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Five star Leeds back in the race

Leeds United
5 - 2
Doncaster Rovers

Elland Road

05/03/11 3pm

Attendance: 27,027


Leeds United quickly put last weeks disappointing defeat at Swansea City behind them with an emphatic win over Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers.

The game finished 5-2 to Leeds, but in a game that saw them have thirty-one shots on goal it could have been more.

Simon Grayson made two changes from the side that was beaten at Swansea with Leigh Bromby and Bradley Johnson coming in for Alex Bruce and Davide Somma.

Leeds started the game on the front foot, Max Gradel saw a shot saved by Woods in the Rovers goal and Howson shot over the bar when he really should have done better.

Rovers first chance fell to Paul Keegan but his header cleared the bar.

Leeds took the lead in the twelfth minute when Gradel cut in from the left before beating Woods with a thirty yard drive.

Gradel had Leeds next chance on goal but this time his shot cleared the bar.

Neil Kilkenny then saw his shot saved by Woods after good work down the right.

Leeds were enjoying the vast majority of the play and Luciano Becchio was next to try his luck for Leeds but he screwed his shot wide.

Schmeichel had to make his first save of the afternoon halfway through the half when Wayne Thomas had an effort on goal for the visitors.

Billy Sharp had a couple of half chances for Rovers but both his long-range efforts sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Robert Snodgrass missed a great chance to double the lead when he failed to hit the target with his right foot shot after going round the keeper.

Leeds were then caught with a sucker punch on the stroke of half time, a ball over the top found Sharp and after having his initial shot saved by Schmeichel, he prodded in from a tight angle to bring the scores level at the break.

Leeds had dominated for long periods of the first half and should have been going in at the break two or three to the good; instead, they were once again conceding soft goals close to the break, similar to the Norwich home game recently.

If it wasn`t bad enough that they had let the lead slip, they found themselves behind within five minutes of the restart.

Once again, a ball in behind the central defenders caused the problems. This time Franck Moussa was on hand to put Rovers ahead.

Leeds hit back immediately from the restart when Howson won the ball in midfield, before unleashing a shot from twenty yards that beat Woods

Straight back at the other end and Schmeichel had to produce a good save to deny Moussa from put Rovers back in front.

The second half had started much more evenly and George Friend had a shot for Rovers that cleared the bar.

Sharp then tested Schmeichel, as Rovers were much more in the game in the second half.

Gradel then had two fantastic chances to put Leeds ahead in the space of minutes. He twice got in behind the defence, his first effort went wide of the post and then Woods saved his next chance with his feet.

Leeds were now in control of the game again and Howson and Becchio both had efforts of target.

Kilkenny then saw another effort saved by Woods as Leeds started to pile pressure on the Rovers defence.

Snodgrass was next to go close for Leeds but his header cleared the bar.

The pressure finally paid off when Luciano Becchio found himself in acres of space in front of goal and he made no mistake from eight yards.

Gradel was being a constant thorn in the sides of Rovers and he forced Woods into another save as Leeds looked for the comfort of a two-goal lead.

They didn`t have to wait long and once again it was Gradel on the score sheet.

Snodgrass did well down the right before pulling a ball back for Paynter, his shot was saved by Woods and the ball fell to Gradel who drilled the ball home from inside the six yard area.

Johnson then tried to get in on the goals but his header cleared the bar.

Leeds scored a fifth in the final minute of normal time, a good ball over the top by Snodgrass released Howson and the club captain made no mistake to cap a fine personal performance.

Leeds were looking for a sixth and Paynter had an header go wide of the post as the home side were in total control.

A good win for Leeds, and one that was deserved after dominating for large periods.

Once again though the inability to keep clean sheets is alarming as two goals by Doncaster means they have now conceded ten in their last four games and seven in their last three at home.

With other results going Leeds way it now gets them right back in the mix for an automatic promotion spot.

They will now prepare for a trip to Preston on Tuesday night against a side that put six past Leeds at Elland Road earlier in the season.


Schmeichel, Lichaj, Bromby, O`Brien (Naylor 90), McCartney, Howson, Gradel (Watt 90), Becchio (Paynter 80), Snodgrass, Johnson, Kilkenny

Subs not used
Higgs, Bruce, Somma, McCormack

Woods, Hird, Thomas, Friend, Mills, Stock (Wilson 86), Oster, Keegan (Hayter 77), Sharp, Shiels (Coppinger 69), Moussa

Subs not used
Bradshaw, Gillett, Souza, Kilgallon

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Date:Sunday March 6 2011
Time: 9:56AM

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Vital Boxing - Dan Blackwell Retires


Could have easily have been double figures! The best thing yesterday was all the other team chasing promotion dropping points and we are now back in the hunt for second place. A shame Burnley won.
06/03/2011 10:23:00
Defo should have been at least 10-2 with the chances we had, and when Grayson says he's attack minded he's true to his word, Leeds were all over Preston...With the likes of Gradel ect going forward must frighten the life out of defenders...Great result!...
06/03/2011 12:35:00
I'm jumping the gun a bit when I said (Preston)? Doncaster it was meant to be...
06/03/2011 12:42:00
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3 Brighton 44 24 15 5 87 30
4 Hull City 44 23 11 10 80 31
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