After last week’s bore draw against Southampton Leeds United are looking for three points to keep them up in the Premier League. Leeds have a good record against Watford but under Roy Hodgson they can be tricky and Watford need the points more than Leeds to crawl out of the relegation zone. For Leeds a win is a step closer to staying up.
Koch replaces Forshaw and sits in front of defence. Not sure why Phillips did not start since he played half a match against Southampton.
Early doors we see Marsch’s style with Llorrente sending a long pass forward to Raphinha which is perfect and wins a corner. After Leeds soak up early Watford pressure they gain a period of patient possession looking for gaps.
On 20 minutes Leeds take the lead. Leeds take advantage of a loose ball outside the Watford box and a quick one two to Raphinha who in front of goal shoots into the top right hand corner. This came after a strong Watford spell with a few shots just missing the target. Raphinha attempts some sort of celebration flip which goes hilariously wrong.
There is a funny moment on the half hour when Raphinha tries to showboat but the Watford simply takes the ball off him. Raphinha can go forward but he cannot go backwards or hold the ball.
Late on Leeds have a chance on the half way line but James is deliberately held back with Leeds players moving forward. Referee gives only a free kick, should have been a yellow card.
A bizarre moment when Joao Pedro goes down and as he collapses Klich’s hand catches his face. Klich is unaware Pedro is on the ground and Leeds go forward. Ayling looks confused with a player down and gives the ball to Watford who ignore their injured player and attack but they are caught offside. This is the only moment that Meslier has to stop the ball in the first half.
A messy first half, Leeds at times play some good one touch football but Watford still trying down the wings and with free kicks. Leeds need to impose more in the final third. Leeds’ defence manages to stop Watford have a shot on target but the defence still gives away possession too easily. Leeds miss a commanding player in the middle – Forshaw and Phillips provide the team with this.
A frantic second half
It’s a frantic start to the second half. Raphinha is creating chances but Watford come out fighting and Meslier makes his first save of the match.
Phillips is on, on the hour for Klich, and Greenword ten minutes later on for James, who is struggling to get shots in. Leeds keep trying the direct route but they are either loose or Watford make last ditch defending. Leeds keep trying for that second goal with Phillips having a shot on target.
Leeds second goal comes from a forward pass from Greenwood to Rodrigo who is crowded out by two Watford defenders. A pass from one defender to the other does not make its way and Rodrigo steals the ball and pushes it past the keeper with a deft kick into the net.
Leeds third goal came from Somerville crossing wide to Harrison with the time to nutmeg the Watford defender past the Keeper. The two young subs Greenwood and Somerville join him to celebrate. Both the subs made an impact on the final stages of this match. That is three goals in three matches for Harrison.
To see the Leeds players celebrate in front of the crowd at the end of the match felt like they knew they were staying up. Raphinha was the happiest he has been in a while. Rodrigo is a much improved player under Marsch.
There was a real sense of the return of the Leeds we love in this match. Ten points in four matches. A clean sheet, three goals, and the young subs coming on to make an impact, not because of injuries.