Luke Ayling’s roar marks the turnaround in Leeds United’s results
16 Feb 2020 08:05 pm, by YorkshireSquare
If any of the Leeds United squad wear their hearts on their sleeves, then Luke Ayling definitely does. He looked devastated, almost lost during his post-match interview after defeat to Nottingham Forest. The toll of having played well for the last few months without getting the results, the pressure of not having scored first in a game since December and the knowledge that you’ve just put in your worst performance as a team all season all shown bare on the right backs face. Roll on a couple of games and it’s a different story, the ecstasy and passion on Ayling as he struck home the only goal after sixteen minutes was in stark contrast.
The first half an hour against Bristol City was perhaps the most dominant Leeds United have been this season. Phillips and Klich bossed the midfield and the space carved out for Helder Costa and Jack Harrison allowed them to create chance after chance. Bristol didn’t get a look in! The dominance told and for the first time since December Leeds United scored the first goal of the game. The relief for the players must have been significant, epitomised by Aylings ferocious celebrations. Leeds were playing without fear and truth be told Leeds should have scored more, but isn’t that always the way with Leeds?
Lee Johnson frantically changed things up and Bristol did see more of the ball after the half hour mark though they still found it difficult to carve out chances. Another captains performance from Liam Cooper alongside the assured Ben White ensured meant Leeds kept their first clean sheet for some time, another positive to take from this weekend. Despite Bristol clawing back some possession the best chances in the game still fell to Leeds, Bamford and Costa both had good chances to put the game out of the Robin’s reach and Jean-Kévin Augustin showed a glimpse of what he is capable with an early shot which went just wide of the post.
Things went pretty well for Leeds elsewhere too with West Brom and Nottingham Forest sharing the spoils, Brentford only managing a draw with Birmingham, Preston losing to Millwall and Fulham on the end of a surprising three nil thrashing at the hands of Barnsley. With a point clawed back from West Brom and three gained on third place it was a pretty good weekend for Leeds United. Hopefully the transformation in Luke Ayling symbolises a turnaround in the fortunate of Leeds United. Thirteen to play, and if Leeds play like they did on Saturday for the rest of the season we are in with a great chance of promotion this season.