Norwich City 0 – Leeds United 0 Advantage Leeds

Norwich City 0 Leeds United 0 Advantage Leeds in the first leg of the Championship semi-final play-offs..  Leeds saw off a strong performance by Norwich Cit.

Norwich City 0 – Leeds United 0. Advantage Leeds in the first leg of the Championship semi-final play-offs.  Leeds saw off a strong performance by Norwich City who faded as the match went on but a strong Leeds defence, that kept a much needed clean sheet, that was not matched by an off-target attack.

Since January Leeds United threw the kitchen sink at gaining a promotion place but with a loss of form we are in the play-offs where we have a poor record.  This match is do or die – Leeds United have to find their form today.

Leeds United, after losing a couple of months at the beginning of the season they had to work harder than everyone else to reach the top two.  After such an unprecedented run of wins to March it felt that the team had run out of energy to keep going.  Both Leicester City and Ipswich Town went through flat patches but their form picked up. 

After losing to Southampton FC at home as the last game of the season it was an emotional moment to watch those fans that stayed in the stadium to tell the players to keep going, to keep fighting, it is not all over yet. 

The squad is one of the youngest in the Championship and missing the experience of the injured Roberts and Bamford.  A risky change is Georginio chosen to lead the attack instead of Piroe.  A more positive one is Gray brought back into the starting team. 

Both teams come flying out of the starting gate with Leeds trying one touch football but struggling to hold the ball.  Leeds found it difficult to build from the back with Norwich winning loose balls and dominating possession. It was good to see Leeds play more aggressively when Norwch had possession than previous matches.  However, at a cost of free kicks.

Leeds started positively with Georginio put off from a near certain shot on goal and then Gnonto is fouled but didn’t win a clear penalty shout.  Norwich had a period of possession but Leeds began to take control with a better corner from Summerville that forced a save from Gunn followed by a surging shot from Gnonto that Gunn saved. Georginio is then denied a goal being offside.

Leeds ended the first half happier – we defended well coming back to soaki up the counter attacks and corners, unlucky not be ahead after a disallowed goal and strong penalty appeal. Both teams look to use their right wingers with Stavey forcing Firpoe to defend and Byram supporting Gnonto to go forward .

Norwich come out in the second half wound up, earning a couple of early yellow cards.  Leeds took control as Norwich out of ideas.  Leeds had the edge on winning second balls with Kamara playing forward getting the ball to the forwards.  Leeds kept looking for gaps with Anthony having a shot and Byram missing a shot but Piroe was too deep. 

Byram and Firpo played high up saw Leeds play much creatively.  Byram helped to give Leeds a solid defence with a key tackle in the second that Norwich could have scored from. Meslier was our one nervous player with his early passing out from the back causing problems.  It was a positive end for Leeds that left the fans happy. A clean sheet that we had missed recently. After the whistle blew they gave the players a roar.  Advantage Leeds.

Man of the match: Kamara who gave Leeds a forward looking midfield.

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