Monday, 19 September 2011

High and Lows, Red Cards, Red Devils, Gradel & Luciano

I apologies to my followers that I've gone off the boil when it comes to my opinions and takes on all news Leeds United of late. So here's a catch up. Victory against Hull gave us our first league victory which finally gave the fans something to shout about. A difficult trip to Upton Park to take on a West Ham side riddled with Premier League quality was next on the agenda. We put in our best performance of the season so far and really showed any doubters that we plan to be right up again this season, unfortunately lady luck wasn't on United's side as we had to settle for a more than deserved point courtesy of Adam Clayton's 90th minute leveller, the midfielder's first goal in a Leeds shirt.

After a drama filled week in the league attention once again turned to the Carling Cup. A trip to Doncaster was the perfect reminder of Ramon Nunez' talents for Simon Grayson as his brace sent us into the 3rd round. Early on Saturday morning the players will have been delighted by the news that they would once again take on Premier League champions Manchester United, this time on home soil. Football has a funny way of bringing you back down to earth and another red card and a late goal took the points away from Leeds and handed struggling Ipswich a much needed win.

A shocker for United fans! Fan favourite Max Gradel handed in a transfer request as he searched for football in France. An offer from Saint-Etienne was accepted and all of a sudden the Whites had lost their talisman as well as no incoming replacement. Two home games followed for Leeds and the week was made better as Grayson declared Luciano Becchio was close to a return after a long injury lay-off. Veteran striker Mikael Forssell joined up with his new team-mates as Leeds looked to bulk up their attacking options. Clayton was missing from the Palace game and Leeds sure did miss him as we failed to control the game, this also down to the fact that skipper Jonny Howson seemed to be being sick. United won the game 3-2 due to Luciano Becchio scoring on his return albeit off bench as well as goal machine Ross McCormack scoring a brace including a late winner.

Bristol City were the next visitors to Elland Road which is currently undergoing a re-model. It was also a return for Neil Kilkenny as he took on his old team-mates after leaving on a free in the summer. Leeds were out of the blocks like a racehorse and it only took 3 minutes for Adam Clayton to open the scoring for United with a curling effort into the top corner. Loanee Andy Keogh had a brilliant chance to make it two but David James was equal to it. Minutes later City were level and no prices for guessing who dealt the blow, old boy Neil Kilkenny with a rasping effort from 20 yards. After that Leeds seemed to lose that zip they had in the first 15 minutes.

In the second half both sides were looking for the break through and the game changing moment came when Nicky Maynard broke was through on goal after a slip from Darren O'Dea, Kisnorbo trying to save the situation went piling into the back of him giving away a penalty whilst seeing red. United fourth dismissal of the season. Maynard stepped up to take it but Andy Lonergan made a good save to keep the home side in the game. With Becchio, Forssell and McCormack all on the pitch despite having 10 men their attacking threat was still present. Leeds kept fighting and from a Bromby long throw Becchio flicked onto McCormack who poked the ball in at the back post to maintain his impressive scoring record. Leeds hung on for the win after being penned in their defensive third for the last 5 minutes but another win for the Whites as they climb up into the top half of the table.

No comments:

Post a Comment