The signs of a tough evening came early for Leeds United tonight as Leicester City passed their way around Elland Road like they were the home team, effortlessly carving out no less than three goal-scoring chances in the first 13 minutes.

Things didn’t get any better for Leeds United either and despite a vast array of missed chances, Leicester kept their tails in the air and wondered around the Leeds United players like they were nothing more than traffic cones. There was even show-boating displays at one point as Leicester’s effortless stroll in the Elland Road park continued.

Such was the inadequacy of the Leeds United team, Simon Grayson took the unusual decision of making a substitution midway through the first half. It was decided that Sanchez Watt’s services were surplus to requirements this evening, as it quickly became apparent that Leeds would have little opportunity to attack. In his place came Bradley Johnson to add some much needed strength and power to the Leeds United midfield – it seemed unlikely that we’d be able to outclass Leicester, so Simon Grayson’s decision to try and out-muscle them wasn’t without reason.

Unfortunately, the change did little to halt Leicester’s progress and despite a goalless scoreline at half-time, it was only a matter of time before they took the lead. The problem was that Leeds quickly surrendered home advantage and allowed Leicester to control the game. Eriksson’s side were so dominant, that at the interval the possession must have been around 70-30 in their favour.

Taking my rose-tinted spectacles off for a second, it really was impressive to see the impact Sven Goren Eriksson had made in only a few days in charge. The team that started the game 22nd in the Championship and with the worst away defensive record in the league had clearly been replaced by Brazil!

It took 64 minutes for Leicester to make their dominance count when a long-range strike deflected off Neill Collins to leave the on-loan Brown stranded. Whilst the goal was certainly fortuitous, it was nothing less than Leicester deserved – in truth, they could have (should have) been at least four up by that point and Leeds had been lucky to hang on.

The second goal followed on 80 minutes when King capitalised on a Leeds United defensive error (no shocks there, I know) to play in Howard who made it 2-0.

The second goal was the cue to evacuate the stadium for the home fans, but just as they did Luciano Becchio gave us a brief moment of hope. Substitute Max Gradel had brought a little spark into the Leeds team and it was his cross that set Becchio up for a headed finish. 2-1

There was a few attacks from Leeds as the minutes dwindled away, but in truth we got exactly what we deserved. Leicester’s passing was dizzying at times and Leeds United had no response.

Not a single player can be singled out for praise tonight, as every one of them was outclassed by the opposition. The most disappointing player was Amdy Faye – not because he was any worse than the rest, but because his display was nothing compared to the one he gave at Middlesbrough. I’m left questioning whether he was fully fit following his absence from training Monday and the knock he picked up at the Riverside?

Overall, we can have no complaints because the best team definitely won. The transformation to Leicester may have caught us a little off-guard, but that can be no excuse for a truly woeful performance on home soil. Back to the drawing board for Larry then. On and on…

36 Responses

  1. Will S

    It’s going to be a long season ahead but at least any sense of delusion entertained by those who thought we could be a play-off team will have been well and truly cured by another dose of reality tonight.

    When will Leeds appoint a manager who is capable of building a proper team?

    The shortcomings of this team are for all to see, but not for Grayson.

    He called the win over Boro an excellent performance – quite remarkable short-sightedness and I am starting to think he is out of his depth.

    Fans at Blackpool I think were of a similar view about him after he’d taken Blackpool up to the Championship. It seems like a repeat show.

  2. Shez

    Naylor is at best an average Championship defender, Collins deemed not good enough for Preston by F*rgie Junior and is average defender too, same with Connolly, deemed surplus to requirements at Derby. Awful left-back in Bessone, leaving chopping and changing in that position. What does that lead to? It leads to average defence at best, mid table. Why is everyone so surprised that one week we win, then we lose, then win, maybe draw, lose heavily, win again. You get the picture. We’ll be mid-table with the current defence and its taken Larry about 7 games and two almighty thrashings to realise that we need a defensive midfielder to protect the defence. Larry needs to up his game tactically and get in some much needed beef in midfield and a couple of defenders who will actually IMPROVE the team. We miss Kisnorbo BIG TIME and son of scum Kasper Schmeichel too. Still, look on the bright side, at least we’re not losing to Yeovil and Exeter these days! On On On

  3. AltrinchamAndrew

    Awful performance tonite. 2nd to the ball , 2nd in every tackle and I’m afraid we lacked energy. Having said that this is a weird league: we sit in 10th position; other clubs are inconsistent not just us!!!!! Will take time to step up and adapt to this league; if top 10 by Xmas who knows what may happen!! Keep the faith!!

  4. Tim Campbell

    Look I’m sorry to keep on about this point, and maybe he would’nt have made any difference, but why the hell has Grayson constantly ignored ramon nunez. He surely could’nt be much worse than half of our midfield out there. To me he would be the kind of player we need in there at the minute, someone with skill, drive and an eye for goal. It truly seems that larry has his favorites, what saddens me is that come January this guy could be on his way out of elland road without a chance to show us what he’s really like. Disappointed is an understatement!!!

  5. Andy Flynn

    How can you say Grayson is out of his depth? He’s just done his 100th game in charge and won the majority of them. We won’t win every game and I don’t think we’re good enough for play offs, but we’ll win more than we lose. It’s not like he has had a mountain of money to spend on players, which is why we have a dodgy defence! Basically, he’s doing well with what he’s got. Look at man city – spent hundreds of millions and scraped a win past Blackpool who wouldn’t have been playing in premier league if it wasn’t for Grayson.

    • Dje

      @Andy Flynn

      Won a lot of games in the league below yes; and had one hell of an abysmal run too. As to Blackpool, do you think he get lucky twice?

      Out of his depth because he has assembled the largest squad in this division and still can’t find four competent defenders amongst them. As someone else said, it has taken seven games for him to realise that during the summer we should have brought in a defensive midfielder. Seriously, if it takes a game or two for the fans to pick up on this (or how shit Naylor is every three games out of four), but it takes Grayson seven games – then he should be plying his trade lower down the leagues or doing something else.

      On an aside, I’ve never understood the ‘he’s a young and still learning manager’ argument when it comes to Leeds United. That’s fine for Rotherham or Bury, but sorry, in these regards, we are still a ‘big club’, and he isn’t learning quick enough.

      • timm

        No we’re not a big club. We used to be a big club & we may well be a big club again someday. We were a big club in L1 because we had big crowds compared to the other clubs. In this league we’re no bigger than Leicester or Hull or Sheff Utd. If we were a big club we wouldn’t have such a woefully low amount of season ticket holders.

      • Dje


        My point here about us being a big club is not the usual yawn about us having a natural right in the higher leagues etc – but that we are too big to be the testing nursery ground for an apprentice manager who wants to cut his teeth in football management. I’d suggest success with Bury, or Rotherman is the natural route for them.

        The wages we pay our manager, the facilities and Academy we provide him with, the looming pressure (from being a big club) from demanding fans who still come in amazing numbers do take us a cut above your Scunthorpe’s, your Preston’s, your Leicester’s even.

        Grayson had one good season with Blackpool (when they got promoted from L1). Some might say that he did well with them to keep them in the Championship the next season and finishing 19th (avoiding relegation on the last day of the season!) – but then that was with most of the same squad that Holloway would take up to the Premiership. Personally, I’d like to have seen (and heard of) Grayson a bit more before we took him on as manager. You’ve got to wonder though if we would have liked what else we would have seen.

        Although I’m still glad we don’t have Eriksson.

  6. Fat Freddy

    I hate to see us lose and even worse is when we are as poor as we sounded tonight. The only game i’ve got to this year was the Barnsley game and christ I never thought I’d want to be back in Dubai, but that night I couldn’t wait to get back on the plane. We should be looking to consolidate our position in the championship this year and next. Not one of the players we have now is good enough for the premier league and I really don’t fancy next season if by some miracle we got promoted. We’d be @rse r@aped for 38 games and then cuddly Ken would pocket the parachute payments and it’d be goodnight vienna for another 5-10 years. Admittedly I’ve had a few, so I might not be making any sense but I reckon Larry needs a couple of seasons at this level to prove himself – ie learn the tactical nouse he seems to be lacking at the moment, the club needs the cash from playing at this level (throw in a decent cup run for good measure) and then maybe, just maybe, in a couple of seasons time, we might be able to take the league and not come straight back down again. I agree with Tim Campbell about Nunez, and I wonder about Larry’s faith in Johnson and especially Naylor, but anywhere above the bottom six will do for me this year. And hey, maybe Tabloid Wayne is secretly angling for a move across the Pennines.
    MOT (at least until the world stops going round)

  7. Dje

    @Fat Freddy

    Fair enough about a season of consolidation – it wouldn’t be the worst seasons we’ve had recently.

    And I agree with you that (almost) none of our squad is premiership standard, but doesn’t it worry you that Grayson has lumbered us needlessly with the biggest squad in the league – the quality players of which (who were here before he arrived) have their contracts ending this summer – the quantity players of the squad (brought in by Grayson, mostly during the summer) are hardly lighting the field and yet are stuck with us for the next two to three seasons because of their contracts? Yet another cycle of Sheehan’s, Kandol’s, and Michalik’s in the making?

    If Grayson hasn’t an eye for player talent to bring in, if he refuses to bring through the kiddie talent at the Academy, and if he cant secure new contracts to the better players he has already, then how is he supposed to be building a team for promotion in a year or twos time?

    • Fat Freddy

      I reckon he’s been a bit unlucky with Kasper getting crocked, the lad’s quality. Also Lloyd Sam I reckon looks the part, Bessone I reckon is a reject, but this is why I think Larry needs a couple of seasons to prove himself at this level. How many games has he been in charge of a championship side? Not enough to understand the quality needed at this level, but that will come (I hope to god) if he’s given the chance. The last thing we want is a revolving door where the manager is concerned. Fair enough if he doesn’t sort it out he’s got to go, but continuity has got to be king here. he needs the rest of the season at least before we can really judge him. Let’s face it, so far he’s not really had the cash to spend – free transfers and loan signings have made up most of his squad – Ok he’s spent some cash, but we’re not Middlesborough are we? I do worry about some of the quality of players and the style we’re playing (the Watford game ffs!) but i reckon it’s too early to get on his back

  8. Big T

    Another disaster…Larry’s struggling…it’s a real mess…a combination of poor players and bad tactics. Perhaps League One suits him better!
    Look how well Blackpool did after Larry left them!

  9. lar

    in truth we have been like this since january,it will continue and i hope we gain enough points to stay up,leeds would have to vastly improve to even have a decent play-off team next season and this will not happen with the players that grayson has brought in.if leicester had there shooting boots on leeds could have lost by four or five..this is not a good sign of a team been fashioned for promotion further down the road.well i said 13 games and the leeds fans would have an idea what we would be fighting for ..a play-off place or keeping out of the relegation zone.well its going to be the latter.its not far off the new year lets hope we improve in leaps and bounds.

  10. Ron

    Grayson will have no excuses if his head rolls before Xmas at this rate. The most alarming trend is our pathetic showings on home soil. A team losing at home is a team in trouble. Naylor is incapable in this division and the fact we haven’t paid up to fill the gap left by Kisnorbo is beyond me. We must have 6 strikers, yet no quality central defenders. I agree on Nunez also. We are inconsistent and must try all options. For a team with so many players apparently vying for a place, something is wrong. If we are anywhere near the bottom of the table come Xmas, Larry is a goner.

  11. Ross

    Agree with some of what is said here the squad is not good enough, and the defence is particularly poor, but let’s be realistic anywhere above relegation will be a good season and we are going to lose a fair few games this season.

    The dissapointing aspects are Graysons tactics since Preston, it seems he would rather concede less and lose than try and win. playing 4-5-1 at home and standing off a team who had 9 points all season, Leicester were ok but we made them look a lot better. Playing Somma on the left wing, is ridiculous his main strength is his shot and the rest of his game is not great. Naylor is a joke, way past it and should not be in the side two or three calamitous errors a game. Nobody played well last night but Graysons tactics didn’t help.Johnson should never be played in a central position, I think Leeds have lost every game he has, if he has a place in the side its left mid.

    Grayson needs to learn these lessons fast, I do wonder why on earth we bought Mcormack (anyone know the fee?) insetad of a centreback?

    Thank god it looks like Bellamy will be injured for Monday!

    Cheers Ross

  12. colet

    Let’s cut to the chase…the players are not technically good enough for the champ’ship with a few exceptions, we get overrun in midfield everytime, we even got overrun in midfield last season by many teams at ER.

    We beat a very poor midd’bro side who’s key players were in the treatment room.

    The back 4 are dreadfull! leicester were superb, why can’t we ‘control pass move’ i said to the guy next to me last nite after 15 mins “i would take a point and go home now”…this is a leeds team who will finish nearer the bottom than the top!

    Did larry tell them we need to start bright and take the game to them because they are out to impress Sven…..i doubt it!

  13. wombat

    im fed up of paying premier league admission to watch crap . bates needs to get cheque book out and im not convinced grayson knows what he is doing at times . too many players not good enough . im worried .

  14. stotty

    I have been commenting on my doubts about Grayson since the middle of last season. Last night more than any other game confirmed my worst fears. He has been self delusional for some time and his after match comments last night demonstrated a manager out of touch with reality.
    This great club needs a manager who has played and managed consistently at the highest level.
    Last night was the worst dross I have seen served up at Elland Road for as long as I can remember and that goes back over 50 years. Grayson is tactically clueless and not very bright and out of his depth. He should do a Strachan and be away.

  15. Ryan H

    I just can’t understand why he didn’t invest in a decent centre back and holding midfielder. Collins, Bessone, Connolly and Bruce simply don’t cut it for me. I’d rather we have used the combined resources for these players and bought 1 or 2 DECENT defenders. Also a holding midfielder was a must, but instead we blow what limited funds Bates did provide us with unnecessary Striker additions.

  16. Colin

    So Naylor got all the stick at the beginning of the season, then it was Bessone, McCormack got a bit as well, then it was Howson last week and now it’s Grayson.

    One bad game, one good game, and then we praise players who play well in one game (like all the guff coming in for Faye on Saturday) and then destroy individual players when the whole team plays badly.

    It’s not about Grayson – this is how I see it:

    We’ve played Leicester City twice at Elland Road this season. Both times we’ve been beaten 2-1. That doesn’t say to me that Grayson is clueless, that says that Leicester City are a better team than Leeds.

  17. Bill Fox

    Very frustrating last night, second home game in a row where the drive back was a sobering one with realism kicking in big time. The league is all over the place, last night sides at the bottom were winning away for fun. We must start to steer this roller coaster with some degree of consistency. Felt for Somma being pushed out of position and Becchio was given zero service and still scored. Not much else to say. Cardiff next….

  18. Mark R

    Very disappointing and frustrating. The match stats are damning – Leics with 59% posession, their 14 attempts on goal to our 7, and us winning a paltry 2 corners to their 1.

    The midfield is being over run, and we cannot retain posession. The evidence is we are lacking quality and experience in this department.

    Several players are struggling at Championship level including Howson, Bradley, Naylor, Bessone to name 4.
    We have injuries to key players – Paddy & Kasper.

    SG appears too close to the players and is showing loyalty to some who aren’t up to the demands of this league. He needs to relook at his & the team’s approach.

    Of late Kasper’s absence has exposed all the weak points of our back 4’s organisation and technical ability. Higgs & Brown unfortunately cannot compensate for the back 4 as Kasper does.

    Faye once fit will be ok. However for me we desperately need to bring in some experience into midfield and central defence. This should help us get some consistency and enable us to ‘manage’ a game. Also help Howson bring some maturity to his play.

    There are still reasons to be cheerful being 10th and only 3pts off a play off place.


  19. Matt BB

    I hate to say it, but i did say this after the euphoric responses after middlesbro! We still have too many issues to resolve in midfield and defence. Yes we miss kisnorbo, but for crying out loud get someone in on loan to partner Bruce (why was he on the bench) and get some cover for the clearly unfit Faye..

    Didnt understand kilkenny coming on his place? but one thing we can all take from this is Svens impact – what makes a team respond to a new manager? better tactics? fear for their places? well a little of both, but Leicester arent on paper much better than us, they did though play to a high tempo – to quote erikson after his draw at the weekend.

    We need to do that and have the quality to, with a bit of a reshuffle, and some sensible reinvestment in the loan market to give us a spine there is no reason we cant compete, but we do have to make our minds up about what our core side is.

  20. Mark R

    Matt , Good point about the core/spine of the team. Who is it ? When all players fit I’m sure we’d all say :
    GK – Kasper
    DF – Kisonorbo : At present ??
    MF – ??
    AT – Snod + ? Somma may fill the role. Too early to say.

    And there’s the rub.
    The core/spine of the team is weak.


    • Matt BB

      i think the frightening part is that Grayson thinks he does have a spine to the team – Schmeicel(ok injured) – Naylor (omg) – Howson – Becchio

      And maybe that would work in L1, but if we are taking ourselves seriously in CCC it wont. Leicester apparently have spent big money on the Naughton loan.

      @djedjedje dont underestimate Leicester – yes Erikssons a bit of a one trick pony but he takes `easy’ gigs. Leicester nearly went up last year – their failure was down to Sousas obscure management technique, any decent manager could get them to perform. Did you see the stats @TSS 60/40 possession.. 9 shots on target to our 4!

      I think unless we make some brave decisions we will do not a great deal more than survive in this league. I think the scary thing is we have some options under our nose and dont use them. without investment

      Schmeicel – Bruce (then kisnorbo) – Faye (or Clayton) – Somma thats a decent place to begin. Not to mention people like Snodgrass.

      • Dje


        Personally I reckon something is a miss behind the scenes at Leicester. Probably money. I’ve never understood why their most successful manager in ages, Nigel Pearson, was allowed and wanted to leave an apparently upward progressing club like Leicester for a cash-strapped, wage-debted, infighting and downward spiraling club like Hull. Regardless, it is never a good sign.

        I think you’ll find that we rarely come out on top of the possession charts in the games we’ve played recently. It’s the nature of the football we play – hoofing it out of defense for the opposition to regain the ball and dominate the game at will.

        As to shots on target – four isn’t that uncommon for us. I think against Middlesbrough we had as many (including Becchio’s crossbar shot). At the time I didn’t say anything – but it was a bit worrying that it took two exquisite connections by Somma and Becchio for us to score /register shots on target against a Middlesbreough defense so hellbent to court us to walk right threw them. You cant rely on the extraordinary to be the ordinary fare.

        Oh well, in-form Cardiff next. As this league goes, we’ll probably win that one!

  21. Dje


    I dont rate Eriksson personally. I think he’s become a WOW-factor manager in this country. WOW for the fans who get dizzy for instant success and WOW for players of limited talent that allows them to temporarily punch above their weight.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Leicester win the next seven games in a row. But then the Leicester squad and fans will see that Eriksson is more veneer than substance, and actually prefers an inherently conservative game to make up for his lack of insight and ability to read and adapt to the game. It was the same when he was at England (pretty much all down hill after beating the Germans 5-1), Man City (ending with a 8-1 defeat to Middlesbrough!), and Notts County. Better not to mention Mexico or Ivory Coast either.

    For me, Leicester to be lower mid-table by the end of the season and Eriksson to be gone by the start of next season (probably on some new over-paid ‘project’).

  22. timm

    Leicester totally outplayed us last night in every dept. Whether that is down to Sven or not remains to be seen? I personally think they sacked a very good manager in Sousa. Everything about us was flat last night, even the supporters. Howson has to be dropped, he’s constantly caught in posession & gives the ball away too much. Naylor has to be dropped now in favour of Leigh Bromby. I wouldn’t have Bruce in the team, the way he allowed himself to be wound up at Ipswich was pathetic & cost us a point. As for those dickheads that booed Naylor after his mistake, they all need to f##k off & watch somebody else, we don’t boo our own at Leeds. Yes, Naylor is making mistakes, & yes he needs to be dropped, but he’s not doing it intentionally. Naylor is Leeds through & through & nobody will be more gutted than him about his form. What do these arseholes think booing him will do to his confidence?

    • Dje


      I’m not in favour of booing anyone unless they can’t be arsed to the point that they literally walk off the park. I don’t boo because I expect the manager to spot when a player is not putting the effort in, or they are out of their depth, or the player loses their head (alla Bruce). I expect the manager to act accordingly and help the player understand what they are doing wrong, to put in more effort, or to mature as a player.

      But timm, what are you supposed to do when the manager spectacularly fails to notice what 80% of the fans see week in, week out? If booing the player’s latest f*** up to illustrate to the thick-as-mince manager that possibly there is a cause-and-effect as to why we are conceding goals so readily and losing more matches than we win, then so be it. In this case, if it has an effect on Grayson’s decision to play Naylor, then it is the lesser of the two evils.

      • les irwin

        booing is not the answer but your right what other course of action does the average fan have NONE ,apart from not going .
        naylor shouldn’t be booed he shouldn’t be playing .where did they get that keeper the set of little britain ,crowe ,parker,kisnorbo ,bromby should be the back 4 i know there are injuries .

      • timm

        To be fair, Naylor had been relegated to the bench as a result of his poor form, to be replaced by the stupid hothead that is Alex Bruce. Bruce’s sending off not only cost us a point, it also got him suspended, which in turn meant that Naylor was recalled. Naylor then put in a very competent performance at Boro & rightly retained his place in the team. So if we’re looking for someone to blame here, maybe we should be looking at Alex Bruce?

  23. Old Billy White

    Very poor display last night, out played from the first whistle. Their movement and passing was excellent and we looked out of our depth. Another team where the defenders are happy to take the ball and play from the back. We don’t have this and Brown had to kick long which turns every ball into a 50/50. I thought if we could end up mid table this would be a good acheivement, to do that we need to be harder to beat, and less exposed at the back. I won’t boo any Leeds player, but Naylor is having a bad time and I think should be replaced, in his position mistake are costly, and if you lack pace you don’t get the chance to recover.

  24. steve underwood

    having listend to grayson after the game he keeps saying the players are not doing wat he wants them to do,now to me this sounds like he maybe starting to loose the dressing room.The problem i see grayson has his fave players ie johnson howson nayler none are good enough better players get overlooked.I would like to see us play two holding players faye and bruce then have snodgrass somma sam attacking midfild with becchio lone striker in defence connelly bromby collins and parker now he is fit

  25. les irwin

    it was like leicester were the home side ,they were better from start to finish ,that said that had nothing to do with sven ,sousa had em playing like that before he was sacked they had no end product which to be fair was seen last night they should have been out of sight by half time .we were poor in fact we were worse than that it was evident that for all his skills grayson still lacks some managemant abilities and as many have said some of our players are not punching at championship weight .last nights poor performers were ,keeper,connely ,NAYLOR (man of the match again for poor performance) amdy faye ,macartney, howson,becchio thats seven off our starting 11 that were at best poor connelly looked like forrest gump complete with callipers somma was playing left back for a lot of the second half .grayson was out foxed by the foxes he or his team had no answers and 2-1 flattered us, not seen em but i bet possesion stats were massively against us .a poor night at the E R another one coming on monday if we dont improve

  26. Mark R

    @Bandit Steve – Interesting. I’ve said earlier in this post that he’s perhaps too close to the team – letting friendships influence his decisions.

    Post Leics SG did say himself, he’s starting to sound like a broken record saying player mistakes lead to their goals. As this has been his standard mantra on our poor performances it indicates some of the players he’s selecting just aren’t performing to the required level.

    I’m sure he’s tried to correct it on the training ground but when we keep repeating the same errors and showing the inconsistency in performance – then something has got to change > in the team he’s selecting and the tactics being used.

    If we keep doing the same thing – we’ll just reproduce the same inconsistent form.

    Need some energy & experience from somewhere.


  27. Joe

    How can you say Grayson hasn’t built a decent team. Patrick Kisnorbo leeds best defender was brought in by him, O’Brein leeds 2nd best defender and best currently not injured brought in on loan by him, Kasper Schmiechel one of the best goalkeepers in the championship, Gradel who has scored 3 in his last 2 games signed by him as well as many more first team regualars. He can sub like not many else. Subbed on Johhny Howson agaisnt bristol rovers in the last match of the season (in which a win would get leeds promoted) 1-0 down, 9 men Johnny howson came on 4 minuete later he scored an absolutley beauty of aa goal that kick starts a come back, game ends 2-1, Leeds is promoted. He does inspired, amazing subsitutions all the time in league matches aswell. To me he is one of the best young managers in the country (by that i mean under 45) and one of the best managers in the championship. he is the manager to get Leeds back to the Premier League and the fans love him they sing “Theres only one simon grayson”. And i’m a Leicester fan, btw Leeds desearved to win yestarday, they passed more accuratley, they gave away less balls, they were better and unclukcy to give away a penelty that kicked started foxes equalizer. Even at the end of the match they were contintly attacking, Collins was unlucky his header was wide and we were lucky not to give away a penelty as the fox defender (coudn’t see who it was ) clearly put his hand up and the ball struck it.


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