Bringing an end to any niggling doubts in style, Leeds United trounced Bristol Rovers 4-0 on their own turf to extend the gap at the top of League One to four points and show any doubters why we’re in the position we are.

Defeat to Millwall at the weekend ended our undefeated run and left the team with a lot of work to do if they wanted to retain their lead at the top of the division. Simon Grayson called for a response and the Leeds United team delivered.

Right from the off we dominated the fixture when Beckford was through on goal after just two minutes, only to be brought down by a Bristol defender. The Bristol player escaped what could easily have been a straight red card when the referee chose only to book him. Had this result been any different, I’m sure there’d be a few people questioning the ref’s decision there.

It didn’t take long for Leeds to take the lead though after Bristol were kept on the back-foot for the opening stages. Micky Doyle found Jermaine Beckford in space once more and the frontman fired home to give Leeds the lead after just eight minutes of play. 1-0

Beckford looked hungry and much sharper than he has in recent games and just a minute later he could have doubled the advantage. After rounding the goalkeeper, Becks was left at a tight angle and could only hit the side netting with his shot.

The game calmed down a little, but Leeds were clearly on top. The passing was sharper, the closing down quicker and the players looked eager to right the wrongs of Millwall. Bristol did come close to equalising though when a shot from range was fumbled onto the post by Casper Ankergren. The home fans and some of the Bristol players felt the ball crossed the line, but it didn’t look that way from where I was.

The rest of the second half was played out at a good pace but with few real chances. The earlier strike for Bristol had clearly given them a lift and the sides started to cancel each other out a little. However, the second half started much the same as the first and United startly brightly.

Early pressure saw Beckford force a corner, before firing another effort wide of the post. Beckford was involved again not long after though when him and Snodgrass linked well to play Sam Vokes in for the second and his first goal in a Leeds United shirt. 2-0

It was all Leeds now and the away following were enjoying a fantastic display from the Whites. It looked all too easy for us when Jonny Howson found Jermaine Beckford at the far post to send Leeds 3-0 up, but in truth, the scoreline was a reflection of hard work, determination and the players really showing what they’re capable of.

Whilst Leeds continued to dominate the tie, Simon Grayson made three predictable changes bringing on Max Gradel, Neil Kilkenny and Tresor Kandol, for Micky Doyle, Jermaine Beckford and Sam Vokes.

It was two of those substitutions responsible for the fourth and final goal of the night too. Max Gradel could have had one of his own a minute before when the keepers legs came to Bristol’s rescue, but he was on hand again shortly after, finding Tresor Kandol in space to round off a perfect away performance for the Whites.

Unquestionably the best away performance of the season so far, if not the best performance all round. Bristol struggled to create anything all night as Leeds closed down well, retained possession and created chances almost at will. In the second half especially, Leeds looked a class apart and the result is in no way less than we deserved.

After the disappointing result at Millwall, Leeds knew they had to respond with the game in hand to give themselves some breathing space at the top of League One. They did it emphatically and the game truly was a joy to watch. There’ll be no critisism from me of any player in the line-up tonight as every one of them played their part in a classy display.

TSS man of the match
Seems to play well whenever he’s in the headlines but credit where it’s due – Jermaine showed what he’s capable of tonight. Ultimately, he was unlucky not to get the hattrick, but for his two goals and contribution in Vokes’ first for Leeds, he’s the obvious choice. There isn’t many players on the pitch that didn’t have a case for man of the match though in fairness and it’s worth stressing how good the team performance was all round. That’s why we’re top of the league! On and on…