Tag Archives: Leeds United

Leeds Blow Derby Revenge

It was the same old story for Leeds United at Elland Road for the Championship’s early kick off, as the Whites conceded in stoppage time to make it 1-1 against a Derby County side they had previously dominated. 

United bossed the first half, and took the lead through a Max Lowe own goal before Mateusz Klich put a second half penalty wide. That miss proved costly, with Chris Martin sliding in the Rams’ only shot on target of the game in added time. 

“I said to the players ‘stay in the game’ because the way they play – which is really good – they’re expending a lot of energy. To keep this going for 90 minutes is difficult I think”, said Derby manager Phillip Cocu. 

The Dutchman was proved right, as Leeds appeared to blow themselves out after a furious first half.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men went about their business in fine fashion pressing and haranguing Derby, making sure they barely got a look-in. 

Clear openings were slow to come by, but did eventually come as Jack Harrison saw his close range effort saved by Kelle Roos after excellent work from Stuart Dallas on the right. 

The opener was to come just a minute later though. A Kalvin Phillips free-kick was turned back across goal by the flailing leg of Patrick Bamford. Dallas arrived to turn it towards goal and although his strike was saved by Roos, it rebounded back in off the unfortunate Max Lowe. 

Dallas did nearly have his goal soon after as Roos turned over the Northern Irishman’s effort from the edge of the area, before beating away a Jack Harrison strike from a similar range. 

Bamford continued to struggle in front of goal for United after his early season form. The former Middlesbrough man blazed over the bar after being put through on goal at the end of the first half.

The second half saw then saw a completely different Leeds to the first. Perhaps it was the hot weather or the early kick off, but the home side looked sluggish after half time, and their previous intensity fell off a cliff edge. 

More fine play from Dallas on the right saw Bamford hit the post from close range a couple of minutes into the half, but from then on the Whites’ foot was off the accelerator. 

A quiet second half played out, before Bamford earned his side a pivotal penalty in the 69th minute. Pablo Hernandez played the centre forward in, and his weaving run into the Derby box drew out a clumsy challenge. 

Klich stepped up with a slow run-up, just as he had last week against Barnsley successfully. The run-up itself went well, selling Roos completely the opposite way. But Klich, almost comically, was only able to roll the ball the wrong side of the post. 

What was left of United’s energy reserves now seemed to completely dissipate, especially from Klich who had previously had a superb game setting the tempo in midfield. 

Derby began to ease their way back into it and shifted higher and higher up the pitch, with Leeds becoming increasingly bedraggled. 

The moment for the Rams finally came in added time. A ball from the right found Jamie Paterson on the edge of the area, who had made a positive difference for Derby since his introduction. 

He turned neatly and laid the ball on a plate for fellow substitute Martin, who cooly placed the ball past Kiko Casilla. 

Regardless of the fact that Leeds had slipped off in the second half, it was a somewhat undeserved point for County. Leeds will be ruing missed opportunities as more home points slip through their grasp.

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Barnsley 0-2 Leeds United: Whites fitness told as they win Yorkshire Derby

LEEDS United beat Barnsley 2-0 at Oakwell on Sunday afternoon in a pulsating Yorkshire Derby.

Second half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Mateusz Klich secured all three points for Marcelo Bielsa’s troops as they marched back to the top of the table.

Barnsley played well in parts

For biggest parts of the first period of this Yorkshire Derby, Barnsley, who were the home side, showed some good movement as they tried to break the deadlock, trying to stop their West Yorkshire rivals winning consecutive games against the Tykes.

Former Whites player Mallik Wilks looked to cause a few problems for the Leeds defence. However, selfishly going for goals over assists he squandered a good opportunity, and being at a tight angle failed to beat ex Real Madrid keeper Kiko Casilla in goal.

In the second half Casilla had to produce a good stop to deny a Tykes chance on the goal-line, but what the Whites shot stopper  didn’t know that Aapo Halme a fellow ex Leeds player had blocked an header on the line and in doing so was in an offside position.

Substitutions changed the game for Leeds

The fitness levels for Leeds in the last minutes helped them claim the deserved victory, extra energy coming from substitutions definitely helped.

Bringing Helder Costa on at the break for Jack Harrison and Eddie Nketiah for Patrick Bamford with twenty minutes remaining changed the complexion of the game in the favour of Bielsa’s troops.

The fresh legs and ideas that both Costa and Nketiah helped the Whites get over the line in a game which looked to be heading for a goalless draw.

First real involvement for Costa forced Dimitri Cavare into fouling the on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers winger, from the free-kick which followed, Leeds scored.

Kalvin Phillips, who recently signed a new five-year deal at Leeds, whipped in the free-kick to the back post, skipper Liam Cooper missed it but Nketiah followed in around the back to volley home at the back post.

Nketiah was involved in the second goal aswell after winning a penalty following a foul by Halme on the on-loan Arsenal man.

Polish international Klich calmly slotted the penalty home, giving the travelling fans more reasons to celebrate as they bounced back from a 1-0 defeat last time out against Swansea.

Leeds caused commotion in the stands

Following the opening goal of the game by Nketiah, Leeds fans began to celebrate the goal – out of nowhere a steward raced towards the supporters celebrating their teams opening goal.

The steward seemingly unfairly picked out a certain individual and pushed him down to the ground, before grabbing him around the throat before escorting him away from the ground which lead to the fan getting arrested.

Perfect Response From Leeds

Overall it was a perfect response from the Whites. Losing before the international break, and then returning to winning ways and also returning at the summit at the top of the Championship table.

The next game for Leeds is a re-run of the play-off semi-final from last season, as Derby County arrive at Elland Road on Saturday 21 September – kick-off 12.30pm, you can watch that game live on Sky Sports.

Swansea City: Who is Dan James?

That was a question being asked by a lot of people this week, especially outside of Wales, when Dan James, scored on his full debut for Wales

So who is Dan James?

 

He is a winger, yes that dying breed of wide player, who plays for Swansea City, they who are currently in the EFL Championship under the guidance of Graham Potter, the likeable and unassuming English Manager, who was in charge of Ostersunds, when they beat Arsenal in the Europa League last season

James, is a rising star for Swansea, but such have been his performances, that they have drawn attention from Clubs such as fellow Championship rivals Leeds United, who had a £10 million bid accepted and had agreed terms with the player, before Swansea pulled the plug at the last minute… A move they are glad they did given his form this season.

His goal for Wales, is only going to see his stock rise further in this crazy football market.

James is contracted to Swansea until the summer of 2020, and speculation about where he might end up, have not been helped by the fact that Swansea have admitted there will be redundancies this summer, with all Football Staff, both playing and admin wise, with the exceptions of Graham Potter and his management team.

As Manager Graham Potter explained recently

“My thing with Dan is quite consistent. He hasn’t indicated anything other than he wants to be here, he wants to play and improve, and it is my responsibility to help him do that.

“The rest is a process we will have to do behind the scenes.

“You have to find a solution for everybody and that’s where we are at.

“Progress is being made, as with a lot of other players. We have those conversations and when we have something to announce, we will announce it.”

 

There is no doubting he is hot property at this time, and it could be suggested, that he is premier league quality, which is why Swansea pulled the plug on the Leeds Switch.

No disrespect to Leeds, but they are playing good football, in the top two in the Championship, but as it well known in football, that doesn’t guarantee a Premiership return.

There are a host of clubs, including Arsenal and Newcastle after him and these two clubs might suit him in terms of getting more game time, than somewhere like Man City, where it is likely he will be on the bench or even loaned out to get more experience.

One thing for sure is that this summer is going to be an exciting time for Dan James.

Sky Bet Championship: The Race for Promotion

The race for promotion to the Premier League is hotting up with only eight games remaining of the regular Sky Bet Championship campaign starting this Saturday.

It’s a three-horse race for the automatic promotion spots with Norwich City, Sheffield United and Leeds United all battling it out for the top two spots in the division.

Leeds and Norwich have been the top two for most of the campaign this year, however, Leeds fell down to third prior to the international break following a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United which leaves Marcelo Bielsa’s side one point off the Blades heading into the final eight games of the regular season.

Here I analyse each of the teams chances of automatic promotion this season

Norwich City
The Canaries currently sit five points clear at the top of the table following the win over relegation threatened Rotherham United prior to the break.

Daniel Farke’s worked tremendously well throughout the campaign with a squad which finished 14th in the table last season and he lost key players from that season in the likes of James Maddison, Wes Hoolahan, Josh Murphy and Russell Martin who all played a big part.

Coming into the club is Finland striker Teemu Pukki, signed on a free from Danish outfit Brøndby on a three-year deal, Pukki has really took to life in the Championship scoring 25 goals in the division this season and for me if Norwich are to gain automatic promotion from the Championship the Finnish striker needs to find his scoring boots again towards the end of the campaign.

Remaining Games
30/3 Middlesbrough (A)
6/4 QPR (H)
10/4 Reading (H)
14/4 Wigan (A)
19/4 Sheffield Wednesday (H)
22/4 Stoke City (A)
27/4 Blackburn Rovers (H)
5/5 Aston Villa (A)

Out of their remaining fixtures I believe if Teemu Pukki finds his goalscoring boots and Norwich win four or more they’ve secured automatic promotion.

Sheffield United
The Blades are currently in second spot behind Norwich City and one point above Leeds United in the table so far following a surprise 1-0 triumph over Leeds United at Elland Road prior to the internationals.

Chris Wilder has got his side well-drilled and organised this season and the Blades have impressed me quite a lot this season when I’ve seen them, however, I still feel that they lack quality in the midfield and parts of that showed against Leeds prior to the international break.

A number of players have played really well and Wilder has worked his magic as his side finished 14th last season and are now in a three-way battle for automatic promotion.

Wilder has brough in some good players in the summer and January transfer windows including Oliver Norwood and John Egan, however, I believe that Billy Sharp is the Blades key man this season.

The former Doncaster and Leeds striker has netted on 22 occasions this season and has worked brilliantly with either David McGoldrick or Gary Madine alongside him in attack this season.

Remaining Games
30/3 Bristol City (H)
6/4 Preston (A)
10/4 Birmingham (A)
13/4 Millwall (H)
19/4 Nottingham Forest (H)
22/4 Hull City (A)
27/4 Ipswich (H)
5/5 Stoke City (A)

I believe Sheffield United have a chance of promotion, they need to match Leeds United’s results if they have any chance of promotion from the division.

Leeds United
The Whites are currently one point behind Sheffield United in third in the table so far following a surprise 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United at Elland Road prior to the internationals.

Marcelo Bielsa has got his side play high intensity football and this season it seems to have helped the players who were already at the club from last year and he’s worked tiredlessly to get them playing with the high pressing game for the full 90 minutes.

Bielsa’s sides are known for burning out, however, the Whites don’t seem to be showing this yet this season and it would normally start to show at this point of the season with his previous clubs.

Out of the squad that Bielsa has only Macedonian International Gjanni Alioski has played every minute of games that the club has played in and he’s still going right to the last minute for both club and country this season.

The player of the year so far at Leeds United, for me, is Kalvin Phillips. Phillips is dubbed as the “Yorkshire Pirlo” amongst the Elland Road faithful and has been impressive in his performances in defensive midfield or at centre back in which Bielsa has transformed him into this season.

The Whites have struggled with injuries this campaign otherwise I firmly believe they would be already in the automatic promotion spots heading into the final eight games.

Remaining Games
30/3 Millwall (H)
6/4 Birmingham (A)
9/4 Preston (A)
13/4 Sheffield Wednesday (H)
19/4 Wigan (H)
22/4 Brentford (A)
27/4 Aston Villa (H)
5/5 Ipswich (A)

I believe that Leeds will just pip Sheffield United to second spot in the table and go up automatically.

Automatic Promotion Predictions: Norwich City and Leeds United
Play-Off Winner Prediction: Sheffield United

Cardiff vs Leeds United: Match Preview

Sol Bamba looks set to return for the Bluebirds against his former club, Leeds, in this intriguing top of the table clash with Cardiff sitting third on goal difference behind early front-runners Leeds this evening.

Bamba was left out of Neil Warnock’s side that beat Sunderland at the weekend nut is expected to replace Bruno Manga in the starting lineup and fellow defender and again former Leeds United player, Lee Peltier is expected to return after a minor knock.

Striker, Danny Ward, is still a doubt after recovering from a virus so Omar Bogle is expected to keep his place on the bench.

Leeds can boast an almost fully fit squad with striker Caleb Ekuban (foot) the only absentee as defender Pontus Jansson returns to the squad after being left out of the Whites’ home win against Ipswich on Saturday.

Neil Warnock has enjoyed coming up against his former club in recent years winning all three meetings against Leeds since his departure in April 2013 including a 2-0 win at Elland Road with his Cardiff side last season; Leeds have however won the last two meetings at the City Stadium.