Leeds United won four-in-a-row for the first time since Simon Grayson’s reign in 2009 against bogey side Ipswich who did the double over the Whites last season.
On paper, it looked like it would be a tough game for the home side but when paper is caught in a whirlwind, it is blown away. To a certain degree that is what happened to Ipswich, who were trampled under the brimming brilliance that Leeds United are slowly becoming.
A single goal from Chris Wood (35′) was enough to send the Whites home with all three points and up to 12th in the table – only two points away from the play-off places.
However, underneath the 1-0 scoreline there is a veritable mass of numbers that help to highlight the dominance that the Whites had in putting a poor Ipswich side to the sword.
At the Back – Basis for Victory
It is a cliche to say that a side kept a rare clean sheet, but if truth be told Leeds have kept clean sheets in their last three games, including this shutout of Ipswich. Indeed, since the Huddersfield loss at Elland Road, the Whites have looked massively more solid in defence
The back four were instrumental in yesterday’s victory, soaking up the minimal pressure that Ipswich could muster and played in a manner that allowed things to build. It was a performance built around the central defensive pairing of Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley who are rapidly growing into a dominant pairing at the back.
Here’s what the back line contributed against Ipswich.
- Tackles: 3 (75% success: Ayling 0/1, Jansson 1/1, Bartley 2/2)
- Interceptions: 5 (Jansson 2, Ayling 2, Taylor 1)
- Clearances: 23 (Ayling 3, Jansson 7, Bartley 10, Taylor 3)
- Blocks: 7 (Ayling 1, Bartley 1, Jansson 1, Taylor 4)
- Headed Duels: 17 (Ayling 1, Jansson 5, Bartley 7, Taylor 4)
- Total Defensive Actions: 55
Middle of the Park – Pushing Onwards
With midfield lynchpin Liam Bridcutt still injured, Leeds United showed their strength in depth and put in youngster Kalvin Phillips to partner Eunan O’Kane at the base of midfield. Spaniard Pablo Hernandez formed the peak of the midfield playing in that supporting role behind the single striker.
Leading the midfield unit’s passing was Hernandez with 50 attempts, a figure representing 13.9% of Leeds’ total of 358 passing attempts.
Here’s what the midfield three produced to pile the pressure on against Ipswich.
- Pass Attempts: 126 – 35.2% of team total passes (O’Kane 35, Hernandez 50, Phillips 41)
- Completed Passes: 104 – 72.2% accuracy (O’Kane 26 – 73.5% accuracy, Hernandez 41 – 82.1% accuracy, Phillips 24 60% accuracy)
- Possession: 18.1% (O’Kane 5.1%, Hernandez 7.1%, Phillips 5.9%)
At the Top of the Park – Glory Boys
Leeds used to be routinely outshot by opponents and, thus, very rarely threatened the opposition goal. Yesterday United continued the trend from the Cardiff game that saw them dominate the shot count and therefore put themselves in a position to take advantage of the majority of the game’s opportunities.
Against Ipswich, Leeds had 69.6% of the shots with 16 attempts compared to 7 from the Tractor Boys. More impressive was the fact the Whites had 4 shots on target – adding to the 7 from the last game against Welsh side Cardiff.
Here’s who was a part of the Leeds United Turkey Shoot.
- Chris Wood: 7 shots, 3 on target (42.9% shooting accuracy), 1 goal (33.3% conversion from on target shots)
- Pablo Hernandez: 2 shots, 0 on target
- Hadi Sacko: 4 shots, 0 on target
- Kyle Bartley: 1 shot, 0 on target
- Kalvin Phillips: 2 shots, 1 on target (50% shooting accuracy)