singlehandedly let Preston go up by a goal after he lost the ball and Tom Barkhuizen was free in front of goal, but he hit the ball wide.
Then, obviously feeling guilty, Roofe connected with Chris Wood on a beautiful 1-2 and scored to put Leeds up early 1-0. As Noel Whelan put it, there was “some sexy soccer going on out there.”
Fast forward to the 40th minute, and our golden kiwi Chris Wood broke free and slotted away his 25th goal of the season.
Until he didn’t.
In a bit of controversy, the linesman did not raise his flag up to signal Wood offside, but the head ref seemed to think Wood was and called him offside. Wood could have made it 2-0, and my pre-match prediction would have been spot on before half.
Controversy or not, the game must go on. Leeds kept attacking and were determined to get one more before the half. They got their wish, thanks to the magician himself Pablo Hernandez. During the added time, Hernandez dribbled the ball around keeper Chris Maxwell and rolled the ball over the line for a 2-0 lead and momentum completely in Leeds’ favor.
Kemar Roofe was on fire that first half and should have cemented his role along the right side for every game here on out. We desperately need our wingers to attack up the pitch to give Chris Wood any kind of help, and Roofe has been one of the few wingers willing to do it.
Maybe the only negative in that first half is that the game could have been 3-0.
It was Preston, however, that started off the second half strong. Right away the visitors had three early corners. Nothing came from them, and Leeds were soon back to playing a beautiful brand of football.
You could see how United took what Brentford taught them during their schooling last game and implemented it into their own style of football over the course of this game.
My man of the match Kemar Roofe was subbed off for Stuart Dallas. Around the same time, Preston’s attack started kicking into gear, but Rob Green (I was starting to worry that I would go through an entire recap without mentioning him) would do his thing and deny Preston of any goals.
Alex Baptiste got a straight red in the 85th minute after kicking Pablo Hernandez, and Hernandez’s day would end shortly after as he made way for Charlie “I can probably play every position” Taylor.
But before the game came to a close, Souleymane Doukara, who came on for Chris Wood in the 79th minute, slammed the door shut on the Lilywhites as he bagged himself a goal to make it 3-0 just before the final whistle.
Leeds are back.
What a statement win after a couple shocking performances. Our next game is against championship leaders Newcastle and, after today positive result, has the makings for a good one. MOT.