Leeds travel to Burnley after one of the best wins of the season last weekend. The 3-1 win over Spurs put the poor performance at Brighton behind them and it was hard to single out one single player as all who played in the win deserve credit.
Quite unbelievably Steve Bruce was given the Manager of the month award for April, so Marcelo Bielsa misses out. Stuart Dallas also missed out to Jessie Lingard who won the Player of the month. Both the Leeds Head Coach and player deserved the awards for an unbeaten run in April.
Burnley have had an up and down season, one week great, the next disappointing. In their recent results they have won at Wolves and Fulham but lost away at Southampton and Man U also losing at home to Newcastle and West Ham. Their last game was a 2-0 win over Fulham that relegated the Londoners.
In their squad they have England goalkeeper Nick Pope and ex Leeds players Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor. Wood was Leeds’ top scorer before he left, he has scored five goals in his last three games. Never spectacular but under Dyche they are usually hard to beat.
Leeds could be unchanged but Marcelo Bielsa hinted that with two games in four days he may use his squad for them. Liam Cooper is fit as are Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and last weeks goalscorer Rodrigo.
The earlier game was a tight affair and only an early Patrick Bamford separated the two teams. Burnley will feel very unlucky that they didn’t get anything from the game and will be hoping for a little revenge in the game at Turf Moor.
It’s a game that Leeds will hope to continue their impressive form against Spurs and not repeat the lacklustre performance in their last away game, Brighton won 2-0.
It’s a tough game to call but I’ll go for an away win. Leeds 2-1.
By Keith Ingham
Leeds produced one of their best performances of the season, especally at home to beat Spurs 3-1 at Elland Road. The victory kept ‘the whites’ in the top ten of the Premier League.
On a rain swept ER Leeds went toe to toe with their opponents and chances were created by both teams in a frenetic first half. Patrick Bamford forcing Lloris into a smart save early and after superb piece of play in the 13th minute down the left hand side Leeds were ahead. The move ended with Harrison putting the ball in the Spurs penalty area, it was directed towards their goal by their own defender Reguilon. Lloris superbly saved it but the ball fell to Stuart Dallas who blasted Leeds ahead. It was his 8th goal of a fantastic season personally.
Spurs were level before the half hour mark when Song beat Meslier after Deli Ali cut through the Leeds defence. Not long after they could and should have gone ahead but Kane’s effort was ruled out by the thinnest of margins by VAR. For the first time, in a while a decision by those at Stockily Park went for Leeds instead of the opposition.
Both teams had chances but it was Leeds who went ahead just before the break, Stuart Dallas slipped but still found Harrison who gave a superb pass to Ejanni Alioski. The platinum haired wing back burst into the penalty area and found Patrick Bamford to give the striker the easy chance to score from just outside the six yard box.
It was his first goal since his goal in the 2-1 win at Fulham. No piano celebration(he said he’d do it on Peter Crouch’s podcast the next time he scored) but the likeable striker certainly enjoyed getting back amongst the goals.
The second half was just as enthralling as both teams went for goals, Leeds introduced Raphinha and he made an immediate impact forcing Spurs to defend in numbers. Klich brought a superb save from Lloris and Harrison put a couple of efforts over the bar. Spurs had efforts too with Song just wide with a shot, Aurier then forced Meslier into a save of the game from a cross come shot that was goal bound and Kane came closest to levelling matters when his free kick hit the Leeds bar and bounced over.
Rodrigo replaced the hard working Patrick Bamford with around ten minutes to go and within minutes the returning Brazilian helped put Leeds 3-1 ahead. A superb move down the left hand side saw Ejanni Alioski find Raphinha who passed inside to Robin Koch, the German international put a slide rule pass to the winger who raced away from the Spurs defence.
He could have scored himself but cut the ball back to the Spanish international Rodrigo who cooly beat Lloris with six minutes to go. If Elland Road would have been full the ground would have erupted. The men in green knew their hopes of a Champions League place were basically ended. Leeds saw the last minutes of the game by bringing on Kalvin Phillips and the three points, 50 for the season were theirs.
It’s very, very hard to single out a one player because the defence was so solid, apart from the Song goal, the midfield industrious with Klich(back to his best), Dallas, Roberts and Koch upstaging their counterparts and Bamford getting his goal after a barren run. That saying my MOTM was Jack Harrison he gave Aurier a torrid afternoon and deserved a goal for his efforts.
Man of the Match: Mr Harradona, back to his best.
Marcelo Bielsa: "For a while now we hope to play on an equal term with an important opponent. In some ways today we achieved this.
"The conclusion is linked to the enthusiasm of the players. The rebelliousness to try and look like the teams that are better than us.
"Every time a professional football team plays, they are obliged to give a performance to those watching and follow them. They are obliged to give their best version possible. We will try for this."
Ryan Mason: "We had moments, but we weren't clinical enough at times. They started bright but we got back. At 1-1 there was an offside decision and I'm shocked. I don't think it was right. People don't understand momentum in football and how those decisions can affect you.
"I've seen it back. My first look, second look and 10th look tell me that it's not offside. At 1-1 it's a big moment. In my opinion they got that one wrong.
"Leeds know what they're doing, they play a certain way and it took us a while to get into the game. In the second half we were the better team. The moments we had; you have to take them in these games.
"Today was a massive game for us, to lose it hurts. It's difficult to win in the Premier League but we've got to have our full attention on next week now."
I’d definitely put this performance as Leeds best performance at home and up there with the win a Manchester City. A joy to watch and this side, with a few additions in the summer could cement their place in the Premier League. One thing you can’t do is rest on your laurels because Sheffield United have shown what happens this season if you do.
Well played lads.
By Keith Ingham
Leeds travel to the South Coast unbeaten in six games, in the top ten and in their last away game they took three points from a team (Man City) that is only a few points away from being crowned Premier League champions and possibly Champions League finalists.
Brighton on the other hand are flirting with relegation, they have a few more points than WBA and Fulham but a few more defeats and they could be dragged into the bottom three. Despite their poor position they did beat Leeds earlier in the season 1-0, a game that Leeds deserved at least a share of the spoils.
The game against Brighton brings together ex-Leeds loanee Ben White against his old teammates.
The centre half was superb in the heart of the defence of the team that won the Championship title last season and scored a unforgettable goal against Charlton.
Marcelo Bielsa will only change the team if Raphinha has recovered from a thigh injury or Helder Costa is not fit to start against Brighton. Mateusz Klich or Ian Poveda are the options if both are not available.
With Leeds in good form, it would be just a ‘Leeds That’ moment for their recent good form to come undone on the South Coast if they take Brighton as a team they should beat easy. Football has a way of proving if you do you might end up with egg on your face.
Leeds defensively have improved with Deigo Llorente and Pascal Struijk impressive alongside Luke Ayling and Ezgjan Alioski with the youngest goalkeeper(Illan Meslier) to keep so many clean sheets in Premier League history behind them. Liam Cooper serves his last game of his three game ban and Robin Koch is ready if called upon.
The one thing that may have to improve is the service to top scorer Patrick Bamford who looked very frustrated in the Liverpool and Man Utd games. Both Costa and Harrison, if fit need to supply the likeable striker with opportunities to end his scoreless run. His last goal was away at Fulham.
Both teams don’t give a lot of goals away so it may be only one goal that separates the teams. Leeds 1-0.
By Keith Ingham
man u WWWD
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa stuck with the same starting XI which drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Monday Night with Rodrigo and Raphinha both out injured and Liam Cooper sat out the second match of his three-game ban but Robin Koch, Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich were all available off the bench. Youngsters Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville also were involved in the match day squad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started with Dan James in the reverse fixture with Leeds, and he did so again as the Wales winger came in for Paul Pogba in the one change to the side that beat Burnley 3-1 in their last Premier League outing. Marcus Rashford shook off a foot injury to start, meaning Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek were both named among the substitutes.
Leeds maintained their unbeaten run, taking it to six games after an intriguing clash of the roses which ended scoreless.
The draw followed wins at Man. City and a draw with Liverpool also at Elland Road.
Both teams took their time to search out openings in the opening minutes of the game. There was no repeat for the visitors when they scored two early goals in the game at old farmyard. Leeds gradually grew into the game but chances were at a minimum.
The most talked about event in the first half were when the ball struck Shaw’s arm but after the referee had the incident checked by VAR no penalty was given to Leeds.
The game awoke after the half hour mark when Stuart Dallas had a chance to test Henderson but the hero of the Etihad shot tamely at the United keeper. At the other end Ilan Meslier made a fingertip save to tip Rashford’s free kick over the bar. Scoreless at the break.
The second half started with endeavour from both teams but neither keeper was tested as the moves petered out before getting into the final third. Fernandez then had a superb chance when found by James in the penalty area but the midfielder dragged his effort wide of the goal.
The best chance Leeds had was when Costa found himself with a little room and hit a shot that hit Wan Bissaka and went over the bar much to his disappointment.
Both teams made a flurry of substitutions with Leeds bringing on Poveda for Harrison, Klich for Costa who was hurt in a challenge in a clash near the touch line and Koch came on for Roberts as Leeds protected what they had. As a contest it lacked goals but it had most fans intrigued and will be seen by Leeds as a massive improvement from the last time the two teams met.
The draw meant that Leeds had taken eight points from the so founder members of the so called ‘super six’.
Man of the Match: Kalvin Phillips just edged it from Deigo Llorente and Pascal Struijk who were superb in defence. Phillips never gave Fernandez an inch in midfield.
Marcelo Bielsa: "It was a very demanding game for us. For the game not to become unbalanced, the team made a massive effort. This effort allowed the game not to become unbalanced for us. The game was played more naturally for them. But even if they predominantly dominated, the chances on goal were similar.
“Even if they had more of the ball to attack. They had a lot more attacks then we did. But I insist that all that we did in this game I value as it allowed for the game not to become unbalanced.
“To think doesn't get you tired, nor to look. What was moving was the effort that the team made. If we didn't bring this big energy, we wouldn't have been able to balance it. It's true the game opened up more towards the end, and as it grew the spaces opened up but I think the draw is a good enough reward given how the game went. It was a sufficient reward."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "There's no guarantees in football that's for sure. I thought we played well, dominated the second half, just didn't have the ball to fall correctly for us in the moments we had.
“When two teams meet you create problems, you solve problems, they give you things to think about and we made them adjust to us. We put a really big shift in. I have seen Leeds run over teams in the second half and it was the opposite.
“You don't lose momentum, we are disappointed not to win but the boys have a lot of respect for Leeds. This is not going to be something we look back on as derailing our season."
By Keith Ingham
I mentioned in a blog pre the game at old farmyard that this is the one game that Leeds fans would have been looking forward to. Unfortunately they will support their team from their sofa’s or if they are lucky in a pub garden. It’s a massive game without doubt dispite that the thing only that is riding on it is revenge for Leeds after the earlier game in Salford.
Both Leeds and Man U are in good positions, the visitors looks nailed in to get a Champions League place and Leeds could reach 50 points in their first season back in the Premier League which is absolutely fantastic and to be honest well deserved.
Leeds could probably stay unchanged with goalscorer against Liverpool Deigo Llorente alongside Pascal Struijk in defence with Luke Ayling captain in Liam Copper’s absence through suspension. Raphinha may again miss the game with a thigh injury, he is rated as doubtful after picking up an injury at Manchester City. Not sure of who Ole will pick as his starting X1 but it will be a strong side that starts on Sunday.
Leeds have shown in home games with Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool that they can well equip themselves against teams who usually are in the top six nearly every season. These matches have thrown up many stories like cantona returning to Elland Road, David Weatherall, Tony Yeboah, Brian Deane getting goals against the ‘enemy’ and back in 1972 a 5-1 hammering of them at Elland Road.
The ‘hoo haa’ over the super league seems to have meant that this stupid idea is to be well and truly binned after the withdrawl of all the six English teams and a couple in Europe that bowed to fan pressure. I definitely see this as a fan driven victory for the game and I hope that this farce of a league is never mentioned again. As Pep said “a league with competition isn’t a competition”.
This is one of games that whatever the league placings, it doesn’t matter. The Leeds players will have hopefully a bit of revenge on their minds and I’m hoping that is enough to get three points and bring a smile to everybody in white, yellow and blue. Leeds 2-1.
A great video to watch about the games gone by and why it means so much to beat them.
By Keith Ingham
Leeds United produced a superb second half display to grab a late equaliser against one of the ‘super six’ teams Liverpool.
The game was a backdrop to the announcement of a proposed alternative league which has caused upset in the football world.
Leeds, after their impressive win at Manchester City wore t shirts pre game about the fact that qualification for Europe should be earned not given and that football is for the fans not businessmen.
Liverpool had the first opportunities through Tiago and Jota but the Leeds rode through this tough start to the game.
The visitors looked up for the game as a way as a way of putting pre match criticism behind them and Leeds stuttered in the early parts of the game. Saying that Bamford had a great chance to score but his effort went wide.
It looked like the goal wouldn’t be long in coming and it came just after the half hour mark. Alexander-Arnold put a ball through to Jota, he controlled the ball before sliding a ball to Mane to shoot into an empty net. It was his first goal in nine games.
After the break Liverpool could have doubled the scoreline but Firmino had an effort saved by Meslier and Jota headed over when he was unmarked in the penalty area. After around an hour Leeds came right into the game and Jack Harrison was superbly denied by Allison as the winger tried to drive the ball past him.
Then Patrick Bamford controlled a through ball and tried to beat Allison with a delightful chip but the ball cannoned off the bar and was cleared.
Leeds ramped up the pressure as time was running out, they brought Ian Poveda for Helder Costa and the winger was a constant threat to the Liverpool defence. Poveda then put Roberts in on goal but his shot was brilliantly saved by Allison and it looked like Leeds might come up short. One last throw of the dice ended with a corner awarded to them.
Harrison sent over a delightful ball that found Deigo Llorente who headed into the corner of the net, the Spaniard celebrated by pointing to the sky in tribute to his grandfather who past away recently.
Man of the Match: Diego Llorente, some early mistakes but came strong in the second half and got the equaliser.
Jurgen Klopp: “We played a really good first half. Could have scored a really nice goal. Could have scored others, couldn't do that. Actually the plan was to play the second half like the first. For some reason that didn't work out that well, but we had big counter attacking chances which we should or could have used to finish the game, maybe off.
"But with 1-0 and Leeds, it's Leeds and very intense and stays intense and became even more intense in the second half. We dropped too deep and gave them too many set pieces. They had two, I think, really big chances where Ali [Alisson Becker] made sensational saves, so they deserved the point. But when you are that long 1-0 up it's obviously you want to bring it over the line. We couldn't work that out tonight, so that's it."
Marcelo Bielsa: “I think the game was beautiful. In the first half it was more even and in the second half we managed to dominate proceedings We created goal-scoring opportunities and we played in the opponent's half. We recovered many balls that permitted us or allowed us to attack. But it's also true while we were managing proceedings, they maintained their threat.
“(Diego)Llorente played a very good game and the fact that he scored a goal adds shine to his performance. The ball was very well struck by Harrison. When he arrived on the run it was with such power, the players who arrived like this have the advantage”.
On the proposed Super League: “Of course, it causes harm to football. This should not surprise any of us. The stronger teams think they have the most influence in generating revenue in football and if you take into account this logic, when the rest of the teams are no longer necessary for them, they take privilege in their own interests and they forget about the rest.
“These big teams have made themselves big throughout history, but they've done this in conjunction with the rest of the teams, that even if they didn't make themselves big teams, they did it with them. I think that there are structures who could and should put limits on those excesses of the big teams. This what has happened was inevitable.
“The organisations that could have anticipated these excess and they could have avoided them. But I insist this should not surprise us because this happens in all walks of life”
Not a classic like the first game of the season but another example of how Leeds have developed as a team under Marcelo Bielsa. Liverpool looked the better side in the first sixty plus minutes but then were on the back foot after that and Leeds had enough chances to win the game but a draw to be honest was a fair reflection of the game.
NO TO THE SUPER LEAGUE!!
By Keith Ingham
Leeds will be without suspended captain Liam Cooper who is set to miss the next three games; Pascal Struijk or Robin Koch are the options for Marcelo Bielsa.
Jack Harrison will be available after missing the City game while Raphinha and Rodrigo are set to be assessed prior to the match.
Liverpool will continue without injured quartet Joe Gomez, Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Joe Marip.
Curtis Jones remains doubtful, as does Divock Origi.
Leeds United head into Monday’s clash with Liverpool on the back of a rousing win against incumbent Champions Manchester City.
Their counterparts Liverpool are vying for a position in this years top four; having struggled with injuries and form in their title defence.
A very different Liverpool side; laboured by this seasons fixture list will face Leeds from their opening day fixture. What became an advert for the entertaining play Leeds have brought to the Premier Leagues table this season.
The clash at Elland Road is a little too early to see fans join in the revelry of a much anticipated game, but many of the Leeds faithful could be basking in the glow of beer gardens as they look to continue their fine form of four games unbeaten (W3 D1).
Liverpool are unbeaten in three games in the Premier League since their loss to Fulham at Anfield but their recent clash with Real Madrid has raised several questions over not only their ability to win; but their resolve when tested against a fast paced team, something Leeds can exploit.
The likes of Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Raphinha (doubtful) should be enough to exploit the marauding pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Whereas Patrick Bamford will be looking to end his goal shy stint by taking on Natt Phillips and Ozan Kabak who are still gelling together as a defensive partnership.
Stuart Dallas vs Fabinho
Both players are warranted to support defensively for their respective sides but do show a keen enthusiasm to maraud forward when the space is free.
Leeds’ Dallas showed a keen eye for goal against Manchester City and will continue to be the engine Bielsa demands of him.
Fabinho has become a staple in the midfield of Klopp’s Liverpool and will be hoping to marshall the threat of Dallas while actively engaging in the forward progressing football the German has instilled into his side.
With the visitors failing to score a goal in the first 45 minutes since December coming up against a team who has conceded the most first half goals all season, the jury is out on who will buckle first.
If Leeds can show their cards with an early goal to put this war ridden Liverpool side under pressure, this could turn out to be an absolute belter.
The home side can become only the second team in the Premier Leagues history to record wins against both the reigning Champions and incumbent winners if they can get all three points.
Can history do Leeds a favour and let them continue to break records this season? We’ll soon find out.
By Ryan Ingham
Manchester City: WWWWW
Leeds became only the second club to beat Manchester City in 29 games after a sensational last gasp winner by the ‘Cookstown Cafu’ Stuart Dallas.
The adaptable left back, midfielder, winger slotting home through Ederson’s legs as the game went into injury time. This was City’s first defeat to a team reduced to ten men.
I woke Saturday morning, put on the maroon shirt that splits opinions and set off to my friends house. I to be honest wasn’t expecting even a draw but I hope the lads gave a good account against the team that will by the champions this season.
It was an absorbing first half, both teams had only one thing on their minds, to get three points in this war of the roses. City with seven changes to the team that beat Dormund in midweek. Leeds made one change, Costa coming in for the ineligible Harrison.
City tested the Leeds rearguard but Llorente and Cooper were superb and Meslier was hardly troubled apart from one save. Leeds broke with purpose whenever they had chance and Roberts supplied the perfect ball for Bamford in the area but Stones got a slight deflection that took the ball behind United’s top scorer and the chance was gone.
It was against the run of play when Leeds went in front through Stuart Dallas, Costa fought for the ball and passed to Bamford. The striker laid the ball into the path of the midfielder who hit a shot from outside the penalty area. The shot beat Ederson and bounced of the goalpost into the net. A great goal.
City were shocked that their visitors had the cheek to score against them and tried their best to get level. Their chances were limited but then referee gave them a lift just before the break, Cooper made a challenge that left Jesus in a heap.
The challenge was robust and at least warranted a yellow but referee Marriner asked VAR to look at the incident and after reviewing the incident he residinded the yellow card and produced a red one and he sent off the Leeds captain.
Leeds would have to play out the last of the game with ten men. Bamford was substituted and Pascal Struijk brought on to replace Cooper in defence. It has to mentioned that the referee or VAR took no action when Sterling stood on the ankle of a Leeds player earlier in the game or in the second half when the same player clearly stood on Meslier’s hand when the Leeds keeper had the ball in his possession.
In the second half Leeds were on the back foot as City saught to make their numerical number count. They had a couple of chances before they drew level, Torres getting the equaliser after being set up Gundogan with less than twenty minutes to play. It looked as though there would be only one winner as City upped the anti and forced Leeds into desperate defending. They did it stoically.
Despite this, Leeds had a fantastic chance to take the lead when Raphinha found himself one on one with Ederson but the keeper denied the Brazilian winger superbly. Koch was introduced as United looked to hang on for a well earned point but to the amazement of all Leeds fans, a mini miracle happened.
A superb ball from the outside of Ejanni Alioski foot found Stuart Dallas, the midfielder/defender/wherever you want him to play put the ball through Ederson’s legs to give Leeds the lead as the clock ticked past ninety minutes. United could have made it three but Fernandinho body checked the winger but the referee deemed this a yellow when the player looked certain to at least test Ederson.
I could go on forever as this game made me realise why over forty years ago I picked Leeds as my team. Myself, Shane and Jamie Chambers celebrated like they had won the Champions League not just a Premier League game. It’s very had to single out a single player but KP stood out for his superb display in midfield but all who wore the shirt deserve credit for their performances.
Well played lads, very, very proud of you all.
Man of the Match: Kalvin Phillips, just simply the best in his position at the moment.
By Keith Ingham