Leeds United 0, Southampton 1
04 Mar 2012 02:06pm, by YorkshireSquare
Southampton 1 (Lambert 16)
Those fans that travelled down to Fratton Park last weekend may have feared the worst from the Warnock era. Players were playing out of position, there was a distinct lack of width, Snodgrass (in his new free role) looked neutralised and ineffective. Yesterday however was completely different. Whilst the result will be disappointing to both fans and team the performance was certainly an encouraging one.
Leeds looked lively from the off, a newly invigorated Adam Clayton and tough tackling Michael Brown dominated the midfield and with width restored to the formation both Rob Snodgrass and Aidy White were able to carve out plenty of chances. Luciano Becchio also looks rejuvenated winning more headers and holding the ball up much better than at any point this season.
Despite dominating position however Leeds old defensive weaknesses showed again. On sixteen minutes Southampton had a rare foray into the Leeds half, some poor marking by O’Dea left Ricky Lambert free to score with Southampton’s first shot of the game.
Leeds continued to dominate possession for the remainder of the game but despite the 22 chances they created were unable to get a goal back. Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis made some outstanding saves and was rightly praise by both the Southampton players and Leeds fans come the final whistle. Danny Webber made his first appearance for Leeds as a second half substitute and looked quick and lively despite not having played since last season.
Eddie Gray described the performance as one of the best he has seen from Leeds United in three years. The effort and desire from the players was certainly the best I have seen all season and the enthusiasm from Neil Warnock on the touchline was infectious. Points win prizes however and if we are to get into the playoffs we need to be more clinical up front as well as cutting out those all too common defensive errors.
A disappointing result but an encourage performance, if the players put that much effort in every week then hopefully the play offs aren’t a distant dream.
Lonergan, Lees, Bromby (Connolly 24), White (Webber 56), O'Dea, Brown (Sam 73), Clayton, Pugh, Becchio, Snodgrass, McCormack
Subs: Connolly, Sam, Nunez, Paynter, Webber
Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Fox (Harding 55), Hooiveld, Schneiderlin, Cork, Chaplow, Puncheon (Hammond 46), Lambert, Lee (Guly 46)
Subs: Harding, Martin, Guly, Hammond, Sharp