Leeds Away Drew 1 – 1
After a string of defeats, the international week didn’t come at a bad time for Southampton, whereas for Leeds United it broke up a run of wins, all-be-they not necessarily convincing. Nevertheless it wasn’t a great surprise that Leeds posed the early threats with the ball finding several ways of passing Forster’s posts, and on TV it looks as though they also hit one of them from a corner, although live action suggested that the keeper had kept out Raphinha’s either fortuitous or audacious effort from the flag – a resulting scrambled ‘goal’ was ruled out. On 29 minutes the home side had the ball in the net, legally according to the officials, and from Match of the Day’s highlights, you’d have thought that the only contentious point was whether Raphinha had taken the ball out before the ball more or less just hit scorer Harrison following Forster’s parry of the high cross. In fact the move began earlier than the coverage showed, when Broja looked to be getting away from Cooper before something approaching a rugby tackle stopped him. Astonishingly referee Taylor was waving play on rather than reaching for a card, and Saints never really had a proper touch before having to kick off. A perceived injustice (and it wasn’t just me and the team thinking that: listen and watch on the Saints web site – the MotD people would have been talking about it for around ten minutes had other sides been involved) brought Southampton back into the game and Adams did well to make space for an early toe poke that wasn’t powerful enough to beat Meslier – a fine save nevertheless. It didn’t take long after the break for the scores to be levelled, and this time Meslier was beaten by something that had much more venom: a trademark Ward-Prowse free kick after a determined Walker-Peters run drew a foul from Ayling. A good chance to go on and win all three points from here and for a while it looked as though that might happen. Maybe Leeds made better substitutions (Phillips came on after a long injury absence; we, bravely, replaced Romeu with Armstrong) or, just as likely, they needed it more – either way, United finished the stronger and had added time shouts for a penalty after a well-timed (we think!) challenge by surprise starter Diallo on another Leeds sub, Gelhardt. A total of 26 shots between the two teams resulted in an all-action afternoon, and a welcome point for Ralph’s boys to take into two tough home games.
LSSC Man of the Match. Kyle Walker-Peters. His attacking play caught the eye, especially in the more difficult first half, and he contributed to the Southampton goal. Not sure about his defensive stint, but the voting members on the train back know best!