Report: Leeds United 1-0 Southampton

Three points at Elland Road!


Premier League

Leeds United 1 (Firpo 77’)

Southampton 0

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (C), Firpo, Koch, Aaronson (Rutter 75’), Bamford (Roca 85’), Harrison, Adams, McKennie, Gnonto (Summerville 60’), Wober. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Gyabi, Kristensen, Monteiro, Greenwood, Joseph.

Saints: Bazunu (GK), Maitland-Niles, Ward-Prowse (C), Onuachu (Mara 63’), Perraud (Walker-Peters 71’), S. Armstrong (Walcott 63’), Sulemana (Diallo 63’), Elyounoussi (A. Armstrong 82’), Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Lavia. Subs not used: Caballero (GK), Caleta-Car, Djenepo, Alcaraz.

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 36,641

Referee: Peter Bankes

Booked: Gnonto, Bamford (Leeds) S. Armstrong, Lavia, Bella-Kotchap (Saints)

Leeds United claimed an important three points in their first game under new head coach, Javi Gracia. Junior Firpo scored the winner at Elland Road late in the second half, whilst also contributing heavily towards keeping a clean sheet at the opposite end.

The first half at Elland Road saw very few chances as each team looked to suss one another out in this tense encounter.

Both teams did have efforts on goal inside the opening 10 minutes though, but neither ‘keeper were troubled. The first effort was from Kamaldeen Sulemana who struck wide for the visitors, before Willy Gnonto created some space but saw his strike blocked.

Further attacks were exchanged through Luke Ayling firing over the bar, before at the opposite end, Stuart Armstrong shot wide, then Brenden Aaronson’s effort was also off target moments later.

Gracia saw his side having plenty of the ball and possession, but the rearguard of Southampton stood firm in most parts, as the set-plays were coming regularly were cleared. When Gavin Bazunu was called into action, he had a relatively straight forward save to deny Patrick Bamford.

In final attempts before the whistle in the first half, both Jack Harrison and Weston McKennie couldn’t hit the target for Leeds, meaning the teams went in goalless at the interval.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-0 Southampton

The Whites came out and were on the front foot again in the second half. Bamford had an effort saved by Bazunu early on, before the striker then went to ground in the box a minute or so later but the claims for a penalty were waved away.

As the next 10 minutes or so went by, both teams looked to change things around the hour-mark from the bench. Crysencio Summerville came on for Leeds, whereas the away side made a triple change, bringing on Theo Walcott, Ibrahima Diallo and Sekou Mara.

Walcott was instantly into the game having a chance to use his pace down the right wing. He burst into the box and shot, but the impressive Firpo had tracked him well enough to block his strike.

Another freshly introduced player had the next good chance in the match. Aaronson found space on the left and crossed low into the middle for Summerville - but the winger also saw his effort on goal blocked.

In the 77th minute, Elland Road erupted as the Whites went into the lead! Summerville played the ball to Harrison who produced a brilliant back-heel, allowing Firpo to run into the box and slot home right-footed!

After taking a deserved advantage in a match that hadn’t seen many chances, the Whites were thankful that the game followed a similar pattern for the remainder with the clock ticking down.

Controlling large parts - whilst also looking the most likely to find the net still - Gracia was able to see his team manage the game and hold on to the secure a much needed and important three points, to move out of the relegation places.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-0 Southampton

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