Report: Leeds United 1-1 Southampton
Hard-fought point at Elland Road.
Leeds United 1 (Harrison 29’)
Southampton 1 (Ward-Prowse 49’)
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (Struijk 89’), Forshaw, Cooper (C), Raphinha, Llorente, Dallas, Rodrigo, James (Gelhardt 59’), Harrison, Klich (Phillips 65’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Koch, Cresswell, Summerville, Greenwood, Kenneh.
Saints: Forster (GK), Walker-Peters, Romeu (S. Armstrong 64’), Ward-Prowse (C), Adams (Tella 87’), Broja (Long 90’), Livramento, Salisu, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Bednarek. Subs not used: Caballero (GK), Stephens, A. Armstrong, Perraud, Smallbone, Valery.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Booked: Ayling (Leeds) Elyounoussi (Saints)
Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United were looking to make it three wins on the bounce in the Premier League, in this Saturday afternoon kick-off against Southampton at Elland Road.
A first half goal from Jack Harrison was cancelled out by a trademark James Ward-Prowse free-kick in the second half, as both teams had to settle for a point in a match that was entertaining throughout.
The clash got off to a fast paced start and Leeds were nearly in front after just three minutes. After Dan James had won his side a corner, Jack Harrison whipped the ball into the middle and found Diego Llorente. Unfortunately for the defender, his back-post header went narrowly wide of the goal.
It wouldn’t be long before the Whites pushed forward again. This time an onslaught of chances on the Saints’ net saw James and Harrison have efforts blocked, before Mateusz Klich then slotted just wide of the post with the next effort.
In a flurry of early chances at Elland Road, Raphinha was the first to actually call Fraser Forster into action between the visiting posts. His powerful strike saw the ‘keeper save well, and moments later the stopper had to be alert again, getting low to deny James’ powerful effort.
The visitors were causing problems of their own however and Leeds had to be alert down the other end. Che Adams found space and created a chance for teammate Mohamed Elyounoussi to shoot, which forced Illan Meslier to save.
When the ball did find the net, it would be disallowed. Raphinha’s in-swinging corner struck the base of the post and eventually the ball fell for Harrison to turn home, but the referee ruled it out for a foul in the build-up.
Harrison wouldn’t be denied a few minutes later though, as he did put Leeds into a deserved first half lead. Raphinha was the architect on the sideline, beating the defence before chipping into the box where Harrison was there to turn home at close range!
Shortly after going behind, Southampton had a big chance to equalise. Oriol Romeu played a neat ball into Adams to turned in the box, before firing at goal. Always alert, Meslier pulled off a stunning low one handed save to deny an equaliser.
Both teams exchanged attacks before the interval but no serious chances of note arrived, meaning the Whites went into the break with a one goal advantage on home turf.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-0 Southampton
At the start of the second half, Southampton equalised shortly after the restart. Presented with a free-kick opportunity 20-yards or so from goal, set-piece specialist Ward-Prowse stepped up and curled a stunning effort into the top corner to level the score.
Just a minute later, the away side then went close to going ahead. Tino Livramento found space on the wing and hit a low cross into the box, from which Armando Broja shot just wide of the post.
Looking to respond, good work from Rodrigo created another chance for Raphinha but he shot over the bar. Marsch decided to go to his bench just after, with Joe Gelhardt replacing James in attack.
With 25 minutes to go, Elland Road stood to applaud as Kalvin Phillips returned to action. The midfielder came on to replace the hard-working Klich at the heart of the midfield.
The substitutions almost paid off quickly. Gelhardt collected a clever ball from Dallas and raced into the box to pull the ball back. It was deflected and eventually Dallas had a chance to shoot himself, seeing his effort saved well by Forster at full stretch.
As the clock ticked down and both teams made further changes, the game was end to end. Despite the best efforts of either side and five minutes of added time being shown, no further goals arrived though.
The point meant Leeds remained in 16th on 30 points, whilst Southampton moved up one spot to 11th on 36 points. Next up for Marsch’s side is an away trip to 18th placed Watford, next weekend.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-1 Southampton