We're back at Elland Road and with a bang after an impressive 4-1 win over Port Vale. Here Keith Ingham speaks the glorious goals and special spaniard who scored them!
The old ground has been given a 'spruce' up, showing famous trophy wins and past players on the facial on Billy's Bar. It's pretty awe inspiring as you see familiar faces in their moments of triumph.
It was good to be back, 1974 was the first time I visited Leeds United and nothing beats the feeling of starting a journey that ends walking up towards our spiritual home.
Thomas Christiansen as predicted gave players that did not feature from the start on Sunday, along with a new face; a lad from Salford and the longest name probably we've ever seen on a Leeds shirt: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
Leeds lined up with Wiedwald in goal, a back four of Anita, captain for the night Luke Ayling, youngster Shaughnessy and Jackson on the left. In the midfield, Sacko and Dallas on the wings, Klich (debut) and Vieira as the 'sitting two' with Sammy Saiz in the number ten (more on him later!) and Caleb Ekuban leading the frontline.
Leeds were very bright in the early exchanges and Dallas had a couple of opportunities early on the the Vale keeper dealt with easily, but the Northern Ireland international was the architect of the first goal on twelve minutes. His shot/cross cannoned back off the post to provide Saiz with his first in the white and gold of Leeds.
Sammy strikes his first.
Leeds maintained the pressure but unfortunately with no end product, Sacko and Dallas keeping both full backs busy, Jackson, Dallas and Anita having efforts on goal. Port Vale at the other end offered little until a long throw found ex-Leeds player Michael Tonge, who beat Wiedwald at his near post.
The fact that no natural centre back was in Leeds' back line was evident as the ball sailed over heads to a Port Vale player. Leeds need to recruit in this position as Mathew Pennington could be out for a number of weeks. The half ended 1-1.
The second half Leeds impressed with slick passing between the defence and midfield but it was the introduction of Alioski and Bridcutt that this game turned and quick!
Within minutes Leeds were 3-1 up, Alioski burst past defenders with ease in his first run, Ronaldo Vieira's through ball found Siaz for him to net his second. Within a couple of minutes it was three, Siaz finding Ekuban, whose cute back-hell found Siaz and the Spaniard lashed the ball into the top of the net.
Every time Leeds went forward they looked like they'd score and they did when Caleb Ekuban netted with seven minutes to play. There was even time for Vale to be reduced to ten men as Gunning was sent off for two bookable offences, the second for trying to cut Alioski in two.
Number two and three.
Quite a few players impressed; Cameron Borthwick-Jackson at left back, Vernon Anita marshalling the midfield, Ronaldo Vieira's bursting through the midfield, Stuart Dallas in the first half, Alioski and Bridcutt's performances from the bench and the simply stunning Sammy Siaz; who's hat trick is the first since Ross McContract in 2014 and equaling Carl Shutt's hat trick on his debut in 1989.
Seven goals scored, only three conceded and Preston and Fulham to come in the next six days.
To use a phrase of @MoscowwhiteTSB 'The Beeston Globetrotters' are on a roll!
By Keith Ingham