Leeds United traveled to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City and left with three points after a dominating win. Leeds scored three well-taken goals to run away with the match and go back to top of the league to set up a rather interesting match coming up this Friday against Middlesbrough, who are level on points at the top, with Leeds having a superior goal difference, with Marcelo Bielsa’s direct, attacking style of football clashing with Tony Pulis hoof-ball in prime time.
Clinical and impressive when Leeds turn it on. A mention should also go to Jansson too for a big early shift when Norwich were having a goal. Looking like the best version of Jansson today. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 25, 2018
Leeds started the match slowly, appearing to have some fatigue from the midweek match against Swansea. Pontus Jansson, who had made his return to the starting lineup after missing out through fitness and injury issues, made two critical blocks in the opening fifteen minutes.
The passing from Leeds in the opening few minutes left much to be desired, as the team appeared to be just a half-step off. Mateusz Klich made a couple wayward passes that seemed to stop good attacking moves, and the team looked just a tad off, as well as Leeds looking vulnerable down the left hand side.
However, once the team got rolling, Leeds seemed to turn it on.
Brilliant team goal. Pontus wins the defensive header, Roofe collects ball, holds it up and passes to Hernandez who runs forward and plays a brilliant ball to the onrushing Alioski whose flying header is parried by the keeper to Klich who calmly side foots into the corner !— Elland Road Owl (@EllandRoadOwl) August 25, 2018
Klich got the opening goal by pouncing on a rebound from a Gjanni Alioski header that Tim Krul, the Norwich keeper, was only able to parry into the box. Klich did well to pick out his shot and put it through some traffic in front of goal.
Once the first goal had gone in, Norwich seemed to lose their footing and Leeds started to dominate the match.
Alioski scored Leeds’ second goal of the afternoon in rather spectacular fashion, as he beat the offside trap, dribbled into the Norwich box and put in a shot at an almost impossible angle that seemed to surprise everyone, most of which Krul. Krul was only able to get a slight touch on the shot as it slipped past the former Newcastle keeper.
Leeds continued to dominate for much of the rest of the first half, albeit with a Norwich spell right before half-time that gave Leeds some trouble, but the defence was up to the challenge and Bailey Peacock-Farrell did well to stop a shot and grabbed a cross in a crowd.
The second half started about where the first half stopped, with Norwich trying to find their way back into the match, with some pressure put on the Leeds goal, but nothing that was too challenging for the Leeds defence. A few almost nervy moments, but nothing that was too much. Leeds didn’t look absolutely convincing going forward in the first few minutes of the first half as well, but did enough to keep Norwich honest.
Hernandez scored an absolutely cracking goal to put the game to bed in the the 67th minute. He took the ball in some space, did well to avoid any Norwich defenders, and picked out the far corner and scored what would be called a “golazo” in Bielsa’s Argentina.
Leeds saw the rest of the game off, with some attacking pressure still putting heaped on the Norwich goal, as at the end of the day, a Bielsa team really only plays one way. Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison, and Lewis Baker all came on as substitutes after the Hernandez goal to help seal the victory.
Former Cultural Leonesa player Emi Buendia took a free kick for Norwich in stoppage time that gave Leeds some problems in the penalty area, as the headed ball back into the box looked to be an absolute sitter for Norwich, only for Kalvin Phillips, who had an excellent match after his poor match against Swansea City in midweek, to make an extremely excellent block to keep the clean sheet.
So, two long trips in a single week don’t seem to be a problem for Leeds and Bielsa, as the team walks out of another match undefeated and with all the points.