Coming off a 2–1 victory over Forest Green, Marcelo Bielsa trotted out our very rotated side to take on Martin Gray and locals York City. While a rotated lineup usually signals that the team will be competitive, there was still some intrigue about this Leeds starting XI. Lewis Baker was set to see his first minutes in a Leeds preaseason kit but, more importantly, there were no true centre-backs named in the lineup.
In the first half, it showed.
Leeds got off to a shaky start vs York, as the Minstermen were easily the more dominant team for the first 20. Playing a backline of not centre-back Laurens de Bock, not centre-back Mateusz Klich, and not centre-back Ronaldo Vieira with Tom Pierce and Jamie Shackleton as wing backs, it’s bound to be a rocky start. Klich showed everything Bielsa wants to see in his CB’s in terms of passing, while also putting on a clinic on poor tackling and winning the other team free kicks. York were able to get into good attacking positions early on, capping off their moment of dominance with a free header turned into the net by A. Trialist for a YORK GOAL 0-1
Around the same time as the goal I was finally able to put together where everyone was playing on the pitch.
The York City goal helped Leeds wake up, as the Whites’ would finally get a footing in this game from this point forward. Shots from Lewis Baker from a free kick as well as one from Jack Clarke helped Leeds keep it interesting, but not much else happened in the first half.
To start the second half, Leeds made three changes. Will Huffer got to play a full 45, coming on for Kamil Miazek, Sam Dalby came on for Ryan Edmondson, and Hugo Diaz came on for Jordan Stevens. Diaz went to CB, Klich moved up to a deep midfield role, and Yosuke Ideguchi moved up to the right wing. Immediately York City almost got another goal, but Will Huffer made a nice save from close range. The follow up header was ruled offside but, if just for the moment, York City looked threatening.
Mateusz Klich repaid Marcelo Bielsa for keeping him in the game. Leeds had a corner in the 56th minute, and the ball fell to Klich near the top of the box. His shot looked real good but hit the crossbar, falling right to Dalby who knocks it in for a LEEDS GOAL 1-1
The rest of the second half belonged to Leeds. After a poor first 30 minutes, Leeds were able to pull it together and have a real good remaining 60. Bielsa might have found something with Klich/Baker, the two played really well together once Klich moved up to CDM. The result doesn’t matter in these kinds of games. What’s more important is the evaluation that Marcelo was able to conduct; he has more knowledge of younger guys/fringe players.
FULL TIME | The referee calls time on tonight’s game with Sam Dalby’s second half equaliser cancelling out the York City trialist’s opener 1-1 pic.twitter.com/n6RGjnTQeY— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 19, 2018
With all said and done, Leeds United will take their 1-1 draw and look forward to their matchup against Oxford United, presumable a more senior squad will be used next time around. MOT