Leeds United made a triumphant return to Elland Road as they faced Watford in a Sky Bet Championship showdown on Saturday afternoon. They delivered a stellar performance, securing a fourth consecutive clean sheet in a three-goal victory!
After two away matches, where they bagged four points against Millwall and Hull City earlier in the week, the Whites were back on their home turf. The teams were neck-and-neck in the standings before the match, setting the stage for a heated battle in West Yorkshire. Despite Leeds dominating large portions of the first half, no goals were netted.
Watford’s goalkeeper, Daniel Bachmann, was put to the test early on, saving a powerful strike from Ethan Ampadu. He demonstrated exceptional skill in deflecting the ball with a strong hand and punching it clear. This was just the beginning for Bachmann, as he thwarted Georginio Rutter from close range. Rutter managed to beat the keeper and find the bottom corner, only for the offside flag to rightfully deny him.
Leeds’ number 24 exerted a growing influence on the match, using his strength, power, and skill on the ball to cause problems for the opposition. Crysencio Summerville had two shots on target, but the keeper denied him both times. Despite their dominance, Watford held firm until half-time, and the teams entered the break on even terms.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-0 Watford
At half-time, the Hornets made a triple substitution in an attempt to bolster their attacking threat. Leeds, however, continued to press forward and completely shifted the momentum after the hour mark, scoring two goals in quick succession.
The first goal resulted from Rutter’s clever playmaking in the midfield, freeing Dan James on the wing. James skillfully delivered a precise cross to Joel Piroe at the back post, enabling the striker to volley in the opener. Just three minutes later, Leeds struck again. James once again provided the assist, this time with a corner-cross that found the head of Sam Byram, who emphatically powered it into the net for the second goal.
Following the goals, Watford had their most promising opportunity of the game. Two substitutes combined, as Bayo sent in a cross for Yaser Asprilla, who, despite being well-placed inside the box, fired wide.
With ten minutes remaining, Farke made his first substitution. Summerville, who had put in an energetic performance, made way for Jaidon Anthony, making his Elland Road debut. Anthony promptly created an opportunity for himself, deftly manoeuvring around Ryan Porteous on the edge of the box, only to be denied by another impressive save from Bachmann. However, moments later, Anthony found the back of the net. A brilliant run from Rutter through the heart of midfield set up his teammate in the box, where Anthony collected the ball and slotted it into the bottom corner with his right foot.
Inside Elland Road, the supporters of Leeds United were already on their feet and applauding after witnessing three second-half goals. The final whistle only amplified the jubilation, confirming an outstanding three-point victory.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 3-0 Watford