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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Bristol City v Leeds Utd 21st Oct 2017.

It's exactly 211 miles to Ashton Gate from my house. Having lost 4 out of the last 5 games and facing a Bristol City side flying high in the championship on the back of an impressive run of form my optimism was not exactly the highest it's been all season as I pointed the car south for the long trek. Still the championship results have been as bonkers as ever this season so who's to say we can't come away with a comfortable 2.0 victory? And so began the inevitable creeping increase of optimism that match day brings. No matter how poor we've been in the last match by the time kick off arrives Leeds are always going to win aren't they? Or is it just me?

By the time I got to Bristol Storm Brian was in the vicinity or for those of a northern persuasion it was a bit wet and windy. TC had certainly bitten the bullet with his team selection. Jansson dropped to the bench in favour of Pennington Vieira back into a centre midfield with O'Kane and Alioski and Saiz out wide. Phillips in a sort of No 10 role supporting Lasogga up front. Wow! The 3,700 travelling army took in the team changes as the game kicked off in front of a packed Ashton Gate. From the first minute this was a different team from the abject one that were defeated against Reading. Challenges were won, 2nd balls were greedily snapped up by the black shirts as Leeds ripped into high flying Bristol. This wasn't Storm Brian this was Storm Leeds and after just 4 minutes the away fans were in raptures. Phillips chased a Bristol defender and blocked his clearance. The ball ran to Lasogga who drove into the box before back healing the ball to Saiz who's shot deflected past the Bristol goalie into the net. Goallllllllllllllll Leeeeeeds! The noise from the away end was like rolling thunder as the recent weeks poor performances were all lanced like a nasty boil with a collective outpouring of relief and pleasure. Mint!

Leeds were on fire just as they were earlier in the season. Vieira snapped at anything loose in midfield, Saiz and Alioski posed a threat on both flanks whilst Lasogga and Phillips were bullying the  supposed rock solid home defence so it was no real surprise when Leeds doubled their lead on 14 minutes. Saiz and O'Kane exchanged delightful passes in the centre circle............O'Kane drove towards the Bristol box and released a slide rule pass for Alioski who's shot was blocked but up popped Saiz to blast home his 2nd of the game...........more rolling thunder and more joyful celebrations by the whole of the Leeds team. Delicious!

Leeds were purring like a well oiled machine when they moved forward and as miserly as Scrooge when they defended their 18 yard line. What a transformation! Pennington and Cooper were winning everything at the back as the whole team gelled together despite the formation change. Phillips looked a different player in the more advanced role and as for Vieira well there aren't enough superlatives to describe the impact he was having on the game.......and he's only a teenager!

Half time came with Leeds cruising at 2.0 and all of a sudden all was right with the world. The Urinal Philosophers were in ecstasy with the first 45 minutes "Why hasn't Vieira played all season" one fan queried whilst another thought "We're not missing Jansson, Pennington's not missed a ball" finally one fan dreamily declared "I think Saiz could turn me gay" What did Harold Wilson, ask your Dad, once say about a week being a long time in's a lot longer in Football. The Reading performance seemed light years away from today's showing.

Leeds started the 2nd half on the front foot as they attacked the end housing their adoring fans. Phillips got up well to meet an Alioski cross but couldn't keep his header down. Soon after Lasogga ran strongly before unleashing a strong shot that the goalie saved low to his left. The away fans were enjoying the performance as the decibel levels lifted. Alioski just couldn't finish after a superb move sliced open the home defence with the Leeds fans drooling behind the goal. Just after the hour Hegeler was yellow carded for trying to pinch Vieira's shirt as he sped away from him. The Leeds player kept driving on with the Bristol player still clinging to his coat tails. Lasogga took the free kick but it deflected off the wall for a corner as Leeds turned the screw on the desperate home side. Phillips trotted over to take the corner. His pin point corner was met by Lasogga's head as the ball flew into the net. 3.0 Leeds and game over. Fantastic.

Bristol pushed forward looking for a consolation but were met with stiff resistance from the Leeds team. With 12 minutes left Berardi fouled Taylor. Free kick. Taylor jumped up and ran to Berardi and thrust his face into the Swiss full back's face.......bad move! Taylor was left writhing on the floor with a broken nose whilst Josh Warrington's ring walk partner stood glowering over him. Both players got a straight red. Jansson then thought he'd offer the entire Bristol bench out just to add to the drama! If we've been guilty of being too soft in recent weeks that soon put paid to that.

Bristol should have had a consolation goal but Diedhiou made a horrible hash of a free header 8 yards out. The game finished 3.0 to Leeds with the 3 sides of the ground nearly empty and one side belting out a raucous rendition of MOT followed by the Samuel Saiz song. Absolutely music to my ears. Vieira was my man of the match for an awesome return to the first team but every player deserved massive praise for an inspiring response to their poor recent form. The grid locked city centre and the long drive home didn't worry me one jot. A 13 hour round trip was well worth it to watch that performance. Can they repeat it against Leicester on Tuesday and probably more importantly blunt the Blades on Friday night? Course they can.........

Can't wait.



David Smith said...

Great blog as usual Andrew ....I came up to the game from Cornwall and sat in the stand behind the dugouts with the Bristol supporters. In truth it was a bit like being in the French resistance during occupied France, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Had a clear sight of the Berardi incident and yes I maybe biased on occasions, but I really believe it was self inflicted Taylor!

Andy P said...

Thanks Andrew. Great report and wonderful to read about the optimism returning in both the team and the urinal philosophy. MOT

Prokyp said...

Haha 'lanced boil' in a match report. Love it.

Think BCFC are wasting their time appealing Taylor's red. He was the aggressor, he went at Berardi so Berardi will claim he was just defending himself.

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Like David I was behind enemy lines Sat halfway between him and our flare throwing fans, Bristol fans did not like that, shame. Like you I thought Vieira was outstanding but the whole team performed so well. As for Berardi, if you stick your face in his what do you really expect. Listening to local radio going home Lee Johnson said Taylor was in his own personal space and couldn't understand why he was sent off and, apparently, they should have had a penalty, I suggest he looks at both incidents without his red glasses on. Great performance and terrific review as always MOT

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

One other thing on that performance I wouldn't be paying big money for Aden Flint thought he was very poor

Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for all the comments on what was the best win of the season so far.

Unknown said...

Good report as always andrew football s a funny old game some one said and don t us Leeds fans no it
But storm Leeds classic

Tony Mulraney said...

Huge win after recent set backs. Credit to TC for shaking up the team, once we scored first there was only going to be one winner. All in all a great response from the whole team and management. The Berardi call looked a lot different on tv, little or no forward movement of his head. Which is further contradicted by a image on Twitter of Taylor dropping holding his mouth !!. Anyway top work once again Andrew.

Anonymous said...

Great report as always Andrew. TC comes across as quiet and unassuming, but has shown what a good manager he is. Dropped players who haven't performed and changed the formation when it was so badly needed. We forget he's new to this league too but, despite the recent losses, is showing what a great manager he could prove to be for us.MOT!

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Just heard that Beradi has been given legendary status at Bristol Rovers and has afforded the honour of freedom of north Bristol meaning he can graze his sheep on the Gloucester road,

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