Championship

Resilience the key to Leeds United’s recent victories

Resilience the key to Leeds United’s recent victories

Leeds United again managed to scrape through a tightly contested battle to secure the three points at Sheffield United on Saturday when Pablo Hernandez scored eight minutes from time as the Whites continue their push to move to the summit of the Championship table.

It was the third consecutive match which Marcelo Bielsa’s men won by only scoring in the second-half and it might be a tactic of the manager to try and break the opposing defence when tiredness and fatigue kick in.

Saturday’s win at Bramall Lane could easily have been such a case as heaping pressure forced Sheffield goalkeeper Dean Henderson to foolishly give a loose pass, which was intercepted with relative ease by substitute Jack Clarke, who passed back inside to Hernandez for a simple tap-in.

Just like against Bristol City and Reading, Leeds started the game quietly, making sure their structures are in place for the encounter.

On Saturday it was the same, doing the necessary to weather the early storm from the home side, only to pounce later on in the match.

The Blades enjoyed the majority of possession, especially in the first-half but Leeds were doing enough to keep them out.

They set up well defensively to defend their goal and not present the Blades with any clear chances, although there were two instances where poor finishing let the home side down.

The second-half saw Sheffield run out of steam a little, which was probably what Bielsa was hoping for with the way his team defended in the first 45, and it presented the opportunity to Leeds to grow in attack.

Chris Wilder’s men were still throwing everything at goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, but defensively they started to show some cracks.

And in the end, the pressure got to Henderson who then made the sloppy error that gifted Leeds an important away win.

Bielsa would certainly be happy with the fact that his team doesn’t back down and continues to fight the full 90 minutes to get the result.

Such is the character of the current Leeds team that they are almost halfway there in earning promotion to the Premier League for next season.

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