MOT Super Fans: Leeds have cured one major problem ahead of clash v Cardiff
This post-match column is part of a regular series from our panel of Leeds United Super Fans. Each week, our Super Fans will deliver their verdicts on the biggest talking points and news stories around Elland Road and Thorp Arch
Leeds went top of the Championship with two 2-0 wins in a week against Huddersfield and Hull.
They were not at their free-flowing best in either game this week, but the Bielsa machine continues to grind out those all-important wins and Leeds are now 11 points clear of third going into the festive period.
The goals against Huddersfield were absolute things of beauty. Alioski with a spectacular volley on the edge of the box following a corner, and a wonderful counter-attack in which Hernandez claimed a rare headed goal from Jack Harrison’s inch-perfect cross.
Counter-attacks were very much on the agenda again against Hull with both goals starting from Leeds’ own penalty area and ending in the back of Hull’s net within 20 seconds of the attack beginning.
In his pre-match presser for the game against Cardiff this weekend Bielsa admitted, “Leeds are well set to play that way but the opposition teams don’t attack Leeds enough for them to use that style regularly”
I’m sure it won’t be the first or last time Leeds score from a counter, but, perhaps more pointedly, Leeds seem to be finding goals from just about everywhere this season. And scoring is a big problem that they seem to have cured after a slow patch in the early stages of the season.
From their 23 games in all competitions, they have 37 goals (32 in the league). Their left-back Alioski scoring two in a week, really showing the commitment in the players to overload the box to try and score, no matter what time of the game it is.
Leeds’ goal breakdown so far is as follows:
- Bamford – 7 goals
- Nketiah – 5 goals
- Harrison – 4 goals
- Alioski – 4 goals
- Klich – 4 goals
- Own Goal – 4 goals
- Hernandez – 3 goals
- Costa – 2 goals
- Phillips – 1 goal
- Dallas – 1 goal
- Berardi – 1 goal
- Roberts – 1 goal
This knack of scoring from anywhere on the pitch and not relying heavily on one player could prove vital this season.
In contrast, at the opposite end of the spectrum is Hull’s Jarrod Bowen, who was well marshalled by Stuart Dallas on Tuesday night, and failed to register a single shot on target in the game.
He has 15 goals and four assists this season which is overwhelmingly the largest portion of goals in the Hull squad with 51% of his side’s goals in all competitions this season coming directly through him.
Leeds don’t have such a prolific talisman, but an over-reliance on an individual player can often be a side’s Achilles heel. Bamford is often criticised for not putting up the same numbers as the top marksmen in the league, but if they continue the way they are currently then they won’t need him to be quite so clinical every game.
Nothing looks like stopping Leeds at the moment. They made it 10 unbeaten and seven wins on the bounce in their win over Hull to put clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack going into the busy Christmas schedule. A win over Cardiff this weekend and Leeds will go into the Fulham game knowing they will be on the brink of promotion with only half the season gone… how are the nerves Leeds fans?
Adam Elliott is a member of the MOT Super Fans panel and provides his post-match thoughts on Leeds after every game
In other Leeds United news… ‘Massive’ – BBC pundit delivers exciting QSI update as Leeds takeover talks progress