Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Leeds United 3 - 0 Oxford United

The feeling around Elland Road last night was really relaxed, this wasn't a game we necessarily needed to win.

Warnock made a few changes last night as we thought he would, bringing Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Byram, Brown, White and Gray into the starting 11.

Sam Byram was in a new position on the wing and Gray was upfront with Diouf.

I must admit, for the first ten minutes I thought it may be a long night for us, the adrenaline must have been pumping for Oxford as they were straight on us and had quite a few shots and a lot of the possession.

Rodolph Austin had the first of the Leeds shots on goal though on the 12th minute which went just wide of the goal.

Adam Chapman for Oxford tested Jamie Ashdown though on the 18th minute and it was clear that they were full of confidence as Alfie Potter tried his luck with a shot from 25 yards out but it was blocked by Patrick Kisnorbo.

We did start getting into the game however and started playing some good football.
Rodolph Austin opened the scoring on the 27th minute with his first goal in a Leeds United shirt.

We were playing so much better now, working harder to exploit gaps in the Oxford defence.

Que Sam Byram, the youngster in his new position calmly took the ball past a defender and controlled it well, he then  chipped the ball over the goalkeeper who had no chance of saving it. What....A....Goal.

For the rest of the half, we kept piling the pressure onto Oxford who weren't dealing with it the way they were in the first 10-15 minutes of the match. They looked deflated and tired and the half time whistle couldn't have blown soon enough for them.

The second half began and Micheal Brown was penalised from the off when he brought down Sean Rigg.
The free kick was taken by Adam Chapman and Damian Butt made Ashdown make a save as they tried to get a foothold in the game.

El Hadji Diouf - who was having a much better game than Saturday, swung in a corner and Austin was waiting in the box who had a shot but it was saved by Oxford keeper, Clarke.

Rodolph Austin came so very close again to adding his second when he attempted a 40 yarder that he nearly pulled off, the bar came to Oxford's rescue though and the play resumed.

Sam Byram was looking for his second too when a volley of his just cleared the bar.

After 73 minutes Tom Lees got himself on the score sheet after Diouf crossed the ball in and Lees got his head on it to put the game past Oxford.

Diouf was taken off and replaced by Dom Poleon on the 76th minute of play.

Aiden White had two shots in as many minutes as we pushed on for a fourth goal.

Neil Warncok decided to bring Sam Byram and replace him with Lee Peltier just before full time, probably so he could get the plaudits he deserved for what was an amazing goal.

So that's it!! We are through to the third round of the Capital One Cup, the draw will take place tomorrow (Thursday) night.

I was really impressed with a lot of the performances last night. Neil picked the right squad to do the job.

I found it encouraging that we kept looking for a goal instead of sitting back. This is what needs to happen more with this team, as I mentioned yesterday, when we sit back instead of pushing for another we tend to get caught too deep and concede silly, preventable goals.
Obviously when you are pushing for a goal you need to be careful too that you are not caught on the counter so the midfield needs to be strong enough to deal with that kind of pressure and last night it was. Rodolph Austin being man of the match by a country mile, he was outstanding.

El Hadji Diouf also had a great match, which, after his performance on Saturday, I wasn't expecting. I am his biggest critic, but last night he did everything right, and he assisted two of the three goals.

Ashdown made some good saves when he was called upon to do so.

Sam Byram REALLY impressed me on the wing....We saw in pre-season he could score goals, and I think he settled in to that role. The work he did before he scored his wonder goal was superb and we coudln't have asked for more from him last night.

It was nice to see the lads who were on the bench yesterday having a bit of a laugh with each other during the pre-match warm up. They were all taking shots at Lee Peltier who was wearing Paddy Kenny's gloves, I hope Paddy never gets sent off and we have to use Pelt's as he wasn't very good ;o) ha ha.

Next up is Blackburn at Elland Road on Saturday. That is going to be one tough match. We've had a really difficult start to the season, lets just hope the lads are all full of confidence and fresh, ready to go.

MOT xx <3 xx

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