With the sun beating down and fans filling Elland Road the mood wasn’t even slightly down after a couple of disappointing defeats on the road. Garry Monk made changes again and this time they all paid off.
Skipper Liam Bridcutt missed out through injury and it’s fair to say eyebrows were raised when Eunan O’Kane kept his place on the bench and Ronaldo Vieira came back in to partner a much criticised Kalvin Phillips. At the back it was the same but Alfonso Pedraza and Kemar Roofe came in to flank Pablo Hernandez who was overdue a good game.
The game had a fast start from the away side. As one ball flashed across the face of goal Robinson headed straight at Rob Green who tipped over from point blank. From the resulting corner another free header found Rob Green and Preston had missed the chance to put the whole of Elland Road on an early downer. Leeds then began to move the ball and create chances before Kemar Roofe set us on our way. A lovely moved ended in a one two with Chris Wood before his effort looped over via a Preston foot into the net.
Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira controlled the middle of the park but Preston were always a threat, as were the home side who saw Roofe drag and effort wide and Wood have a goal disallowed for offside. As we moved towards the break Roofe put Hernandez in to slip it under Maxwell in the Preston net. The second half saw Wood hit the bar, Bartley have one cleared off the line before Hernandez had an effort saved in a lovely move that involved Wood, Roofe and Pedraza. Preston then hit the bar, Douks had a one on one saved and finally a 3rd, Phillips bending it into Douks who netted.
Man of the match – Kemar Roofe – Quality on the ball and a threat throughout. Cunningham will have been delighted to see his number come up for Dallas.
Green – 7 – Very good again but almost let Preston back into the game with a fumble. Great reflex save in first couple of minutes.
Ayling – 8 – Brilliant again and kept McGeady to a couple of long range efforts.
Bartley – 8 – Dangerous moment when Preston striker got through one on one but a very good game, back to his best.
Jansson – 8 – Looked like the Jansson we fell in love with, getting the crowd up and dominating in the air.
Berardi – 8 – As you are, solid and committed. Vermijl actually looked scared to go forward by the end.
Phillips – 8 – Best game in months, energy and showed some quality passing throughout.
Vieira – 8 – Seemed to work brilliant with Phillips and do both backwards and forwards very well.
Roofe – 9 – Best game in a long time, should be keeping his place between now and the end of the season. Roofe/Ayling works.
Hernandez – 8 – Much better today, gave the ball away at times but provided a link between the lines.
Pedraza – 8 – Very direct today, ran at defenders and linked with the others around him.
Wood – 7 – Up against 3 centre backs and did very well. Smashed his chance off the crossbar.