Leeds United 1 Norwich City 0 – Fortress Elland Road. Even when Leeds don’t play that well we still win at Elland Road. As the whistle was finally blown Farke pumped his fist and took his time to go round all four sides of the stadium to celebrate with the fans.
After the goal went in the match swayed between moments when Leeds could have and should scored, and Norwich City dominating possession but not threatening the Leeds goal. Leeds should have put the game to bed but instead spent the whole match with Norwich City threatening an equaliser. At times the fans were loud with irritation.
Both teams went into the match in good form. Farke picked the same team that won the battle against Preston North End at the weekend. It’s a lively start with Summerville and Georginio both make an early impression for Leeds, but Norwich were equally positive. With Norwich City starting with getting a goal in mind Leeds responded with poise – Bamford having an overhead bicycle kick.
Leeds are more than a match and build a period of pressure forcing the ball around the Norwich penalty box. Georginio sets up James who lobs over to Bamford at the back of the goal for a straightforward header that puts Leeds one nil up. James is improving with his crossing with Firpo proving useful as crossing into the box from the left.
After half an hour of high octane football Leeds force the pace. Leeds are so determined, when James goes down from an elbow, the rest of his carry on passing until he gets back up. The first man in the referee’s book is a frustrated assistant coach Andy Hughes for Norwich as Norwich struggle to contain Leeds’s pace.
Just before half time Norwich City get back into the game with a corner that forces Meslier to flap the ball away and end the first half on top.
After a period of pressure Leeds lose their way in the second half. They are missing James who went off injured at half time. Anthony is a fine replacement albeit without the pace. Norwich take control of the game and Leeds can’t get out of their own half. It’s a nervous time. It’s a huge test as Leeds can’t get the ball but manage to stop Norwich having any shot on goal.
In spite of all the possession it is Leeds that look mostly likely to score. Georginio at one point rampaging through a group of players to get a shot. He is lucky as the stadium bar the Assistant Referee saw the ball briefly roll out of play.
Game opened up in the last ten minutes as Norwich had a counter attack but Gray saved Leeds, from a near certain goal. The match ended with a Gray injury and the Norwich keeper sent up twice for two Norwich free kicks into the Leeds box. Farke responded by disrupting the flow with multiple substitutions. Three minutes turned into seven minutes. Leeds even won a free kick in their own penalty box but instead of giving Georginio advantage he is pulled back from a counter attack towards an empty Norwich City goal.
The Leeds defence of Rodon and Ampadu was organised and solid in stopping Norwich City from getting near Meslier. But at the other end Leeds’ strikers lacked that final product to finish off the match. Farke ended with a win and a clean sheet. Job done keeping Fortress Elland Road but a nervous one.
Man of the Match: Georginio – went on run after run terrorising the Norwich City defence.