Good Morning. It's Monday 15th August, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Leeds let two goal lead slip at St Mary's
Leeds missed out on the chance to climb to second in the table, as Southampton came from two goals down to grab a share of the spoils, in the souring 34 degree heat; the hottest day in Premier League history.
Jesse Marsch's Leeds dominated much of the first half, without having much to show for it. Bamford, James (who came on for Bamford on 28 mins), Harrison and Kristensen all had decent chances to break the deadlock in the first 45 minutes. Although few and far between, Southampton's best chance came on 30 minutes, when Llorente had to be at his best to deny Armstrong a one on one with Meslier. The home fans were baying for blood, but replays showed his sliding challenge was perfectly executed.
Leeds were rewarded for their hard work just thirty seconds after the interval. Harrison's low cross from the byline was glanced home by Rodrigo at the near post (a tactic the Whites had clearly rehearsed, having already tried it several times in the first half). They doubled their tally on the hour mark. Arronson's inswinging corner was met by Struijk. The ball looked destined for the top upright, but Rodrigo had to make sure. That's six goals in three games (if you count the Cagliari match).
With energy levels wavering, Saints boss Ralph HasenhuttL made three changes, and it proved Leeds undoing. With 18 minutes left on the clock, Armstrong burst down the left wing before crossing the ball low and hard into the Leeds penalty area towards Aribo. The Nigerian midfielder kept his composure, rounded Meslier before finding the back of the net, much to the anguish of three Leeds defenders on the goal line.
The goal was the shot in the arm the home side needed, and whilst Leeds began to fade, the host grew stronger and more confident. Nine minutes later, they were level. Mara's through ball carved the Leeds defence in half, and Walker-Peters made no mistake at the far post. It was only in the closing stages that Marsch bought on some substitutions, but it was far too late to influence the game!
Marsch plays down striker injuries
Social media went into meltdown at the weekend, but it had nothing to do with the weather conditions! Prior to kick-off, Leeds' supporters were anxious to find out why Joe Gelhardt had been omitted from the match day squad. Anxiety turned to panic when Patrick Bamford limped off after 28 minutes; and thousands of fans took to Twitter in their droves to vent their frustrations.
Both players have had lengthy spells on the sidelines in the past twelve months, and whilst Victor Orta continuous to search valiantly for a marquee signing up front, time is quickly running out. There are sixteen days left of the present transfer window remaining, and whilst Leeds have a supposed £40m kitty, finding the right player has eluded them all Summer! Marsch's post match comments that both injuries are not too serious should reassure fans that both players should be back in action in a week or two. Leeds have 5 games in the next 19 days! According to Marsch...
Joffy had a dead leg and with a bunch of midweek games coming up we didn't want to push him. He'll be training this week, I think Patrick will be training too. Patrick is not bad. He felt a little tightness in his adductor. I've challenged him to be honest with us. He felt like he wasn't 100%. I think he made the right decision to come off. If it's a cup final, I think he plays.
Leeds confident of Italian International capture
Italian Sports Journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that Leeds are confident they can capture Zurich forward Wilfried Gnonto during the Summer transfer window. The 18 year old has broken into Roberto Mancini's Italian squad this year, winning four International Caps. He came through the ranks at Inter Milan before joining Zurich two years ago. In the Swiss Super League last season, he netted 8 times (and 3 assists) in 33 appearances. He also scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists in 3 Swiss Cup appearances. According to Di Marzio, Gnonto is available for between €4m - €5m.