Leeds United (Home) Back Down To Earth With A Bump
Well, it was more of a thud than anything but it’s back to reality after last Friday’s late drama at Reading.
Derby were completely outclassed by a brilliant Leeds United side who have taken superbly to Marcelo Bielsa’s approach.
The work rate and fitness of Leeds was astounding. It was almost like playing a game of FIFA with all your players on sprint such was the speed in which they got around the pitch and swarmed all over Derby when in possession.
Their movement was exceptional too with their players constantly having options and dragging Derby’s players into positions that they did not want to be in and thus creating space all over the pitch.
The game itself was breathless, particularly in the first half. It was knackering to watch at times with Leeds giving one of the best displays from a Championship side at Pride Park.
Derby backed off initially and it took until midway through the first half for them to realise that the way that they were to get something from the game was to be courageous, take risks and defend on the front foot.
Playing that way is a risk and you are open to the counter but the 20 minutes before half time were the best that Derby had in the game.
The third goal was the killer because there was a feeling that Derby were properly in the game. They rallied after half time and you have to wonder what might have been had Mason Mount’s cross-shot been converted by a disappointing Martyn Waghorn.
Derby missed the composure of Tom Huddlestone in midfield. His calmness on the ball and ability to take the sting out of the game was much missed amongst the chaos. Curtis Davies too was also a miss.
A 4-1 defeat at home is always difficult to take but I wouldn’t be overly concerned this early on in the campaign. That Leeds side were extremely good. Their style is an exception and it’ll be rare that Derby face anything like that throughout the campaign.
That isn’t me making excuses for a lacklustre performance but it’s looking at what’s likely to come further into the season.
A harsh lesson for Lampard and his men but one that must bring Derby back down to earth with a bump.