Leeds 2-0 Derby County: League leaders continue their march at the top
This clash in the EFL Championship had a lot of excitement in the build-up. Leeds United started the home game with Ezgjan Alioski surprisingly playing at left-back. Adam Forshaw commandeered the middle of the park while Mateusz Klich played as an attacking midfielder. Leeds’ top-scorer Kemar Roofe kept his usual place leading the line.
Frank Lampard’s Derby County side began with Jack Marriott as the central striker. Former Manchester United man Tom Lawrence played on the left flank while there were starting spots for Chelsea loanees Mason amount and Fikayo Tomori. Max Lowe, who recently returned from his loan spell at Aberdeen, started at left-back.
Within the opening few minutes of the game, there was a massive penalty appeal. Andre Wisdom brought a Leeds runner down in the box in what looked like a blatant foul. In a flash, the referee pointed to the spot only to be interrupted by the assistant’s offside call.
The breakthrough came in the 20th minute. A Leeds corner was punched away unconvincingly by Scott Carson and it fell to Jack Clarke on the flank.
With two quick touches, he was suddenly away from his man and he played in a low driven cross, which was met by the talisman Kemar Roofe who was the first to react. The ball thumped into the roof of the net and it was advantage, Leeds.
Derby slowly began losing control of the game with Leeds beginning to see more and more of the ball. This meant that by the half-hour mark, Leeds United were completely dictating the pace of the game with some slick passing and good all-round movement. The half time score at Elland Road was 1-0.
The second half began in amazing fashion. Leeds moved the ball forward with a wonderful passing move and an eventual Jack Clarke cross was met by a diving Alioski beyond the far post. His touch rolled the ball right across the post and an arriving Jack Harrison belted it in past a hapless Carson to make it 2-0 to the home side.
The rest of the second half went on in pretty much the same trend as the first half, with Leeds dominating the play. They had more than 60% possession, the majority of which was played in the Leeds half. While Derby did try to affect the game when they got possession, it was mostly quite ineffective.
They threw on David Nugent, Florian Jozefzoon and Martyn Waghorn to try and change the game but a toothless attack added to some terrible supply from the midfield saw Leeds United go 5 points clear at the top of the Championship. Second-placed Norwich City have a tricky away fixture at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.
Delighted with the result and the performance, here’s how some Leeds United fans reacted.
— Carpediem55 (@marktenjag) January 11, 2019
Not a Leeds supporter but can’t wait to see them back in the premier league next year 🤞🏼
— Binh Pham (@hello_binh) January 11, 2019
Derby were NEVER in it. Foreshaw learnt from his performance against Forest and was my MOM but that doesn't take anything away from Clarke's superb. Made my weekend.
— JonRV (@devoto61) January 11, 2019
Spy gate? Behave! Team outclassed them. Brilliant performance from of them. Clarke, Forshaw, Alioski played their best football tonight! More of that please. MOT
— Ashley Griffith (@AshleyGriffo_) January 11, 2019
What a team. I'm so proud of this team and the way they play for our badge! In the prem, if we make it, I wouldn't change much as they're proving week after week that they're warriors that will fight for the team time and again! Coops and Pontus are the mutts.
— Andrew (@Biggus1976) January 11, 2019
Absolute quality tonight in terms of effort and application. #DCFC couldn't have complained it had been 6-0.
Linesman was spectacularly poor, VAR needed in the first minute!
— Deepreddave (@deepreddave) January 11, 2019
Awesome tonight my friend! Fully deserve your plaudits. Keep your feet on the ground though!
— Brixham&Dart-Seaboat © (@BrixhamSeaboat) January 11, 2019