-Leeds are unbeaten against Preston in their last four games.
-Leeds haven’t lost three on the bounce since Uwe Rosler was in charge October ’15.
-Leeds haven’t failed to score in a three game period since April ’14.
-Callum Robinson has scored 2 and assisted 2 in his last two games.
-Simon Grayson’s stats as Leeds boss P169 W84 WR 49.7%. At Preston P229 W104 WR45.4%
-Preston have only lost twice since Leeds beat them on Boxing Day 4-1
Leeds vs Preston: LWWDW
At home vs Preston: DDWLW
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Vieira, Phillips, Roofe, Hernandez, Pedraza, Wood
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Taylor, O'Kane, Dallas, Barrow, Doukara
Preston: Maxwell, Vermijl, Clarke, Baptiste, Huntington, Cunningham, Pearson, McGeady, Gallagher, Robinson, Barkhuisen
Subs: Lindegaard, Horgan, Browne, Spurr, Johnson Makienok, Beckford
Leeds brought back some normality to preceding as they went back to winning ways at Elland Road as they beat Preston 3-0 to continue their promotion push.
The whites were a step above their promotion challengers from the off and were in control for large parts of the game as chance after chance dropped to a multitude of Leeds United players.
Garry Monk chose to make some changes to his starting XI from Tuesdays defeat at Brentford and chose a midfield of youngsters Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira; with the later replacing a suspected injured Liam Bridcutt. Their were also changes on the wings as Roofe and Pedraza replaced Barrow and Dallas.
Leeds took the lead in the 19th minute with a brilliant piece of play from Kemar Roofe and Chris Wood as the winger played a neat one-two with Wood before delaying his shot and chipping the onrushing Maxwell. Further proving that if the players can support Wood wth forward runs, there’s more chance of a goal.
From then on Leeds took the game into their own hands with a beautifully weighted cross from Ronaldo Vieira just missing a stretched Chris Wood. Leeds then had a goal disallowed in one of the most peculiar moments as the ball was deflected to an unmarked Chris Wood who dropped his shoulder and rolled the ball into the net; no offside glad, yet. After a long period of appeals the referee approached the linesman and the flag was up. It’s judged that the ball deflected off Kemar Roofe prior to falling to Wood, making him offside.
Two minutes later and Leeds got the reward they deserved, a second goal. Kemar Roofe again showing some fantastic attacking intent by playing a fantastic defence splitting pass to send Hernandez through on goal. The Spaniard then slid the ball past an onrushing Maxwell and the ball trickled into the back of the net. From my angle it looks like the entire Kop was sucking the ball into the back of the net.
After the half time break Leeds came out again with some ferocious attacking intent that could have seen a score akin to Reading’s defeat at the same time. Leeds had what you could class as mad 10 minutes in which they had no fewer than five chances.
Roofe was first with a nice piece of control giving him space outside of the area to take a shot which was deflected for a corner. From the subsequent corner Chris Wood’s header crashed against the crossbar.
Leeds then come back down the pitch and some clever skill by Chris Wood trapping the ballon his chest before squaring to Roofe saw the winger release Hernandez down the left who drove into the box before his shot was deflected out for another corner. Again Leeds showed what they are capable from set pieces as Kyle Bartley’s header was just cleared off the line.
The final chance before the game levelled out was for young prospect Ronaldo Vieira who had a stand out performance in midfield. Wood played the ball through to the midfielder who then set off down the right before cutting in and firing a stinging shot into the bottom left corner one for Maxwell to scramble the ball away.
Leeds then saw the return of fan favourite Jermaine Beckford who again received a warm welcome back to Elland Road. The former whites striker was applauded by the fans and in-turn reciprocated by acknowledging their support. He also was quire a handful for the Leeds defenders on a few occasions got the better of Needs’ defensive line.
Preston then nearly found a lifeline as Aiden McGeady (who had been majorly in Renaldo Vieira’s pocket for the match) found enough space for a long range effort that crashed against the crossbar before dropping on the line.
Frustration set in for the Preston players as Alex Baptiste saw Red for an off the ball stamp on Pablo Hernandez which left little to be contested.
Leeds hit the final nail in the coffin in the 93rd minute as Souleymane Doukara was played through on the right and made no mistake in dispatching the ball past Maxwell, who as that point had received some of the worst grief the south stand could provide.
Full Time 3-0 Leeds
One of the strongest performances of the season and another clean sheet/win at home for Garry Monk’s side. Strong for most of the game and Leeds looked stronger and more controlling during the 90 minutes.
Leeds looked stronger in attack and it was good to see players take their opportunity to run ahead of Wood and carve out chances. If we continue to play like that for the rest of the season then there’s no reason we can’t be trouble for any team in the league. It would be nice to see an unchanged team for game at St James’ Park, proof will be in the pudding.
Man of the Match: Two players for me; Roofe showed what we’ve missed and what we can be attacking if the right players are selected. Also Kalvin Phillips who once again played the opposition off the park with partner Ronaldo Vieira. Blessed both attacking and defensive.
- Garry Monk: Really important to respond after back to back losses. Group needed to remain focussed on the game and not league positions/ what’s happening away from the pitch. Could have took more chances in front of the goal. Vieira/Phillips showed goos response in training, still learning the game but they were excellent today. Roofe: giving belief to express themselves and really pleased with response. Dominated the game and tried to be on the front foot for the game, defended well and took our chances.
- Simon Grayson: 3-0 was harsh but din’t defend well, two great opportunities but switched off. Leeds didn’t work hard enough to win the game. Barkhuizen (6 in 6 prior to Leeds) was unlucky but couldn’t take his chances. Baptiste Red Card: having seen anything Baptiste has said that he is innocent and they will look into it. Want to be in the playoffs and will take every game as it comes.
By Ryan Ingham