Last night saw Leeds United welcome West Bromwich Albion to Elland Road on match-day ten of this Championship campaign, honours were shared between the two last season, but this time around, the two sides were looking to end the evening in top spot.
West Brom began the day yesterday in first position and as the game drew closer, the nerves were tangible inside Elland Road, you could feel the apprehension amongst supporters following a mixed start for Leeds United this season.
In a game that lived up to the billing, it was literally a game of two halves with Leeds dominating proceedings in the first half but West Brom applying the most pressure in the second.
Leeds eventually ran out 1-0 winners after a low Gjianni Alioski shot was deflected past his own goalkeeper by former Leeds loanee Kyle Bartley, but the Whites were good value for that lead at the break.
Stand out performances for the home side came mainly from striker Patrick Bamford and winger come right wing-back Stuart Dallas, who both worked incredibly hard, along with their team-mates, to ensure Leeds held onto their slim advantage, but special mention for Bamford who, from a plethora of ill-feeling amongst his own fans, rose to show the Leeds faithful exactly what he brings to the team with this battling, gut busting display and deservedly walked away with the Man of the Match award.
The second half saw West Brom pile sustained pressure on the hosts, with relentless waves of attack that were fended off on most occasions but missed a couple of opportunities themselves.
This was only the second time in Marcelo Bielsa’s reign that the opposing team had beaten Leeds for possession and successful passes, kudos to the Midlands outfit who went to Elland Road to win this match, unlike many of their opponents this season and they both showed enough to convince those watching that they will be up there with the teams battling for automatic promotion come May.
LEEDS UNITED PLAYER RATINGS
GK) Casilla- 7
RB) Dallas- 8
LB) Alioski- 7
CB) Cooper- 6
CB) White 7
DMC) Phillips- 7
MC) Shackleton- 7
MC) Klich- 7
LW) Costa- 7
RW) Harrison- 7
ST) Bamford- 9
All in all a fantastic result for the home side, but this was no simple victory, West Brom were very, very good on the night and will no doubt be up there with Leeds come the latter stages.