Going into a second game in three days with three first choice defenders missing was always going to nerve wracking. Especially after the poor performance against Burnley. Two players a yellow card away from suspension also had an effect. How Leeds were so different – tight defending, midfield pace and flair from Rodrigo, Harrison and Raphina in front of goal. And a fine goal from Alioski justifying his place in the first team.
After a professional start in the EFL Meslier is beginning to display a weakness with crosses in to box, flapping at them desperately. Leeds are already weak at set pieces conceding too many goals from a defensive model of man marking instead of zonal. Bielsa changes very reluctantly. Meslier may be missing his usual defenders. Overall he will be pleased,after some heavy defeats, to manage two clean sheets.
After questions asked about Hernandez staying at Leeds and Costa being moved on Bielsa deployed both of them in the second half to get Leeds back into shape and push on. Bielsa expects for a full ninety minutes and Leeds’ fitness can make a difference as they did scoring three late goals against Newcastle. I feel sorry for Bamford – five goals scored and our leading goal scorer reduced to one assist.
The match against Burnley had a distinctively championship feel to it with Burnley playing high up pressing Leeds and taking them with counter attacks – another Leeds weakness due to our attacking play. So it was surprising to see West Brom – fresh from a hard earned draw against Liverpool who dominated the first half – behave so passively against an attacking Leeds. After so many mistimed passes against Burnley Leeds tightened up and improved their accuracy, dominating possession. West Brom were toothless in attack and managed one serious attempt at goal in the first half. The second half saw little improvement considering how they came out at Liverpool in the second half and managed a goal. Allardyce has his work cut out.
Man of the match: Alioski for his tireless play forward.