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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Nottm Forest v Leeds Utd. 26th August 2017.

With the transfer market very active at Elland Road I headed down the M1 with plenty of optimism for our clash with Forest at the City Ground. The wonderfully named Jay-Roy Grot had arrived from Holland to bolster our strike force and give the headline writers a field day. Rumours of Green's imminent departure had caused a stir amongst the Leeds faithful but on the evidence of this summer's signings I've every confidence in TC and his recruitment team to make the right calls. So would Grot get a start up front or would Roofe carry on where he left off against the mighty Newport? Could Leeds continue their 100% away record? What chance of another clean sheet with our rock solid defence? These and more questions were all debated in the Notts County Sports bar as we waited for kick off.

The hot evening sun was shining down on the Leeds fans packed into the away end as the team news was digested. Roofe started up front with Hernandez recovered from last weeks injury. Grot was on the bench but even in the warm up he was an imposing presence. Is he match fit though? As ever the lingering bitterness of the Miners strike seeps into the atmosphere at every Forest v Leeds game and tonight was no exception as the away fans taunted the Forest fans with chants of "Scabs" as the game got underway.

Leeds started very much on the front foot. Any worries about Roofe coping with two giant centre halves were soon dispelled as he made sensible runs onto sensible service from the confident midfielders. Liam Bridcutt, making his Forest debut, was not surprisingly sat so deep in midfield he was almost in the goalie's lap! No change there then. The raucous away support had plenty to get excited about in the first twenty minutes as Saiz, Hernandez and Alioski all had sight of goal after flowing Leeds moves. Forest with Murphy up front showing some neat touches and Osborn testing Ayling on the right flank showed why they had a 100% home record but it was Leeds who were looking the most dangerous as they pinged the ball about through Saiz with some style. If they carry on like this the Sky commentators might have to pay them some compliments through gritted teeth. Mint.

When a certain Mr Cellino was in charge he talked about building a team to be a Ferrari. Unfortunately it turned out to be an old battered Fiat. This team Christiansen is moulding already has the look of a sleek prancing Horse with turbo boosters and we're not even into September. We needed a goal though and on 24 minutes it duly arrived. Roofe was cynically fouled 30 yards out. O'Kane floated the ball to the back post where it was partially cleared straight to Cooper who's firm header found Roofe 7 yards out who headed the ball into the net. 1.0 Leeds and the away end erupted in pure unbridled joy. Leeds were purring like a well tuned engine and the Leeds fans were loving it. "Leeds are falling apart again" they mockingly sung.

5 minutes later Roofe nearly doubled the lead but didn't get much power on his header and the goalie saved in the bottom corner. Forest were threatening in attack but most of their moves floundered on the vice like defence Leeds deploy. Matt Mills caused a stir though when his powerful header was fumbled by Wiedwald in the Leeds goal. Saiz finished off a superb first 45 minutes with another shot goal wards but Leeds trooped off to yet another ovation still leading by the single goal. Brilliant. The Urinal Philosophers were glowing after their time in the sun and the long pre match refreshment sessions....."absolutely the dog's bollocks that half" one fan gushed whilst another  thought "Saiz is just a f****** genius" Yes it was safe to say that the travelling support were well pleased with the first half as lot's of smiling faces peered out into the setting sun ready for the 2nd half.

Leeds continued their control of the game. Bridcutt tried to remove one of Saiz's legs for which he received a yellow card. Should have been a red. The pattern of game continued similar to the first half with the Leeds defence repelling all Forest attempts at attack with growing confidence and when they attacked I felt it was only a matter of time before they got the all important 2nd goal. Alioski was giving Traore nightmares on the wing as the decibel levels in the away end rose the longer the game went on. On 70 minutes the man mountain that is Grot replaced Hernandez to cheers from his new fans. He is a big unit! He soon showed a clean pair of heels to Mills as he turned him and set up a Leeds attack. Something tells me another cult hero has just joined up to the Leeds United Cult club.

The more Forest pushed for an equaliser the more Leeds looked like snatching that all important 2nd goal. Chances were spurned by the Leeds attack. Dallas, on for Roofe went very close with a shot from the left side of the Forest box before Alioski put Forest out of their misery though on 84 minutes with a sweetly hit shot from the edge of the box set up by a stunning tackle by Phillips. Absolute mayhem behind the goals as the Leeds fans celebrated another away victory in the offing. The goal killed the game and in truth Leeds could have had another two before the finish but for wayward finishing. The game finished 2.0 Leeds and a 4th clean sheet on the bounce in the league. Brilliant!

This was a very, very impressive performance against a decent Forest side. The Leeds defence was once again awesome with the revitalised Cooper a revelation alongside Jansson. Saiz and Alioski are almost untouchable in the form they are in. This is definitely the Leeds United I fell in love with way back in the 70's. Good times are on there way back me thinks. Nobody mentioned Chris Wood today. Remember him? He was the only player who could score goals for Leeds and without him we were doomed. Not according the maestro Thomas Christiansen. His tactics are winning a lot of admirers and not just at Leeds. If we're not careful neutrals will start to like us! What a time to be a Leeds fan.

The international break up next so time to reflect on what has been a superb start to the League campaign. Can we continue after the enforced break? Time will tell............

Can't wait.



Andy P said...

Fantastic Andrew once again, what a grot time to be a Leeds fan. MOT

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Very good review as always, I am not one for over optimism but this side look desistened for better things. Who is the bloke playing alongside Pontus not the mistake ridden Liam Cooper of previous seasons. If we had lost our top scorer in the past we would have spluttered and struggled to overcome the loss, this seems seamless and finally regarding Sky, Don Goodmanham that well known Leeds lover... not was positively purring about our performance as was I many superlatives would have covered it, for once the future looks White MOT

Andrew Butterwick said...

As you say Leeds watcher "destined for better things" is a very good summing up. *Pinches self*
Thanks for the comments

John Roe said...

Thank you Andrew for your observations on the games this season.
Perhaps during the International breaks you could
give us an overview of the previous games and an opinion as to where the side is going and in particular the players who are driving us forward or holding us back.
Hope I am not overloading your time.

Thanks again

Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm away with work this week so I shan't get to any sort of additional blog this week I'm afraid. I will rustle up something on those lines in the next two weeks though.

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