Can Leeds play like this without end?
Marcelo Bielsa says his Leeds facet won’t abandon the best way they play regardless of taking place 6-2 at Old Trafford to Manchester United
When Manchester United went 3-0 up on Super Sunday, there was little probability Leeds would enter harm limitation mode. It’s merely not of their nature.
Their unapologetic style is nice to look at. It’s courageous, towards the grain, and a part of the rationale Marcelo Bielsa was in a shortlist of three for FIFA coach of the yr.
But can it be profitable on the highest degree?
- Man Utd 6-2 Leeds – Match report and free highlights
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
This was the fourth time Leeds have conceded 4 or extra targets this season. Only 4 sides have scored greater than them, however no sides have conceded extra.
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It’s about steadiness, and on Sunday, the one formational steadiness on present was when Leeds kicked off – seven occasions.
Bielsa’s Leeds are marmite to the impartial soccer fan. So many promoted sides have stunk out the division with the intention to safe a second time period, and Leeds ought to be credited for resisting that. Others assume it is overhyped and destined to fail.
But overlook in regards to the neutrals: what do Leeds themselves need within the long-run? And will this style proceed to work as extra gamers come and undergo elevated funding?
They ought to be high-quality this season, and Bielsa has fastidiously put collectively a facet prepared to perform this fashion. It won’t at all times work, as we noticed on Sunday, and whereas that’s the case, they are going to proceed to be entertainers in a league the place more and more solely outcomes matter.
McTominay a correct throwback
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win over Leeds United
“I even like his haircut, I think his haircut has made him sharper,” mentioned Roy Keane of Scott McTominay. High reward certainly.
For all of the speak of correct “Manchester United-type players” to return them to their glory days, McTominay is an actual throwback. Sunday’s chaotic 6-2 win over Leeds was the proper sport for him; break up play, run into area, gallop box-to-box with out a lot opposition.
He won’t get this freedom each sport, or a licence to run ahead with the ball moderately than shield the defence, however this was the event McTominay confirmed extra layers to his sport.
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The 24-year-old, a striker in his youth days, displayed his means in entrance of aim with a long-range end, earlier than a elegant take and end for his second simply moments later. He registered the second-most sprints (23) behind Daniel James, and in a sport of pinball, misplaced the ball lower than any midfielder on the pitch.
Defending was not on the menu at Old Trafford, and this felt like a Premier League sport of outdated – no marvel Keane loved it a lot. The end-to-end nature additionally suited McTominay, a pure runner.
For McTominay, the important thing now’s consistency. This comes after a string of less-than exceptional performances, however it could take a weird sport like Sunday’s to provide him confidence.
Is caution costing Spurs?
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester win over Spurs
Tottenham’s counter-attack soccer underneath Jose Mourinho this season has been a hit thus far – and it is produced some standout victories, from Manchester United away to Manchester City and Arsenal at residence.
That mix of defensive excellence and medical ending from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, after white-knuckle transitions, has been a profitable formulation – and however for a few Steven Bergwijn missed possibilities or a Kane header, may even have ended Liverpool’s long-standing unbeaten run at Anfield in midweek.
But by not chopping unfastened creatively, Spurs do depart themselves susceptible if there are errors on the again or the ending shouldn’t be as sharp as now we have come to count on. On Sunday, towards Leicester, Spurs had been caught out at each ends of the pitch.
- Tottenham 0-2 Leicester – Match report and free highlights
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
Jose Mourinho referred to as Serge Aurier’s barge on Wesley Fofana for the penalty a “mistake”. Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane most popular “utter madness”. Either means, it handed the initiative to the guests, and when Toby Alderweireld’s personal aim went in, Spurs had been left with a mountain to climb, particularly given the very fact they’d struggled to bother Kasper Schmeichel as much as that time, with Kane heading their greatest opening over within the first half.
Son would draw an excellent cease from the ‘keeper later within the sport however, identical to final weekend at Crystal Palace, Mourinho’s risk-adverse method appears fairly dangerous if all the pieces doesn’t click on into place.
Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso each began this one – the primary time they’d been paired in midfield this season – and the pre-match sense was Spurs would be extra adventurous. They did not have a shot till the thirty fourth minute. Mourinho mentioned afterwards he doesn’t ship his gamers out “not to be proactive” however discovering a strategy to swap between caution and cavalier may be key to Spurs maintain their encouraging begin this season.
Leicester are second: Time to think about them title contenders
Leicester supervisor Brendan Rodgers says his facet has discovered lots since they final performed at Tottenham and feels his facet managed the sport of their 2-0 win
Brendan Rodgers needs to play it down. And everybody else appears fairly dismissive of Leicester’s title possibilities, too. But for the second Christmas in a row, the Foxes will be within the prime two on December 25 – and their followers ought to rightly really feel enthusiastic about what’s to come back with this facet.
Timothy Castagne’s return from two months out and Jonny Evans’ comeback from suspension added metal and class to the backline, however Wesley Fofana and James Justin had been remarkably spectacular, too, given their tender ages.
Ahead of them, Wilfred Ndidi continues to make his case as probably the most harmful participant within the league, regaining possession a exceptional 18 occasions, whereas, alongside elegant operator Youri Tielemans and speedy dribbler Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, after a unusually below-par efficiency in midweek, delivered one other reminder of his high quality, creating 5 possibilities – not less than two greater than anybody else – and was solely denied a brilliantly-taken aim by a marginal VAR offside name.
Then up prime is the irrepressible Jamie Vardy. A nightmare for even the meanest of defences. Toby Alderweireld tried a man-marking job however regardless of doing it properly for many of the sport, nonetheless got here undone. Add in Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira, who’re quickly to return from harm, and this group has the standard to go far.
Rodgers continues to label his Leicester facet as a growing younger group. And they’re. But they’re additionally growing quickly into the most effective sides within the Premier League. Consistency – residence and away – is now the following step.
The actual Blades are again – however is it too late?
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s draw with Sheffield United
This was extra just like the Sheffield United of final season: properly organised, tactically astute, dedicated and astute on the break.
- Brighton 1-1 Sheff Utd – Match report and free highlights
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
When John Lundstram thundered right into a reckless problem on Joel Veltman it appeared like one other a kind of days for the Blades. However, all the way down to 10-men, Wilder gave everybody a reminder of his tactical nous by absorbing some limp Brighton assaults and breaking shortly off the full of life Oliver Burke in assault. Enda Stevens whipped one simply vast earlier than David McGoldrick arrange Jayden Bogle for an unlikely opening aim. Yes, they may not maintain nevertheless it was not for the need of making an attempt.
Their spirit and need for the shirt was epitomised by a fairly monstrous efficiency by Chris Basham. If one thing wanted checking out, Basham was your man for the Blades. His 12 match clearances was 5 greater than every other participant on the pitch as he tailored to switching from a part of a again three to a defensive midfield function within the style of a really clever footballer. Only three gamers have made greater than 12 clearances in a single match this season, simply exhibiting how relentless he was at defending his field.
More of that kind of endeavour and if the Blades are taking place, they are going to be going with a combat.
Problems for Potter
Brighton at the moment are simply two factors above the relegation zone. Much like final season, Graham Potter’s facet can level to spectacular efficiency and pictures knowledge nevertheless it’s not returning sufficient wins, particularly at residence. The Amex shouldn’t be a contented searching floor.
Brighton have gained one in every of final 16 Premier League residence video games (D8 L7), that win coming towards in Arsenal in June – that victory stays their solely residence Premier League win of 2020.
Sheffield United gave Potter’s group the proper platform to ease a few of their residence strain when John Lundstram was dismissed simply earlier than the break. However, Brighton, regardless of having fun with large possession and territory, had been ponderous with their attacking play because the Blades stood agency and hit cleverly on the counter. In the tip, Potter, famed for his passing style, resorted to direct ball into the Blades field which led to the all-important equaliser from Danny Welbeck. It’s worrying occasions for Potter ball.
Not to fret although, it is Arsenal subsequent up on the Amex.
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