Leeds United entertain an in-form Southampton at Elland Road. Cooper is back as Captain in defence as Struijk, losing his form under Marsch, is dropped. We also welcome back Phillips. We lost miserably to Southampton FC earlier this seaons but last season we proved we can beat them.
First five minutes were a statement of how Marsch wants Leeds United to play. Aggressive pressing and swarming through the middle. Firstly a Rodrigo forward pass almost finds Dan James and Southampton concede a corner from a certain goal. Llorrente has a clear header on the corner but wide.
Leeds play in the Bielsa style by moving forward quickly with one touch passes whilst Southampton pass patiently with down the channels holding possession. Southampton show how they can threaten with an early shot on target in the penalty box.
Leeds move forward through searching passes from Rodrigo trying to find Dan James. Marsch’s style is very route one with the passing but sometimes the forward pass goes amiss and players cannot get up quickly enough. Leeds looking the more dangerous early on but the final pass into the box is not quite finding the man.
The ball is in the net on 20 minutes but, from a Raphinha corner, Rodrigo pushes his man out of the way to shoot and the referee disallows the goal.
By the half hour Leeds get their reward for their hard work. Raphinha working hard on the right saves the ball going out on the by line and dinks it over the keeper who flaps it into Harrison who scores from five yards. Southampton reply with Che Adams causing alarm in the Leeds defence and Meslier, having a good game so far, stopping Adams’ shot on goal.
The match fizzled out by half time as Southampton dominate possession and try to patiently pass the ball into Leeds penalty box.
Phillips comes on in the second half
Leeds start the second half how the ended the first with misplaced passes and Walker-Peters- running through the Leeds defence for a free kick right on the penalty box. Ward-Prowse scored a top drawer free kick that Meslier cannot stop. Southampton take the initiative forcing Leeds corners. Leeds counter with a superb run for Rodrigo with James pulling the other Southampton players away. Pass back to Raphinha goes over the bar.
On the hour Marsch replaces James with Gelhardt who is a more natural striker. He makes an immediate impression drawing fouls from Southampton. Five minutes later a momentous moment when Kalvin Phillips comes in for Klich, this draws a huge roar from the crowd. Phillips can sit alongside Forshaw who can push forward allowing Phillips to protect his defence.
Leeds slowly get back into the match and Southampton players – true to form – start to fall to the ground, playing for a draw. Phillips’ ability to make pin point cross-field passes makes an impression. Rodrigo is that engine in the middle of the pitch.
Leeds dominant at the end – Gelhardt misses out on a penalty due to VAR. Struijk on for Ayling. Another Southampton player down and Jesse Marsch collects a yellow card for protesting. Referee is commanding the match well by not blowing the whistle every time a Southampton player goes down.
No late show from Leeds this time. Frustrating day for Leeds as they still need to be clinical with the passing and cut backs in the penalty. But no goals conceded from open play.
Man of the Match: Rodrigo