Monday, 28 January 2013

Leeds United 2 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Snow once again covered a lot of the UK last week and the atmosphere towards the club was just as frosty, as Leeds United's top scorer, Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request.

It was revealed at the pre Spurs press conference however, that the club had in fact offered him a 'Premiership Contract' - a three and a half year deal that would see him, in all probability, end his career at Leeds United, it seems however, that he will leave the club this week, after the non-negotiable offer had not been accepted by Luciano.

As the snow began to thaw on Saturday, the news that Sam Byram had signed an extension to his contract that would see him at Leeds United until June 2016 brought some much needed positivity. 19 year old Byram was linked with Premier League sides after impressing in almost every game he's played this season.

There has certainly been an 'anything is possible' attitude when it's come to the cup since Bradford City made it to Wembley in the Carling Cup earlier on this week after beating Aston Villa over two legs.

Tottenham currently sit 4th place in the Premier League, boasting players such as Gareth Bale, Scott Parker and ex Leeds United player Aaron Lennon to name but a few, with Andre Villas Boas as manager. I was excited about the game, but it felt like there was little to no pressure on us to win, which then, gives us the advantage of going out there and enjoying the occasion.

As expected, changes were made to the side that played against Bristol City last week, with Ashdown once again being brought into the starting 11 in place of Paddy Kenny. There was no change to the back four but midfield saw Green and Varney returning. Becchio wasn't included in the squad at all and apparently wasn't in attendance at the game whatsoever.

Tottenham had a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes of the game to open the scoring, and on the 12th minute Clint Dempsey had a free header inside the area from Huddlestone's corner but his effort was too high and sailed over the bar.

The game soon swung in our favour though and it was a somewhat unlikely candidate who scored a fantastic goal on the 15th minute of play. A cheeky flick on to Luke Varney from El Hadji-Diouf showed what Varney is capable of as he not only showed his pace to run, unchallenged by the Tottenham defence, down the left hand side of the pitch, but his finishing ability, a brilliant goal and a good start for us.

Spurs were trying to find a way back into the game, and though they were having some good chances, the league difference between the two sides was in no way obvious.

Just after the half hour mark, Tottenham were beginning to find their feet, Aaron Lennon cut inside Byram but his shot on goal was not his best and was saved comfortably by Ashdown.

We almost doubled our lead on the 38th minute, a fantastic ball from Michael Brown to Ross McCormack was controlled beautifully but McCormack, under pressure couldn't produce a goal scoring shot. A minute later, the travelling fans were outraged when the referee failed to spot what they thought was a back pass involving Tom Lees.

Some fantastic teamwork on the stroke of half time saw Varney pass to McCormack who had a fantastic chance to score, however, Brad Friedel came to the rescue and managed to save the shot with his feet.

The half time whistle blew and the teams left the field of play a rapturous applause for what was a good, solid, first half performance.

We began the second half brightly, and our hard work was rewarded on the 50th minute, El Hadji-Diouf sent a fantastic ball over the top to a waiting Ross McCormack who outwitted Steven Caulker and eventually scored a fantastic goal in the top corner and the roof came off Elland Road as the fans celebrated once again.

On the 54th minute though, a great run down the right hand side by Aaron Lennon gave him the opportunity to cross the ball into a waiting Clint Dempsey who sliced his shot wide from 6 yards out. Four minutes later, Dempsey wasn't so careless however as he got his head on a cross from Gareth Bale and made the score 2 - 1. Straight after the goal, Villas Boas changed his side, taking off, Huddlestone and Sigurdsson for Mousa Dembele and Jonathan Obika. AVB also brought on Kyle Naughton on the 66th minute in place of Kyle Walker.

Ross McCormack was making himself a nuisance and almost scored his second of the day on the 68th minute but the Tottenham defenders managed to clear the danger.

As the game drew to a close, we began trying to hold the ball up, hoping to hold on to the one goal lead but Spurs began to surge forward. Obika had a chance though on the 90th minute however it was too high.

In the dying seconds of added time (4 mins), Michael Brown gave away a free kick in a potentially dangerous position when he brought down Scott Parker. This was the last chance for Spurs, Brad Friedel came up to help his team force a replay. This wasn't to be however and had referee Friend not brought an end to the game just before Rodolph Austin shot long range into an empty Spurs net, the game would have ended 3 - 1.

I can't speak highly enough of the team work we showed for this win. We covered nearly every blade of grass in order to succeed in this game and in the end the better team won.

McCormack showed why he should always be played upfront, and not as a winger in my opinion, he was fantastic and his Man of The Match was well deserved. The Diouf and McCormack partnership was one of the most energetic I've seen in our team for a while they complement each other's style of play very well. Diouf had one of the best games I've seen him have in a Leeds shirt, creating so many chances and setting up both goals, the only thing he did to tarnish his performance was the yellow card he received for time wasting. I was also skeptical when I saw Luke Varney was starting, as was probably 99% of Elland Road but in fairness to him, he really stepped up and proved us all wrong and his goal was brilliant.

The centre back pairing of Lees and Peltier has made such a difference and I'm hoping we don't go changing that around, they both worked so well together and were solid.

Byram is a different class, I can't express how happy I am we've managed to tie him down until 2016, such amazing news for such a brilliant young prospect.

We have drawn Manchester City in the next round of the FA Cup at the Etihad to be played on the weekend of the 16th/17th February.

Also, sorry for the lack of photos this week, The sun prevented me from getting any!!

MOT xx <3 xx


  1. This paragraph presents clear idea in favor of the new visitors of blogging, that really
    how to do blogging.

    my weblog - plytki podlogowe

  2. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

    Here is my web blog: wyposazenie lazieniek szczecin

  3. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem
    to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
    I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I'd
    post to let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Many thanks

    Also visit my site; glazura szczecin