Clearly, Gary Speed’s spirit lives on and has embodied itself within Robert Snodgrass – I can’t think of a more feasible explanation for the rapid turnaround in form after some pretty depressing performances had us all worried.

Before the game got under way, David Batty, Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan returned to Elland Road to lay a wreath for their former team mate – the man who completed the greatest Leeds United midfield line-up this supporter has ever seen.

It was an emotional farewell, with Gary’s wife Louise showing a truly incredible amount of strength to attend the game and witness the tributes herself.

After the tributes finished, the game got under way, albeit slowly. Millwall set up to contain Leeds and The Whites struggled to break the Londoners down and create anything noteworthy.

The biggest story of the first half was Jonny Howson leaving the field injured. Clearly in pain, Jonny sheepishly got to his feet, snubbing the stretcher he looked like he was going to need.

Always a worry when you see a player leaving the field injured, but even more so when it’s someone who so rarely gets injured – it immediately leads you to the conclusion that it must be something serious. Hopefully that’s not the case, but I can’t help thinking that the best case scenario is 3-4 weeks without our captain.

Lloyd Sam came on as Jonny’s replacement, taking over the right wing so Robert Snodgrass could move to the attacking midfield position Howson’s departure had left vacant.

Still struggling to break Millwall down and create opportunities, it was no surprise to see Leeds’ opening goal come from a dead ball – a well struck 25-yard freekick from Robert Snodgrass on 63 minutes.

With Millwall now behind, they were forced to try and respond which created the space Leeds United needed to really cause the opposition problems. Just two minutes after the opening goal, and Robert Snodgrass doubled Leeds’ advantage with an excellent diving header from the cross of Lloyd Sam.

2-0, and it really could/should have been more. One particular move saw Luciano Becchio read the riot act by Robert Snodgrass who could have done somersaults in the space he’d made available to himself. Instead of playing Snoddy in however, Becchio stalled and the move came to nothing – an insignificant event in any other game, but you couldn’t help feel that was Snodgrass’ hattrick chance wasted.

Still, another three points and The Whites move up to fourth, closing the gap on second placed West Ham United to six, with four points now separating us from 7th placed Blackpool. Almost halfway through the season, and overall, you can’t help but feel satisfied looking at the table.

Another clean sheet, two more goals for Robert Snodgrass and the end of our dismal run at home would all seem more important if it wasn’t for the real story today – the Elland Road farewell to a club legend.

RIP Gary, Marching On Forever.

  • Jaylufc

    As my fiancé is on a ban from elland road because of some king shit barnsley fan…. We couldn’t make today…. Needless to say we shed some tears, we also laid a shirt and scarf and i bought the blue away shirt with speed on the back….. The size of the tributes…. It shows how amazing our fans truly are! Gary speed you’ll never be forgotten!! RIP

  • Matthew

    What I saw today before today more than made up for the dodgy performances on the pitch before today. What a touching and moving event that occured today.

    Anyways back on the game subject, we needed that win. Now we can afford to lose a game and still be in the playoff spots,

    Things that made me happy today

    The Gary Speed stuff

    The Win

    Leicester losing.

    Things that will make me happy come end of season

    Nottingham Forest relegated

    Millwall relegated

    A playoff win securing promotion.

    Ken Bates selling the club

  • number1inyorkshire

    what a day at E R there will be quite a bit on FL SHOW tonight was talking to clem early on so might be worth watching ..

    LEEDS AND LEEDS FANS should be proud tonight what a tribute to one of our own the noise just got louder and louder .

    good performance too, i thought unlike some we did alright in 1st half without scoring not that their keeper has a lot to do but we were the better side ..

    second half was much improved what a free kick from snodders and a good header too .their keeper made some good saves in the second half, 2-3 at least ..

    becchio is out of sorts and should have played snodders through for his hatrick ..

    Lloyd Sam had his best game for us today not man of the match but much improved playing on the right is his best position..

    snodders ,white ,lees,sam kisnorbo and conolly all had good games, pugh was my man of the match as he played in 3 positions ,i believe conolly was officially

    well done to all

  • Matthew

    By the way guys and gals, FA Cup 3rd Round draw tommorow, something to look forward too outside the league stuff, knowing our luck we’l get a top 6 premier league side, and if they’re using weighted balls again, Manchester United jk

  • EYLEEDS

    I guess we should also give the Millwall fans some credit for joining in the minutes applause.
    I can’t believe how much dignity Simon Grayson has shown this week. To hold himself together in front of the cameras and still manage to pull off two great results shows to me he is a class act.
    RIP Speedo

  • WIll23

    I raise my hat with respect to Simon Grayson for this past week.

    Given the background against which he has had to prepare the team for the two games in this hugely emotional week for both the players and fans, and not least for himself given his relationship to Speedo, there really cannot be enough said about how well he has conducted himself.

    “Two-nil for Speedo” we sang and this will be the headline, but Grayson was deserving of that result and he can be proud of himself and the team.

    Out of this period of deep sorrow, perhaps there will grow seeds of an unstoppable momentum that the players tap into with a rising sense of self-belief that promotion can be achieved. There were indeed hopeful signs today; reasons to have some degree of optimism for the rest of the season and what a more fitting tribute to Gary Speed than to be promoted. I am pleased to see Grayson confidently coming forward to say this is what the club should be aiming for this season. That expression of self-belief can be good for the squad and perhaps that showed today.

    I thought the players spirit today, never mind the result, was a tremendous way to honour our Speedo but also it demonstrates to the fans that the team want to achieve the big prize. Maybe there have been inspired by the life of Speed, the man and footballer.

    Finally, the crowd were fantastic today and despite the tragic circumstances, my personal “mojo” for the game has been lifted this week thanks to the fans. It would seem the same applies to Roberto Snodgrassio – glad to see him back fizzing around the pitch. Now, if only we had a decent song for him!

    Proud to be a Leeds fan.

    • TSS

      @WIll23 “Snoddy oi, Snoddy oi, Snoddy, Snoddy, Snoddy, oi, oi, oi” Agree, it’s dreadful. Possibly the worst song we’ve even come up with for any player.

      • Lufcbudda

        @TSS@WIll23 I wish people would sing my snoddy song! Snooooodgraaaass wherever you may be, you wear kilts in your home country. …

        • @Spanish_Leeds

          @TSS@WIll23 Olé Olé Olé. Olé Olé Olé OláOHHHHH Snodgrasssss!!!!!!!!!!!! Es un sentimiento, no puedo paraaaaar!!!!!

          (Its means: “Snodgrass is like a feeling, And I cant stop”) Very popular for teams & players in Argentina!, by the way, love the two songs…

      • @Spanish_Leeds

        @TSS@WIll23

    • Matthew

      @WIll23

      Negative aspect being Howson is injured, likely missing all of Decembers games, thankfully we’ve got shit teams coming up(Watford, Derby and hurr Barnsley) and one difficult one(Reading). Although the game and atmosphere was good today, we’re going to be weaker as a team and could be dropping points in our upcoming games.

      • Irving08

        @WIll23

        It will be interesting to see by how much we are weakened by the loss of Howson. I don’t think there are any **** teams in this Division. All three of the ones you name are capable of beating us. I thought Barnsley were a good side – far better than Milwall, for example who, on yesterday’s showing, appear to be going backwards. But they still have a top manager….

        • Matthew

          @Irving08@WIll23

          Matter of opinion and nothing more.

  • Irving08

    All in all an impressive and unforgettable day. Keogh – when he came on – again showed me why he should be picked ahead of any other front man – whatever the formation – not least for his intelligent interplay with Snoddy. Alone among our front men, he does not need more than one touch to bring the ball under control, while his fluency and finesse stand out in this Division. We must do everything we can to retain him for the second part of the season. With Clayton playing higher up the field, these three give us a winning triangle (assuming Howson is out for a little while). Could Pugh be the more defensive midfielder we need or does he have to play left back to release the marauding WhIte ? It is for getting such decisions right that Managers are rewarded, and similarly for having the conviction to persuade reluctant Chairmen to part with the cash needed to buy a player (Keogh) who, in my view, could make the difference as to whether we go up or not this season.

  • Colin

    Who took the captain’s armband when Jonny came off?

  • Tyler75

    SG often gets criticised on this forum for being tactically clueless. I thought yesterday he showed impressive tactical nous to open the game up once he’d lost two of his starting midfielders. Most of us would have brought on Nunez as a straight replacement for Howson but moving Snoddy into that position and having Sam on his natural right-side was inspired.

    This week the whole club, fans, players and not least the management, seem to have transformed tragedy into inspiration.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @Tyler75 he did you know and not before time TBH

    • Irving08

      @Tyler75

      Hmm I advocated Snoddy in the centre after Blackpool. I am not sure ‘most fans’ would have brought on Nunez – Sam is a good crosser and much more effective when palyed in hsi right position. Nunez ? – what is his role ? Still I agree SG does learn; my gripe is only that he tends to be reactive. However, he seems to be a lucky manager, and we should be thankful, I suppose, for that. Now I wonder if he will call back Bruce to play defensive midfield allowing Whitey to cause havoc on the centre left ?

  • Odie Curran

    A fitting tribute to a true Leeds legend.

  • Jerry Smith

    2 good performances this week on such a sombre week for the club, now lets get to the promised land and put the gary speed suite in the premiership.