Leeds United 1 (Phillips 65)
Birmingham City 0
Crikey! There are going to be some blood pressure tablets sold in Yorkshire this season if every game turns out like this! With fingers of fire soaring into the sky above the Elland Road pitch and with the East Stand patrons spelling out the ‘100’ years of our existence ahead of kick off, this game was always a potential banana skin; we’ve seen it happen too many times in a filled to capacity Elland Road.
This one was in the balance for 90 minutes and, for whatever reason, the superiority we were able to show in our results in August has since been hard to find, despite the fact that in every game we play we are the team playing the better football.
In fact, results in the other games today largely showed that, ourselves excepted, no side is much better than any other in the Championship this season and, in my opinion at least, we are by far the best footballing side in the division. It’s just a crying shame we’re not able to convert our obvious superiority in the football we play into goals and therefore points; if we could, then we’d romp to the title this season. Today it was Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas who the best chances fell to, but Bamford also had a couple of opportunities where a better first touch was needed.
There is of course still time to find that goal scoring touch and Marcelo Bielsa showed, with his half time substitution today of England’s U21 Ace Eddie Nketiah for the currently goal shy Patrick Bamford, that he is intent on solving the dilemma. Eddie wasn’t any more successful than Bamford today but there is just something about the young Gunner that makes me think he’s the likely answer if given a sustained run in the side.
In our Centenary game, it was only fitting that our own Yorkshire born Pirlo grabbed the goal that secured all three points; as Marcelo so poetically put it after the game “Sometimes God puts things in the right place”. Kalvin, and every Leeds United fan, will forever remember his goal scored on this special day but far more important are the 3 points it earned; they, unlike much of the rest of the overpriced eBay-bound Centenary mementos, may ultimately prove to be priceless.
The end of game fireworks and the blue and gold streamers fired from the roof of the West Stand were thankfully appropriate to close our Centenary celebrations; we’ll never know if they’d have been fired had Blues managed to spoil our party but the bloke sat up there at full time, peering out at his handy work, did look mightily relieved!
Leeds Utd Birmingham City
Possession 59% 41%
Shots 15 16
On Target 5 4
Corners 9 2
Fouls Committed 13 18