After a difficult couple of games to start 2019, Leeds found their stride again on Friday Night. A packed Elland Road under the lights really was something to behold, better still was the performance on the pitch. After the weekend schedule Leeds sit 4 points clear of Sheffield United who are level on points with 3rd placed Norwich.
A game of many highs and one that never really seemed to come under threat, Derby struggled to get a foothold in possession or execute any particular movements with the ball. Thanks to this week’s stand-out performers:
Unphased by being asked to play at his once natural left-back position, Alioski put in one of the finest defensive displays we have seen at Elland Road for some time. Regularly committing himself to difficult challenges and executing them without being penalised was very impressive. Alioski still found time to creep up as Leeds attacked and utilised the space in front of him perfectly, whether he’d come inside or offer his winger support out wide as they tucked in, this was a masterclass in the wing-back position.
Admittedly this site has given Adam Forshaw a fair bit of stick recently. It seemed he was answering to us directly as he put in the performance of a lifetime in the number 4 position. Dictating the play, keeping it tight and initiating moves Forshaw played well both defensively and offensively. He seemed to be involved in some part in just about every turn over of possession Leeds won. Forshaw seemed to be enjoying his own performance and it was nice to see him attempt a speculative 25 yarder that was whiskers away from the woodwork. Definitely what Leeds have lacked in recent bad results.
Ooooo boy, quickly become a fan favourite and I think we put him in this column every week. Clarke is just so exciting to watch. The amount of times he breaks free to put a cross in is unbelievable, the Derby full backs simply had no answer to him. The change of pace he applies before knocking it past them is mesmerising and you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who’d disagree with the fact he’s becoming one of the best attacking players in the league. Responsible for getting the ball in the box both times we scored, Clarke earned the Man of the Match award at the final whistle. We shouldn’t forget that chest control, right foot tee up, chest again then left foot volley that sailed inches wide of the net… that would have been one helluva finish.
In a way it’s unfair to pick out just three players here, a real team performance we dissected it on the whistle here . This will go down as one of their finest performances in a Leeds shirt for every player on Friday night.