U21s Report: Leeds United 6-2 Southampton

U21s Report: Leeds United 6-2 Southampton

Whites hit six under the lights at Elland Road.

Premier League 2

Leeds United 6 (Bamford 4’, 35’ pen, 53’, Summerville 17’, Cooper 41’, Perkins 56’)

Southampton 2 (Ballard 70’, Bellis 89’)

Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Ayling (Moore 81’), Firpo (Carole 76’), Hjelde, Cooper (C), Gyabi, Summerville, Gray, Bamford (Joseph 76’), Perkins, Gnonto (Allen 81’). Subs not used: Christy (GK).

Saints: Hall (GK), Payne (C), Carson, Lawrence, Lancashire, Bragg, Morgan (Pearce 72’), Turner (Amo-Ameyaw 62’), Ballard, Edwards (Bellis 69’), Finnigan. Subs not used: Otseh-Taiwo, Wright. 

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 10,639

Referee: Steven Copeland

Booked: Hjelde (Leeds) Lancashire, Turner (Southampton)

Leeds United’s Under-21s claimed an impressive victory over Southampton at Elland Road, in a match which saw two unbeaten teams at the start of the match going head-to-head. Michael Skubala was able to name a strong starting XI under the lights at Elland Road on Friday night, with a number of first team players gaining vital minutes.

With the first team seeing their Premier League match called off, Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling, Junior Firpo and Patrick Bamford started the clash - whilst new arrival Wilfried Gnonto saw his first minutes in a Leeds United shirt as well. 

It would be just moments after kick-off when the deadlock was broken in this Premier League 2 Division 2 clash against the Saints, through Bamford. The striker had an effort ruled out moments earlier for offside, but this one counted as he fired emphatically into the top corner from Crysencio Summerville’s clever pass.

The away side did look to respond instantly though and came close, when Diamond Edwards struck just wide from the edge of the box with a low effort.

However, the chances would end there for Southampton as Skubala’s side went on to build upon their early lead by taking a firm control of the game. 

After setting up the first, Summerville would score the second. He went on a clever run into the area beating the blue shirts ahead of him, before calmly slotting home left-footed into the bottom corner.

The winger was causing constant chaos to the visiting defence and would then go on to create the third goal for his side, by being brought down in the penalty area. Bamford stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent goalkeeper Matt Hall the wrong way to make it three.

There was still time for a fourth before the interval. Archie Gray’s pinpoint corner was met by Cooper who rose highest in the box, to loop his effort over the top of hall and into the back of the net. 

A convincing first half was brought to an end with the Whites in full control against their previously unbeaten opponents. 

HALF TIME: Leeds United 4-0 Southampton

The second half continued in the same way the first had ended, with chances on goal. The visitors did have the first chance though, with Edwards firing narrowly wide of goal, just like he had done in the first.

After that, the Whites scored their fifth of the game. The ever-impressive Summerville won back possession and raced forward with the ball, playing Bamford into the area and the striker finished with his right-foot to claim the hat-trick ball which his performance had deserved. 

Five then became six, with Skubala’s side continuing to look like scoring every time they progressed over the halfway line. This time it was Sonny Perkins, who kept up his 100 per cent goalscoring record in league matches this season by curling home right-footed into the bottom corner.

The Saints did pull one back though, with 20 minutes remaining. A quick break up the pitch created a chance for Dom Ballard and he finished well at close range. 

With around 10 minutes remaining in the match, Bamford, Ayling, Firpo and Gnonto had all put in a solid night’s work and were given standing ovations from the 10,639 inside the ground as the exited the pitch.  

The final goal of the match would go to the visitors, who despite the heavy scoreline had looked dangerous when coming forward. Substitute Sam Bellis scored a well placed effort from the edge of the penalty area, to further reduce the deficit. 

The full-time whistle sounded and brought an entertaining match to an end at Elland Road, keeping Leeds United Under-21s at the top of the Premier League 2 Division 2 table as they entered the international break.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 6-2 Southampton