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Dodgy defence still evident

Southampton
3 - 1
Leeds United

St Mary's Stadium

06/08/11 5.20pm

Attendance: 25,860 (3097 Leeds)

Referee:

Leeds United defensive frailties show no signs of clearing after conceding three at Southampton on the opening day of the season.

The side conceded seventy goals in the championship last season and Southampton picked their way through the Leeds defence with ease.

Leeds boss Simon Grayson gave debuts to Andy Lonergan, Darren O`Dea and Michael Brown and there was a welcome return for Patrick Kisnorbo, his first start since March 2010.

After Southampton had enjoyed the early possession, it was Leeds who had the first real effort on goal.

Ross McCormack knocked the ball back to John Howson who drilled his shot straight at Kelvin Davis.

Leeds were to pay almost immediately when Dean Hammond found himself in plenty of space before firing past Andy Lonergan from 25 yards out.

The game was seeing few clear-cut chances and Southampton doubled their lead on twenty-five minutes when Adam Lallana cleverly turned inside Andy O`Brien before firing past Lonergan with the aid of the post.

It was almost three minutes later when Lallana once again found himself in space but this time Lonergan cane out quickly to smother the shot.

Lallana was looking a danger and he saw another shot go just wide.

Leeds were enjoying plenty of possession but were possessing no impact in the final third of the field.

Ricky Lambert went close to making it three just before half time when his free kick went into the side netting.

It was a disappointing first half showing from Leeds, who showed little threat in front of the Southampton goal.

Leeds started the second half-brighter, McCormack and Gradel almost getting in behind the Southampton defence in the opening moments and then McCormack saw his tame effort easily saved by Davis.

The game was over as a contest inside ten minutes of the second half when David Connolly found himself with plenty of space inside the Leeds area to pick his spot.

Grayson responded by bringing on striker Billy Paynter and he missed a glorious chance to get Leeds back into the game on the hour, when Davis saved his shot when through on goal.

Max Gradel then fired over as Leeds enjoyed plenty of possession.

Ramon Nunez came on for Leeds and he fired wide from range as they still struggled to make any impression in the final third.

Southampton almost got a fourth inside the final ten minutes when Lonergan did well to tip a shot from Richard Chaplow onto a post.

Leeds earned a consolation deep into stoppage time when they won a penalty after a harsh handball decision on the Southampton defender.

Gradel stepped up to send Davis the wrong way.

It was too little too late as the season starts with a very disappointing defeat.

Teams

Southampton
Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Martin, Harding, Do Prado (Chaplow 54), Hammond (Schneiderlin 76), Cork, Lallana, Connolly (De Ridder 62), Lambert

Subs not used
Bialkowski, Butterfield

Leeds
Lonergan, Connolly, Kisnorbo, O`Brien, O`Dea, Clayton, Brown (Paynter 53), Gradel, Howson, Snodgrass (Sam 74), McCormack (Nunez 62)

Subs not used
Rachubka, Bromby,



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Writer:Dazza71
Date:Saturday August 6 2011
Time: 7:43PM

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