Three things we learned from Barnsley v Leeds
Leeds beat Barnsley 2-0 on Sunday and went back to the top of the table after Swansea lost at home to Nottingham Forest the day before.
Eddie Nketiah was the hero again, coming on in the second half to convert a Kalvin Phillips free kick.
He then won the penalty that Mateusz Kilch slotted home with buckets of cool in the final minute of the game to secure all three points.
Here are the three things we learned from the game:
Away days rule
Leeds are loving their travels this season. The 2-0 win against Barnsley was the fourth consecutive away win in the league this season and Leeds have scored 10 and conceded just 1 on the road. That’s because teams set themselves up differently when they come to Elland Road and Marcelo Bielsa is yet to crack that puzzle. We’ve drawn one, lost one and narrowly won one at home and that’s going to necessitate a different gameplan from our maestro manager. Derby are the next visitors to Elland Road and win against them would be all the sweeter after last season’s play-off drama. We might need to look at a different system or different players, though.
Spine is in place
We might still be playing the same thrilling football as last season, but there’s a big difference.
It starts with Kiko Caslla who is now performing like we expected a former Real Madrid stopper to perform. He was brilliant against Barnsley and made some big saves to keep the home side out. Liam Cooper and Ben White in the centre of defence have a solid partnership and seem unfappable. Kalvin Phillips in the defensive midfield spot is playing at the peak of his game at the moment. He was the best player on the pitch, according to WhoScored and we’re not going to argue with that. The spine of the Leeds team has seen us record the league’s best defence with just three goals conceded.
Nketiah working off the bench
Lots of people are calling for Eddie Nketiah to start ahead of Patrick Bamford, but we can see Marcelo Bielsa sticking with the current set-up. Why? It’s working. Bamford played very well on Sunday, he just didn’t get his goal. He was unhappy at getting taken off and that’s what you want from your strikers. Bielsa described Bamford as a “great centre forward” and said he deserved a goal on Sunday. He didn’t get it but he does a lot of other things well. He holds the ball up brilliantly and it’s yet to be seen whether Nketiah would be able to do the same. We’d have no problem with Nketiah starting, he’s earned it, but we wouldn’t be upset or surprised if Bamford starts against Derby.
Bielsa non-committal on whether Costa/Nketiah might start now. Said he thinks Bamford and Harrison are big players for his team. Described Bamford as a "great centre forward" and said he told him he'd deserved a goal when he substituted him.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 15, 2019