While the previous Carabao Cup match against Port Vale gave Samu Saiz a opportunity to shine, tonight was all about Kemar Roofe, who seems to have been a forgotten man in the Leeds lineup after a sparkling preseason from the former Oxford United man.
#lufc v Newport County: Green, Ayling, Shaughnessy, Borthwick-Jackson, Anita, Klich, Vieira, Roofe, Gomes, Dallas, Stokes.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
#lufc subs: Peacock-Farrell, Cooper, O'Connor, Phillips, Saiz, Alioski, Wilks.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
In a match that saw some of the Academy players come up and get some first team action, with Paudie O’Conner, Madger Gomes, and Egohan Stokes all chosen for the matchday 18, and the starting XI featured both Gomes, who came on late in the Cup match against Port Vale a few weeks ago after having a wonderful preseason himself.
Roofe got a chance to start up top today with Chris Wood gone to Burnley and Souleymane Doukara not playing. Doukara was sat with a potential move away from Elland Road in the works, with the striker linked with a move to either another Championships club or possibly to Rangers FC in Scotland. Roofe responded in wonderful fashion being played in the middle by scoring a wonderful hat-trick, topped off with a overhead kick after putting a ball off the crossbar on an attempt to chip the keeper.
OFF THE LINE: Newport corner headed back across goal, McCoulskey volley is flying in but Anita heads it off the line. 0-0 on 23 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Labadie gets into space and lashes one from 25 yards, Green gets to it but ball squirms under his body and bounces in. Mistake. 0-1 on 34.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
The match started off poorly for Leeds, as Newport bossed the game for the first half-hour or so with only Madger Gomes looking like he was up for the game for Leeds United. And so while it was a surprising goal, given that it appeared to be from a mistake by Rob Green on his season debut for Leeds, but it might not have been entirely undeserved. Vurnon Anita had played savior a few minutes earlier as he cleared a sure goal off the line, only for Newport to battle back and put one home.
Dallas corner finds Shaughnessy whose free header is punched clear by Day. Leeds keep pressure on and Roofe fires home after a scramble. 1-1— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
The goal seemed to wake up the Leeds squad, as they seemed to pressure the Welsh team a bit more as the match wore on. Leeds were finally rewarded for their work off of a later corner as Roofe was able to stick the ball into the back of the net.
As much as Leeds deserve from a half in which Newport have looked better. Roofe's goal cancels out Labadie's opener. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Ayling plays a clever pass to Dallas who gets free of David Pipe and cuts the ball into the box. Rebound finds Roofe who volleys in. 2-1— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
The teams went in level at half-time, but it wasn’t much past the start of the half that Leeds would start to show their dominance. Kemar Roofe once again found the ball loose in the box and was able to stab the ball home for a nice goal that would prove to be the match winner.
OFF THE BAR: Roofe with a brilliant chip from 25 yards, trying to match Saiz's first-round hat-trick. Day backtracking helplessly. 2-1 on 63— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Quality finish - deadly overhead kick from inside the box, bounces beyond Day who can't reach it. 3-1 on 65 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Roofe would come close to his hat-trick in the 63rd minute after attempting a chip that fell just inches too long, as it bounced off the crossbar and out. Two minutes later, the young forward would attempt another spectacular goal, this time putting an overhead kick into the back of the net to put Leeds up 3-1 in the 65th minute.
Newport struggling now. Leeds press with a ball from the left, rebound comes to Saiz who shoots low into the net. 4-1 on 78 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Saiz is a class act. A proper number 10. Playing for fun here.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
Samu Saiz came on for Stokes in the 66th minute follow a few minutes later by Gianni Alioski coming on for Roofe, with Roofe receiving thunders applause for his efforts. And of course, it’s not only bad enough that a League Two team that barely survived the drop has to face Alioski and Saiz, as they laid waste to Sunderland last weekend, but a tired League Two team was no match for the Leeds United subs. Saiz scored in the 78th minute to put the team up 4-1.
CHANCE: Alioski sprints down the left, plays in Dallas who shapes to find the top corner but sees his shot deflect over the bar.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
From the resulting corner, Vieira fires in off the post. It's a rout. 5-1 on 90 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 22, 2017
And finally, in the 90th minute, Leeds were able to put an exclamation point on the match as Ronaldo Vieira, the best-football in England, scored his first goal of the season off a corner.
Newport County could not hold on against a Leeds United team that oozed class and power. But while the scoreline might be justified based on the second half performance, the opening half in which Leeds never seemed to get going is reminiscent of the performance against Port Vale.
Of course, all’s well that end’s well, and no one will remember the goal-line clearance by Anita or the bad goal by Green tomorrow, as the team walked away for a fine victory. Kemar Roofe is the obvious and only choice for Man of the Match.
Marching On Together to the 3rd round.