Welcome my fellow Leeds United fans, it is THAT time again! The first pre-season game has concluded and that means that we are one day closer to the start up of the new Championship campaign. I am just as excited as you all are and I am sure we will set out to accomplish everything that we want to achieve this season.
Today’s game is Christiansen’s first game in charge at Leeds, and it looks to be a comfortable win considering the team we are playing. It is a great start for Christiansen as I fully expect him to mean 100% business this game. A win will be accepted here, nothing less.
It looks like the team news is in, and we actually have two starting XI’s, one for the first half, and one for the second!
#LUFC 2nd half XI v @HarrogateTown: Wiedwald, Berardi, P. McKay, Bellusci, Ayling, Dallas, Phillips, Vieira, Sacko, Hernandez, Erwin.— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 5, 2017
It is good to see a mix of not only young players, but new signings and experienced team leaders as well. I love seeing the likes of Bridcutt, Roofe, and Green back in action, and I also love that Denton is getting an early pre-season start to hopefully give him a chance to break into the first team this year, as it looks as though Charlie Taylor is on his way out. New signings Klich and Gomes are also making their debuts!
For the 2nd half, I am glad that we are already using Wiedwald, as I think he has come into our squad to be our No. 1 for years to come. Hopefully Christiansen is giving Bellusci game time so he can make a move somewhere else. His weekly wages are costing the team as those funds could be used elsewhere and, I just don’t see the value in him at all. But, without further ado, who’s ready??!
Very early on in the game, both teams created a chance. Harrogate town had a free-kick 25 yards from goal, and shot it just over. Also, in the 5th minute, Denton of Leeds had a cross headed just over the goal by Swedish striker Marcus Antonsson.
14 minutes in, Souleymane Doukara strikes from distance, as he is showing he is a real dangerous threat if you give him time and space.
Not only 2 minutes later, Doukara pushed forward again, this time, he pushed forward and Ben O’Hanlon handles, so it is a Leeds penalty!
GOAL!!! Kemar Roofe converts from the spot, finding the top left corner and Leeds are up 1-0.
The next 14 minutes or so were all Leeds United. Bridcutt was getting into the offensive action, playing in great balls to Antonsson and O’Connor.
After a few more minutes, in the 33rd minute, new signing Madger Gomes scores on his debut!! He finished in a superb low cross and doubled the Whites’ lead.
33' GOOOOAAALLLL! Madger Gomes finishes a low cross superbly! 2-0 pic.twitter.com/8FN73gPy8B— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 5, 2017
The rest of the half was also all Leeds United. The Harrogate keeper had a lot of action at his end, and I have to give him credit, for all of the shots and chances Leeds has had, Belshaw hasn’t done a very bad job. But regardless, Leeds are up 2-0 at halftime as the 2nd half starting XI are about to come on. It was great to see Gomes score on his Leeds debut, as I think he has a big future here.
I was not impressed with Diagouraga though, and I think he is better suited finding a permanent move somewhere else.
I was very happy to see Klich make his debut as well. I hope he can become a key part to our midfield this season.
Leeds looking to add onto their cushioned lead, as Luke Ayling provides a nice cross in the 50th minute, it finds Stuart Dallas who sets it up for Pablo Hernandez and he gives Leeds the 3-0 lead! What a great start to the 2nd half from our Spanish maestro.
For most of the 2nd half, it seems as though Bellusci didn’t have a terrible game. He headed away a corner, and as we were heading into the 75th minute, it was still 3-0.
But unfortunately, in the 75th minute, Harrogate scored, as Thewliss picked up possession, went through on goal and found the back of the net. I really wish Wiedwald would have gotten a clean sheet in this half, but unfortunately he did not.
Harrogate would pull within one in the 83rd minute, as Ben Pollock heads their 2nd goal in.
I was surely getting worried, as the 2nd half was starting to get real rough. But Leeds always prevail, and in the 87th minute, Scotsman Lee Erwin tapped in a goal to make it 4-2 Leeds, putting any doubts of anything other than a win aside. The final whistle blew and Christiansen was victorious in his first game ever as Leeds United manager, beating Harrogate Town.
#LUFC kicked off pre-season with a 4-2 victory over @HarrogateTown this afternoon! Read the full match report at: https://t.co/lK2dZpfLad pic.twitter.com/vgcmz0rrxp— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 5, 2017
Overall, it was a good performance. Christiansen and the squad definitely have a better idea of what they need to work on, and I also think that Christiansen has a better idea of who stays in the squad, and who goes.
My personal opinion, I think Bellusci goes, and so does Diagouraga. With Rob Green and Wiedwald both playing today, I think it is safe to say that Silvestri needs to find a new club. But with that being said, I think Lee Erwin might find himself a place in the first team this year, and same with Tyler Denton. With Charlie Taylor on his way out, Tyler Denton has the ability to take over that vacant LB position.
What were your thoughts on this first pre-season game?