Steve Morison scored his first goal in a Leeds United shirt as Blackpool were defeated 2-0 at Elland Road. Not only did the Whites take the spoils, but a confident and exhilarating performance thoroughly entertained the crowd of 25,000 (an inflated midweek attendance due to GFH’s much welcomed reduced prices for the match).
The win takes Neil Warnock’s men back to within 6 points of the play-off positions, with a game in hand over the side currently in sixth position. The unlikely scenario still seems a pipedream, but if Leeds can unearth a level of consistency and replicate this manner of performance away from Elland Road, then there is still a glimmer of Premier League glitz on the horizon come August.
Despite being goalless, the first half was an enjoyable one in which the away side were fortunate to end all square. Leeds’ front three of Morison, Ross McCormack and Luke Varney continually terrorised the Tangerines’ back line.
Varney continues to rewrite his end of season review, refurbishing the interior of his critics’ opinions with another industrious showing.
The clearest openings of the first period fell to Morison who had a shot well saved, and McCormack who volleyed narrowly wide.
At the other end, Blackpool were dangerous on the break. Tom Ince (son of his new manager, Paul), Matt Phillips and Ludovic Sylvestre all had shots beaten away by Paddy Kenny. The save from Sylvestre’s long-ranger was particularly notable as Kenny produced a solid showing between the sticks.
The second half began with a brief and unusual period of pressure from the away side, before Leeds broke and Varney saw a shot clip the post.
Shortly after, Leeds gained a thoroughly deserved lead. A corner from the right found its way through the cluster of bodies in the penalty area and was fired into the bottom corner by David Norris from 12 yards.
The second arrived just minutes later. Encouraging build up play took the ball into the Blackpool penalty area, and the ball fortunately broke to Morison in acres of space. Leeds’ new number 9 sent the keeper the wrong way and lofted the ball in at the near post to herald the arrival of a new striker for the Revie End faithful to lavish with love.
Leeds saw the game out with consummate ease, breathing new life into a faltering season.
Many thanks to those who entered my ‘predict the score’ competition on Twitter. The closest guess came from Steve Gaughan (@s90rny) who correctly predicted a 2-0 victory. Send me your predictions for the next home match to @Matt_K_Burton