An absolutely enthralling encounter was watched at Elland Road on Saturday as Leeds and Watford played out a 3-3 draw. Memories of last seasons 6-1 defeat came crashing back to mind as Watford went into the break 2-0 up, but this year we’re like a completely different side. McDermott’s team-talk, whatever the great bald man said, worked absolute wonders. We were totally dominant; passing, moving, controlling the midfield, creating chances and even finishing.
Personally I think we warranted the win but, considering Watford’s first-half exploits, I like most other fans will agree that one point is better than none.
As I said, we were completely dominant, in every department. In front of goal the Whites created 22 attempts compared to Watford’s measly 10. 9 of United’s shots hit the target, just a 41% shots on target to total shots ratio. For Watford, they managed to test Kenny on 7 occasions giving them a 70% on target to total shots percentage. 3 goals apiece gave Leeds a 13% conversion rate to Watford’s 30%.
Leeds topped the possession charts, with their highest amount this season, 57%. They made a total of 498 passes; 403 short passes, 60 long balls and 35 crosses. Their pass completion rate was 79%.
Matt Smith topped United’s shots chart, attempting 6. 4 of those hit the target with 1 culminating in a goal. Rodolph Austin was next in the que with 5 shots whilst Ross McCormack and Luke Murphy followed with 3, the former converting 1 of those to put United 3-2 ahead. Danny Pugh, the scorer of Leeds’ first goal, had a 100% goal per shot ratio (1 of 1).
United controlled the midfield, Alex Mowatt and Luke Murphy were very impressive. Especially in the second half, when we really started to get a grip of the game. We created and managed the tempo and played some really nice football. Murphy and Mowatt both attempted 56 passes; Murphy managed 84% passing accuracy (47 completed passes) and Mowatt 88% (49 completed passes). Sam Byram also managed an 88% completion rate, although he attempted a significantly less amount of passes than Mowatt (40 passes attempted, 35 completed).
Ross McCormack was the most influential player attacking wise. He managed 42 passes, and that included 5 ‘key passes’. The Scottish international managed to bag himself a goal as well as an assist for Smith’s equaliser. He and Mowatt each made 8 crosses. Matt Smith had the worst passing accuracy, completing just 54% of his 24 passes (13 passes).
Captain, Rodolph Austin made 7 tackles, the most from any player on the pitch. The Jamaican was once again playing just ahead of Murphy and Mowatt in the Leeds midfield, and as per usual he was pressing from the front. He also conceded 1 foul, with Mowatt taking the acclaim for the most fouls with 2.
Marius Zaliukas was for me, man of the match. He was class at centre-half; commanding, not afraid to get stuck in, and even composed when he had possession of the ball – something we’ve not had for a long, long time – completing 33 of his 39 attempted passes (85% completion rate). The former Hearts captain, whose contract with Leeds runs until the Summer, made 4 interceptions. He also made 11 clearances and blocked 1 shot. A shot that would have given Watford all 3 points – see below.What a performance from the Lithuanian.
A quick mention for Danny Pugh, who has done well since returning to the squad. He made 4 tackles, 3 interceptions and 1 clearance. The former Scum player grabbed himself a goal – the first of Leeds’ 3 but was the only home player to pick up a yellow card.