Against Rotherham: LWLWW
At Home vs Rotherham: DDLWW
Leeds: BPF, Ayling, Berardi, Cooper, Douglas, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Saiz, Alioski, Roofe Subs: Blackman, Jansson, Shackleton, Pearce, Baker, Harrison, Bamford
Rotherham: Rodak, Vyner, Ragget, Wood, Mattock, Taylor, Ajayi, Vaulks, Palmer, Williams, Smith Subs: Bilboe, Roberton, Manning, Newell, Ball, Proctor, Vassell
Leeds United continued their bright start to the season with their fourth consecutive win, beating a resilient Rotherham United side 2-0.
The Whites had to find an extra gear in order to get all three points, as Rotherham shut out the middle of the park, giving Leeds very little space for their attacking quartet to play their new style under new Head Coach Marcela Bielsa.
The game started with Leeds on top and continued throughout the 90 minutes and in similar style to their two league wins against Stoke and Derby, nearly grabbed an early goal. Ayling was able to find Saiz in the box and his delicate flick to Roofe almost resulted in the on-fire forward grabbing another goal to add to his tally.
However, it was Rotherham who nearly drew first blood when Liam Cooper misplaced a pass to defensive partner Gatano Berardi and Michael Smith only had the keeper to beat from less than six yards out. Bailey Peacock-Farrel showing brilliant reactions to deny the towering forward.
Rotherham then had another opportunity when the post denied the Leeds stoppers’ blushes having been caught off his line with a Jon Taylor strike from more than 25 yards out.
Mateusz Klich nearly added to his current tally of two goals with an audacious curling effort that only just glided over the crossbar. It was then Berardi’s turn to send the crowd into raptures with an effort that would have been the goal of the season from more than 30 yards out but Rodak was there to push his ball out for a corner.
Just after the restart, Leeds got the goal they deserved when the ball bounced around the box from a corner before Kemar Roofe’s header was turned in by a sprawling Luke Ayling. The referee originally blowing for a free kick before changing his mind and sending the full back into raptures in front of the Kop.
Kemar Roofe continued his unimaginable form with his fourth of the season after Leeds worked the ball outside of the defence like a prime Barcelona before Alioski sending Roofe through on goal from a tight angle, from there the striker showed why he’s keeping £7million man Patrick Bamford out of the staring 11 with a beautifully curved finish.
Rotherham called on Peacock-Farrell once again late on as Ryan Manning found space outside of the box and the young stopper had to parry the ball away for a corner.
A trip to Swansea and four tough fixtures in 10 days now sets Leeds up for a big test as they hope to continue this phenomenal form into the international break. Bielsa ball is here, Bielsa ball is life.
Man of the Match: Kemar Roofe - it’s not only the goals he’s contributing this season but a work rate like no other. His ability to drop back into midfield to start plays before being the focal point of attack is something magical.
Change at half time: “Problems during first half were more linked to our own goal, lack of concretising offensive action. Evaluation of first half - we have been better. We build too much from the back, bud laterally not vertically - not easy to go from defence to attack.”
On the culture he’s created; “Unlike the two first games, today the game was more of a Championship game. As you saw we could have ended the first half with conceding goals. Three clear moments to score and these were provoked by our mistakes. Mistakes building from the back.
“This indicates the style has some difficulties to impose itself. We have to respect the other ways of understanding the game. After the first half the rival could have ended with a positive result. Sometimes when you play you respect the style. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative. We deserved to win. I would like to suffer if it’s possible.”
Setting a record - important? “No - you make conclusions only at the end, only if the goals are not met. Winning three games in a row is the same as winning them not in a row.”
The Bucket? Laughing* “I wish I could attract that attention on another way “
On the performance; “Set up well against an excellent team, apple of chances including the back pass. Limited them to few chances - excellent team.”
On doing his Homework; “Match intensity - set up to stop their threats and counter - Leeds players are trustworthy on the ball. Unique way to play - don’t remember Walsall paying like that last season.”
Leeds the team to beat? Early days - Stoke, Derby and us (biggest shock). Way they play is excellent - rhythm of winning games (fit and strong) never tired when you’re winning - at home like this. Anything can happen.”
On Bielsa; “done well because they’re winning - name doesn’t make him a great manager, team does with the way they play for the manager. I like him, bit quirky, good for football, he’s a shepherd. Sitting on the bucket is weird. I sat on the water cooler for a bit but I didn’t want you to think I was copying him.”
On the bucket; “Looks more comfy than ice box - class bit of kit.”