By Ian Waterhouse
1 Westwood 32 Hunt (Buckley 72) 15 Lees 23 Hutchinson 36 Pudil 33 (Wallace Jones 64) 41 Bannan 5 Lee 7 Abdi (Hooper 45) 45 Forestieri 6 Fletcher
1 Green 2 Ayling 5 Bartley 6 Cooper 21 Taylor 24 Sacko (Phillips 88) 26 Bridcutt 25 Vieira 27 Mowatt (Roofe 77) 10 Antonsson (Doukara 69) 9 Wood
Derby day bragging rights headed to West Yorkshire as Leeds struck gold to claim their first win of the 2016/17 Championship season with a strong performance to turn over a turbulent Sheffield Wednesday 2 – 0 at Hillsborough.
Two second half Goals from two of Leeds best performers so far this season in Chris Wood and new signing Marcus Antonsson relieved pressure on manager Garry Monk (who if reports are to be believed was due to be sacked until Wood’s last minute equaliser against Fulham mid-week) who has had a testing start to his Elland road career.
Leeds Striker Chris Wood (Photo Credit Leedsunited.com)
Sheffield Wednesday were seen as one of the promotion favourites at the outset of the season after reaching the Play off final last time out, but the Owls are finding things a little tougher this time around.
The situation has not been helped by star man Fernando Forestieri just returning to action after refusing to play against Norwich. Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal fined the player and the forward has since apologised and was in the starting line-up against the Whites.
Forestieri, put all his troubles behind him as he went close twice in the first half and team mate Abdi struck the cross bar.
But it was Leeds who struck the all-important first goal in the 63rd minute after a wonderfully worked counter attack led to Antonsson heading in at the back post from a Sacko cross.
Late in the second half Leeds doubled their advantage after another breakaway led to Chris Wood guided Kemar Roofe’s low cross into the back of the net from close range to effectively kill the game off and ensure the three points headed back to Elland Road.
What the Managers said
Carlos Carvalhal – Sheffield Wednesday
“This is a disappointing result after a good start to the season with the performances against Aston Villa and Norwich.”
“The balance of the squad at the minute is not 100%, some players are fitter than others after pre-season, but this cannot be an excuse.”
Garry Monk – Leeds United
“It was an excellent atmosphere and there were many battles in midfield which are always brought about by derby days. We were really focused on our job today and it was an excellent win.
“We’re still not the team we want to be, but this was a game which showed a real improvement which is important for the development of our young players.”
Each game has seen a stark improvement in performance and this was a deserved victory for the Whites. Wood and Antonsson look like an excellent forward pair and the first clean sheet of the season is reason to remain positive.
A tricky League cup tie away at Luton midweek will be a tester but right now all of a sudden, everything looks rosy at Elland Road.