Leeds United 4 – Bournemouth 3. Young guns. Shocking defending, frenetic football – Greewnood, Summerville and Gnonto save the day and light up Elland Road on Bonfire Night.
This match had the’Good’ – three young players changing the game in Leeds United’s favour; , the ‘Bad’ – woeful defending and missed goal opportunities; the ‘Ugly@ – the fans rightly booing at half time and then Bournemouth AFC going 3-1 up when the second half started; and the ‘Ecstatic’ – crafting a win out of near defeat.
The match was rollercoaster entertainment (unless you are a Bournemouth AFC fan) with a happy ending. At half time Leeds United looked dead and buried – that Leeds went on to win does not hide the defensive frailties and lack of goal scoring opportunities.
Leeds United had a dream start with a penalty in the first minute, first half collapse and fans booing, at half tme. Three goals in the second and a win dug out from a superb performance. It was frenetic and exhasuting.
Bamford and Sinisterrra were both injured which meant Leeds were going to rely on young players in the second half. Nonetheless, Joseph has earned through his performances a place on the bench.
It was the best start for Leeds with Summerville earned a penalty from a push in the box, which Rodrigo scored by way of a crafty run up. Early pressure after the Leeds scored was quickly nullified when Bournemouth score from a set piece corner for Bournemouth sees a flick on with a header on goal.
Then in under 20 minutes Bournemouth take the lead with Kristensen not closing down a long ball that Meslier saves but a second attempt is unstoppable as the player is unmarked. Bournemouth were then allowed to attack the Leeds goal with 7 attempts on goal and Leeds having not managed one since the penalty. Only Meslier kept the Leeds United in the game.
The frenetic pace of how Leeds United play has not been matched with attempts on goal. When the half time whilstle eventually blew the Leeds fans made their anger known to Marsch.
Second Half Inspired Substitutions
With the start of the second half Gnonto is on for Harrison, who, moved to right hand side had little impact on the game. In control of the play Bournemouth attack in numbers and appalling defending leaves Leeds 3-1 down.
Then Greenwoood replaces a struggling Roca and makes an immediate impact. Gnonto shoots and gets a deflection which goes out Greenwood who, outside the box, places his into the top corner of the net. It’s now 3-2.
Greenwood takes over corner duties and floats a perfectly placed corner to Cooper at the back who heads the ball down into the net. It’s 3-3. Elland Road is now buzzing with 20 minutes to go. Stacey comes on as a sub for Bournemouth is unmarked and just misses. The game is wide open.
Rodrigo’s shots are not hitting the target and he is subbed for Gelhardt. He is not happy. Gnotno then counter attacks with Summerville. A Sublime pass to Summerville who scores his third in three matches. It’s 4-3. Elland Road is rocking. Fireworks are going off. When the final whistle blows it’s a concoction of celebration and relief. It was only because of the impact of Greenwood and Gnonto coming on as substitutions, changing the momentum in Leeds’ favour, that Leeds United avoided ignominous defeat.
Marsch effectively admitted his weakness on defending when in his press conference he stated that if the attacking was as he wanted it then defence would not be a problem. In effect Billings ran Struijk ragged, Kristensen struggled with Tavernier. As Cooper and Koch defended poorly in this match Leeds United were left wide open.
Leeds United had four shots on goal all match. So they won the only because they took their chances. It is not an acceptable excuse after over six months for Marsch to complain he is still trying to change the team to play his way. Marsch is still very much in the last chance saloon. Without an organised defence and a more creative attacking plan Leeds will struggle this season.
Man of the match: Sam Greenwood