By James Dielhenn
Saturday 25th August 2012
London Road, Att: 10,482 (3800 leeds aprox)
Peterborough 1 - 2 Leeds
Bostwick 73' Becchio 7', 50'
Team: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Drury, Diouf, Austin, Norris, Varney, McCormack, Becchio
Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Byram (on for Diouf 76), Brown, White, Poleon (on for McCormack 79),
Gray (on for Becchio 87)
Two wins out of three, and there is reason for optimism at Leeds despite Neil Warnock's gripes with the takeover and lack of funds. For the third consecutive game Leeds were defensively resolute, with the whole team set up to maximise solidity.
They deserved to beat Peterborough (whose awful defending contributed to their own downfall, admittedly) even if the last 20 minutes were nervy.
Paddy Kenny's influence on Leeds' new found defensive presence shouldn't be underestimated. The veteran keeper was excellent again at Peterborough, making one important save from a corner when the score was goalless. He also had to be alert to deny Peterborough as they took a quick free-kick. An assured performance. 7
Lee Peltier played at right-back, his favoured position, for the first-time. He wasn't tasked with getting forward but his defensive positioning was fine. Peltier was solid down his flank and was comfortable in possession. 7
Tom Lees put in a fantastic performance. He is improving vastly under Warnock's tutelage. Lees was constantly tackling and blocking everything that came his way. The win wouldn't have been secured without him. 8
Likewise Jason Pearce, who has been an inspired signing so far. He was bullish at the back, and dominated the aerial battles. He put his body on the line several times to thwart Peterborough. 8
Adam Drury made his first start for Leeds at left-back. The 33-year-old put in several crunching tackles, and possessed a fair bit of pace despite his age. He could secure the left-back spot for himself with more performances like this. 7
Rodolph Austin worked hard in the centre of midfield but after three games in a week, looked tired at times. He flew into as many tackles as possible, though, and helped to shut out Peterborough in the final quarter of an hour. 6
David Norris, next to Austin, struggled to get his foot on the ball and win possession because Peterborough had four men in the middle of their midfield. Norris worked hard although he wasn't able to get forward. He did contribute to costing Leeds a goal with an air-shot inside the box. 6
El-Hadji Diouf started on the right wing. He showed intelligence at times, shielding the ball and winning dangerous free-kicks. He also has a bit of quality with his deliveries from the wide areas, although he made the wrong decision on a few occasions. He is definitely worth signing to a permanent contract based on his performances so far. 6
Sam Byram came on for Diouf to add another defensive player as Leeds held onto their 2-1 lead. Byram was impressive, making some good runs down the right and threatening to score on a couple of occasions. 7
Luke Varney, on the left, improved from his two average displays so far to put in an important shift. His unselfishness created the first goal impressively. He lacks the pace of a proper winger but his movement was clever. He is also a real force in the air despite his height. 6
Ross McCormack had a good game. He played deep, behind the front man, and was able to pull the strings for Leeds. He had a hand in the first goal and assisted the second with a beautiful cross. He didn't have a chance on goal himself but had a very good outing. 7
Dominic Poleon replaced McCormack to add an out-ball as Leeds held on. He did well, putting in a real shift. 6
Luciano Becchio was immense. Even apart from his match-winning two goals, he put in his best performance for months. Becchio held onto everything that was pumped up to him, and his ability to contribute to the defence was fantastic. At least five times he headed away Peterborough set-pieces. Both goals were typical poacher's efforts, and he could have had a third if he wasn't so unselfish after running with the ball. Becchio, on this form, transforms Leeds into a threatening team. 9
Warnock looked elated afterwards. His troops now need a week's rest before their next match, but things might be starting to come together for Leeds.