David Watkins reports on the ‘Close Encounter’ at Elland Road between Leeds and Ipswich Town
Thank you David
Social Media’s reaction to the ‘nervy’ win over Ipswich was still very positive, lots of congratulations to new Dad Pierre-Michel and his dedication for insisting on playing on Saturday, despite his new arrival and Eunan O’Kane for a superb afternoon’s efforts. Kalvin Phillips also praised for his display and a well taken goal. A few wondered why Pontus was absent from the side, Christainsen said later it was a precaution due to the Cardiff game on Tuesday.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper’s excellent form has been rewarded by a call up by the Scotland squad, Stuart Dallas also called up for the Northern Ireland squad.
Thomas Christainsen on new Father Lasogga: “They’ve been very intense days for him. I have to say he’s a very professional player because the normal thing is to communicate when you become a dad, to the players. He didn’t say that for a whole day. I didn’t know. He didn’t want to take the attention away from anyone and I’m pleased for that, he’s been flying to Germany and back to Leeds in short time. It was nice for him and we’ll wait to see how he is for the game tomorrow.”
The player’s reaction: "I don't talk too much about my private situation.”
On playing for Leeds: “I am so happy that I can help the team with my goals and also my assists and my work on the pitch. I love to play every game, I love to play for this club. I think it is very important for a striker to come to a new club and to score goals.”
Christainsen looks forward to ‘locking horns’ with ex Leeds manager and now Cardiff manager Neil(Colin)Warnock on Tuesday: “All games have pressure but of course, the home game against Ipswich was important to make sure we go to Cardiff in the best condition. Confidence is also important and the three points but Cardiff will be a different game, another tough game against a strong and physical team, another top team. We need two good results now to maintain our position.”
He thinks Cardiff are a “top team” and expects a “tough and physical” game.
Warnock on the game with Leeds and his time at the club: “They’ll bring a full contingent(fans)and they’ve done brilliantly, probably better than Wolves had because they’ve not spent quite the same money, Leeds have done well and it’s great to see because it’s a fabulous club. I really enjoyed myself there but it was difficult circumstances, it was the wrong place at the wrong time – and the wrong chairman!”
Last time we met
Cardiff City 0 Leeds 2 Championship Sept 2016
Leeds 0 Cardiff 2 Champ Feb 2017
Leeds travel to Wales to play the team that are their nearest but not dearest rivals at the moment, both teams sit at the top of the Championship with twenty points each from nine Championship games, Leeds are top virtue of a better goal difference of six.
Both teams have had a superb start to the season so the game at The Cardiff City Stadium will have the eyes of thousands focussed on it, ‘Colin’ will no doubt have his team very focussed and I expect Sol Bamba will be very keen to put one over his old club.
Thomas Christiansen must decide if to recall Pontus Jansson or stick with the Shaughnessy / Cooper combination in centre of defence, Stuart Dallas may be preferred to Pablo Hernandez on the left hand side of the midfield front three.
Leeds should steel themselves for a early onslaught but if they can get through it a draw wouldn’t be a bad result. 1–1.
Cardiff City vs Leeds United
Team News: Five changes, Berardi, Jansson, Klitch, Dallas and Roofe come in.
Team: Wiedwald,Ayling,Jansson, Cooper(c),Klitch,Phillips,Alioski,
Cardiff replaced Leeds at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-1 win over their Yorkshire visitors.
Danish striker Kenneth Zohore ended his eight-game goal drought with a brace and Junior Hoilett added a beauty before Kemar Roofe gave 10-man Leeds hope midway through the second period.Leeds skipper Liam Cooper was sent off at the end of the first half for two bookable offences with Cardiff 2-0 ahead.
Leeds were undone after 28 minutes when Mateusz Klich slipped and Loic Damour released Hoilett with a cute pass.Hoilett was travelling at full tilt but he had the presence of mind to find Zohore, who converted his first goal since the opening day of the season.Cardiff took a firm grip on proceedings after 37 minutes when Kalvin Phillips could only help a long ball on and Hoilett gave Leeds goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald no chance from 20 yards, Zohore flashed another effort just wide, but Leeds' task was made almost impossible when Cooper was sent off in the third minute of first-half stoppage time.
Cooper had perhaps been fortunate to receive only a caution for his earlier scissors tackle on Damour, but he saw red after responding sluggishly to a ball played down the touchline and crudely took out Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.Sean Morrison bundled the ball into the net from the resulting free-kick but the Cardiff captain was flagged offside.
Leeds removed Pablo Hernandez at the break as Matthew Pennington was sent on to cover for the absent Cooper.
The visitors actually played better after the break, but it was not enough to prevent Cardiff boss Neil Warnock from celebrating victory against his former club. Ezgjan Alioski fired an early warning into the Cardiff side-netting but the contest lacked rhythm as injuries to Pontus Jansson and Stuart Dallas disrupted the flow of the game.The Leeds pair were able to continue after treatment and Cardiff slowly began to take control with Dallas deflecting Joe Bennett's effort over.
The 10 men almost halved the deficit after 54 minutes when Neil Etheridge denied Gaetano Berardi and Alioski with a superb double stop.The game was seemingly put beyond Leeds five minutes later when Hoilett and Morrison combined and Zohore again tapped home from close range.
Roofe's deflected strike gave Leeds belief they could engineer an unlikely comeback, it didn’t happen and the vast majority who made up Cardiff's biggest crowd since April 2016, 27,160, went home happy.
Thomas Christiansen: “The two mistakes brought Cardiff into the game as they had not created any problems for us, and then the red card was very bad for us. There was a good response and good character and we played better with 10 men. I believe the team responded in the proper way from our defeat at Millwall and we are going to do the same against Sheffield Wednesday.”
On Cooper’s red card, Christiansen added: “The player that I was I know that these situations can happen, if course, he is experienced in that situation and he should have known how the ball came, but I don’t want to blame anyone individually because we win and lose all together.”
Neil Warnock: ”I’m proud of the whole club. The fans were fantastic, the players responded and I thought there was excitement all over the show.”
The poor first half performance was lamented on social media, Cooper’s indiscretion was also heavily mentioned, as was a pretty ineffectual display from Klitch. A bad day at office without doubt!
Pontus Jansson named in the Swedish squad to face Luxembourg and Holland.
Sheffield United go to second in the Championship with a 2-0 win over Wolves, Leeds drop to third.
Leeds United are delighted to announce international payments marketplace CurrencyTransfer.com as the club’s Official Global Payments Partner.The agreement will see CurrencyTransfer operate as the club’s exclusive provider of cross-border payments services, including working with the club on player transfer transactions.
After his trip around Wales David Watkins mulls over team selection and the failure to get anything in Cardiff
Thank you David, glad the trip with Mrs W was a nice one, despite the scoreline on Tuesday.
Leeds United history maker Albert Johannesburg RIP died on this date aged just 53. Tragic end but we will always remember him.
On this day... 29th September 1962
Aged just 15 years and 289 days, Peter Lorimer made his Leeds United debut against Southampton to become Leeds' youngest player. This marked the start of a legendary career where he went to score more than 200 goals for United and become The Whites all time leading goal scorer, he has also been a member of the club's board and is still associated with the club to this day. He was a regular in the Centenary Pavilion and in the in the hospitality areas in the East Stand.
Myself and the Leeds legend
We wish ‘Lash’ all the best on his recovery from illness. It was revealed later in the day that the former Scottish International is to sell the majority of his impressive medals that he won during his career.
Pontus Jansson Pre-Sheffield interview:
About Wednesday:”They have to come out now and make a good performance. They’ll want to win and give everything, it’s a derby with a lot of people and a lot of emotions. We have to be prepared for that but we have to go out from the first minute and show we want to win because that could make them a bit more scared. They have pressure on them, we also have pressure on us but there’s a bigger pressure on them because they’ve started badly.
"It’s a derby on their field so they will come at us from the first minute, we have to go out like 11 animals and be prepared for a war because that’s what it’s going to be.”
On Leeds/Andrea Radrizzani; “There has been a huge difference since I came here. When I came here there was only 13,000 in the stands and I have nothing but good things to say about Andrea, he has done huge things for this club.”
Jansson: "Leeds have had ten or 15 bad years but we are on our way back to something good, let the other teams hate us."
Thomas Christainsen: ”They (Wednesday) have an important budget and they showed last season that they are a top team. They play at home and they have to show that these last two games were two mistakes."
Team News: Injuries/Suspension:Only Caleb Ekuban and Liam Cooper are absent, O’Kane and Anita are back in the squad along with the other players that missed the defeat to Cardiff. Pierre-Michel Lasogga was left out to protect him after so much travelling (Germany and back) and also for ‘tactical reasons’.
Christiansen on Mathew Pennington replacing Liam Cooper; “I feel he will be a good replacement and do well in this game and then after that we will see."
Last time we met
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds 2 Championship Aug 2016
Leeds 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Championship Feb 2017
Leeds must regroup after their 3-1 defeat at Cardiff City, the televised Sunday dinner time kick off is hopefully just the game they need to get back on track, Wednesday have been struggling of late and their latest defeat was at the hands of struggling Birmingham City.
Thomas Christainsen will hopefully bring back into the starting eleven the players who were rested or ill, the midfield duo of Kavin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane has been very industrious and productive, supplying the likes of Siaz, Alioski and Hernandez with plenty of ‘ammunition’ to feed Lasogga.
More effort will definite be needed, Leeds were disappointing to say the least on Tuesday and the interviews yesterday by both Jansson and his head coach seem to suggest that they are ready to give Wednesday a torrid ninety minutes. These games have either ‘goals aplenty’ or close games, if Leeds can get a early goal I see three points heading up the motorway. Leeds 2-1.
Wolves win 4-0 at Burton, Cardiff draw 0-0 with Derby, Sheffield United loose 2-1 at Notts Forest. Leeds drop to fourth in the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Leeds United
Team News: Four changes, Pennington, O’Kane, Siaz and Lasogga come in.
Team: Wiedwald, Ayling(c), Jansson, Pennington, Berardi, O’Kane, Phillips, Alioski, Siaz, Roofe, Lasogga.
Gary Hooper's double inspired Sheffield Wednesday to a 3-0 victory over Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday.The striker netted twice before half-time to put the Owls in control at Hillsborough, before Kieran Lee sealed the three points late on to relieve some of the pressure on boss Carlos Carvalhal.
There was a nervy atmosphere around Hillsborough after a poor week for Wednesday, and that wasn't helped at all by a bright start for Leeds inspired by the lively Samu Saiz. The Owls soon got control of the game, though, and took the lead from a set-piece after 25 minutes, with Hooper turning the ball home from close range after Tom Lees had nodded the ball into his path. Wednesday should have had a second five minutes later via Lee, but his fine finish was denied by the linesman, who wrongly judged him to be offside as he charged into the box to latch onto Barry Bannan's clever through ball.
Steven Fletcher was then guilty of missing an absolute sitter after being found by Ross Wallace at the far post, somehow conspiring to head wide from close range when it seemed easier to score, but he made up for that after 41 minutes as his header across goal found Hooper, who showed his predatory instincts to get his second of the afternoon.
Leeds went close to getting a goal back early in the second half as Joost van Aken's failed attempt at a clearance presented a great opportunity for Pierre-Michel Lasogga, but his low drive hit the base of the post and bounced clear. A bad afternoon for Leeds was made worse by an injury to Pontus Jansson, who was forced off on a stretcher with 20 minutes to go after a collision with team-mate Kalvin Phillips and any hopes of a comeback were ended in emphatic fashion by Lee, who drove home superbly from 25 yards after a mistake by Eunan O'Kane.
A woeful performance by a misfiring Leeds team that have struggled in their last three away games, Thomas Christainsen needs to find out why a defence that looked so strong has fallen apart recently, eight goals conceded is evidence of that. He might start at the goalkeeper’s position, Wiedwald didn’t exactly cover himself with glory in the last two games but he’s not the only player not to have blame pointed at him.
Thomas Christainsen: "We didn't score the goals when we had the possibilities. We started the game very well in the first 20 or 25 minutes until the goal. We had good opportunities and the ball, we knew how to stop them and we did what we'd worked on, but after the goal the team went down.
"We were too passive and soft (after that) and if we want to compete in this league we have to be much more aggressive."
Carlos Carvalhal: ”It was a very good game for the people in the stadium and watching on TV. Leeds have a good team and they are doing very well so far. We came from two defeats and I said before the game that we'd be ready to play our football, which we did with personality in what wasn't an easy moment.”
Leeds now enter the international break with a different mindset to how they entered the last one unbeaten.
Much work is needed from TC and co and with nearly two weeks until their next fixture, let's hope the club can return stronger than ever.
By Keith Ingham