Phew! Leeds over the years have taken us on some journey’s and this was another that will live long in the memory.
The 3-2 win over Millwall is up there with last season’s incredible games against them last season, Aston Villa away and Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.
Myself and David Watkins.
I’d been invited to do the LUFC Fanzone with renowned Leeds United author David Watkins, his first time behind the microphone.
On a bitterly cold evening up in the gods we both said pre game it was a game we so needed three points from against a team that on paper has had the ‘Indian sign’ over us and had already stole three points earlier in the season that’s to some criminal refereeing, history was about repeat itself but I’ll come back to that later.
It couldn’t have started any worse for Leeds, a corner was whipped in and flew over all until it reached the noggin of Hutchinson and Millwall we’re ahead on four minutes. Bugger!
Leeds though dusted themselves down and set about getting the equaliser Alioski and Klich having efforts before one of the strangest decisions I’ve ever witnessed at ER, Stuart Dallas burst into the penalty area and his shot was brilliantly saved by Bialkowski and the ball went out for a corner but incredibly the man in black pointed towards the six yard box and gave Millwall a goal kick. Bloody incredible!
Minutes later the officials both frustrated and annoyed the home supporters, a ball was challenged for by a white and yellow shirt and most on our side could see the ball went out for a Leeds throw in.
Not in the eyes of the referee who waved play on and the Millwall attack ended with Alioski upending Bodvarsson in the penalty area, penalty to Millwall and the players and fans were rightly incensed. Wallace double the visitors lead from the resultant penalty kick and me and David sank in our seats. 2-0 Millwall.
At the break most bad heads pointed to the floor and Victor Orta looked incensed as I passed him on the stairs as I went for a much needed cig and answered the call of nature. It’s cold up there.
Within minutes of the second half Leeds finally got a foothold in the game, Hernandez’s corner was flicked to the back post and volleyed towards the net but Harrison’s shot was superbly saved by Bialkowski, luckily for Leeds it fell straight into the path of Bamford who smashed it into the empty net.
The noise levels went up as Leeds went for Millwall with all guns firing, Hernandez in the thick of all the attacking with Costa, Alioski and Harrison available to assist the mercurial Spaniard.
Just after the hour mark Leeds were level, the ball sent across the box was half cleared to Pablo Hernandez who sent a shot that took a deflection and went past Bialkowski to send Elland Road into raptures.
MOTM Pablo Hernandez levels matters.
Leeds could smell blood and Millwall looked absolutely shell shocked after losing their two goal lead. A lovely move down the right hand side of the field ended with Luke Ayling sending a teasing cross into the six yard bow and Bamford dived full length to head the ball into the net.
Absolute carnage on the terraces and up in the gantry as me and David danced a jig of delight. Leeds had done it, gone behind and finally come up with the goods to get the lead.
I can’t hear critics! Bamford celebrates the winner.
Leeds could and should have increased their lead, the impressive Helder Costa twisting and turning outside the area before delivering a thunderous shot that nearly broke the angle of post and crossbar. Then, another superb move involving Pablo ended with the ball at Klich’s feet six yards out, but unbelievably his shot sailed over the bar, he quipped later that he hoped that somebody found the ball!
The applause Leeds received at the end was well deserved and both me and David celebrated wildly at the final whistle. The Whites had made it hard for themselves but weren’t helped by a shocking set of officials that not for the first time let their profession down with an inept display and it’s time something was said about the standard of refereeing especially when Leeds are involved.
It was a great night with a great bloke who really is a natural behind a microphone.
Leeds top of the league too!
Man of the Match: Pablo Hernandez, looked class and was involved throughout the game and got the all important equaliser.
By Keith Ingham