A third win on the bounce at Elland Road for Leeds United, sitting 8th in the Championship just 3 points off of the play-off’s – what crisis, eh?
After a disappointing Yorkshire derby defeat to Huddersfield, a healthy crowd of just over 25,000 were dragged into Elland Road to see Ross McCormack’s brace help Leeds back to winning ways. Here’s our statistical review from the game.
Although the result looks comfortable, the stats tell you a different story. The Glovers had a total of 16 shots, compared to United’s 13, yet they only managed to hit 2 of those on target (12.5%). The worrying thing for us is going to be when we face a side who convert a large percentage of their attempts. Although a massive 13 (81%) of Yeovil’s attempts were taken from outside the 18-yard box. United themselves had a mere 4 shots on target (31%), scoring with 2 (50%). Rodolph Austin played a massive part in the win, but his shooting accuracy was unimpressive. He had a total of 6 attempts but he failed to hit the target with any of them.
In terms of attacking, throughout the season – and in both games where Leeds had been using the new 3-5-2 formation – United had favoured attacking using the right hand side. In both games, we averaged 45% of our attacks down that side using Sam Byram. Byram was unavailable for Saturday’s victory due to injury, and it showed with only 28% of our attacks playing out down that side. Instead the left side was used more frequently (45%). Luke Murphy provided the most crosses in the United team (5) followed closely by Alex Mowatt (4), both were accurate with 2 of those.
With only 42% possession, this game saw us have one of our lowest attempts regarding passing. As a team, we attempted just 294 – completing 209 (71% pass completion). Jason Pearce had the highest amount of attempted passes, but his passing accuracy was a disappointing 60% (35 attempted, 21 reached a team-mate). Rodolph Austin was the most impressive passer for the Whites, with an excellent 88% pass completion rate – completing 21 out of 24. Fellow midfield partner Luke Murphy closely followed Austin, attempting the same but completing just one less pass.
Defensively we were fairly solid. As said earlier although Yeovil had 16 shots, 13 of them were from outside the 18-yard box. Scott Wootton made 3 tackles, other centre-back’s Tom Lees and Jason Pearce made 1 tackle whilst debutant substitute Marius Zaliukas didn’t complete any challenges. Fouls were a high demand at Elland Road, Leeds conceding a high proportion (18) of them. Forward Matt Smith was the ‘clumsiest’ player, fouling an opposition player on 3 occasions. Despite the large amount of fouls Leeds did not receive a yellow card, Yeovil had 2 players go into the referee’s book.
Both Ross McCormack’s goals were assisted by – in my opinion, the games man of the match – Rodolph Austin. The first included a typical Austin driving run but for once he supplied a pass at the end of it. The second, Austin turned the defender before his reverse pass found the onrushing McCormack, a good first touch too the ball past the defenders before he placed his shot beyond Hennessey. The goals were finished well by the Scot, but he mustn’t let it go to his head. He’s got to carry on his scoring form and prove he can do it in the important games, such as next Saturday’s against Charlton.
Man of the match: Rodolph Austin was at the heart of everything on Saturday. He assisted both goals, had the best passing accuracy was joint second with tackles made. The only criticism I can say is his shooting accuracy. If he takes a second to find a pass rather than shoot from range I believe we’d create a lot more clear-cut chances. Watch him score a long-ranger against Charlton, now I’ve said that.
Stat of the match: Leeds have never gone behind in a competitive match against Yeovil Town. We managed to keep that record intact on Saturday.