By James Dielhenn
Saturday 6th October 2012
Elland Road, Att: 22,569
Leeds 1 - 0 Barnsley
Becchio 42' (pen)
Team: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Peltier, White, Austin, Brown, Tonge, Diouf, Becchio
Subs: Ashdown, Drury, Norris (on for Tonge 54'), Green, Varney, Poleon, Gray (on for Becchio 72')
Winning a game without playing very well can be the sign of a successful team. Leeds' worst performance in a long time didn't stop them beating Barnsley and they can head into the international break with a five match unbeaten run. Neil Warnock also previewed a 3-5-2 formation when Barnsley were dominating so it remains to be seen whether this tactic has a future.
Paddy Kenny pulled one particular save out of the bag that was equally as important as the winning goal. He is always dependable. 7
Sam Byram started at right-back before playing as a right-wing back when 3-5-2 was introduced. He had another decent game although he wasn't able to be a force in attack. 6
Tom Lees is becoming a quietly dependable centre-back. Another faultless performance. 7
Jason Pearce was equally good, repelling everything that came at him. 7
Lee Peltier was switched to left-back and won our penalty with a brilliant run down the flank and into the box. Apart from that he looked shaky playing out of position. 6
Aidy White played on the right wing before moving to left wing-back. He didn't shine in either position and had an indifferent game. 5
Michael Brown was positionally astute in central midfield and benefitted when we switched to three in the middle. He made it difficult for Barnsley but could never gain control of the midfield. 5
Rodolph Austin rampaged around midfield as usual and was probably our best player. He has an uncanny ability to provide a goal threat, too. 7
Michael Tonge started on the left wing before coming inside to join Brown and Austin in the middle. He was alright but didn't provide enough attacking threat. Subbed after 55 minutes with an injury. 5
David Norris made his return from injury in Tonge's place and put in a busy, hassling shift. 6
El Hadji Diouf played just off the striker and continued his good form. he showed some really classy touches and was vital at running down the clock in the second half. 7
Luciano Becchio's chipped penalty demonstrated his confidence at the moment. He didn't do much today due to Barnsley's dominance but he is a striker in form. 6
Neil Warnock post match:
"It is fair to say the referee didn't have one of his better games. Both managers agree on that.
"I am going to do an 'Arsene Wenger' and say nothing about the penalty because I haven't seen it yet.
"I can't stand watching penalties, but I'm told Luciano just clipped it down the middle. He told our coach Ronnie Jepson, 'It's a good job it went in or the gaffer would have killed me'.
"That's five games unbeaten and what my lads have done in the last two or three weeks has been phenomenal. It has exceeded expectations.
"We were chasing shadows early on, but we changed the system and then looked more threatening going forward."