Rodolph Austin produced yet another commanding display as Leeds eased into the third round of the Capital One cup with a straightforward 3-0 victory over League Two leaders Oxford United. Neil Warnock’s men were rarely troubled for the duration and can now look forward to Thursday’s third round draw, where a potential tie against one of the Premier League elite (or possibly even Norwich) awaits.

In true League Cup tradition, the starting eleven could have been described as a ‘weakened line-up’, with six changes from the team who scraped past Peterborough on Saturday. In came the likes of Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown and Gray, whilst Becchio, McCormack et al adorned a strong looking bench. This was an opportunity for the manager to assess his back-up players ahead of Friday’s looming transfer deadline.

As has become Elland Road commonplace, the away team took the early initiative. The newly formed defensive partnership of Kisnorbo and Pearce looked decidedly unstable during the opening 10 minutes – fortunately, the back four would solidify as the match progressed. For all of their initial fervour, Oxford wilted fast.

The opening goal came after 25 minutes, with the already-legendary Austin firing in a powerful low shot from 20 yards. Despite it being his first ever Leeds goal it was undoubtedly a typical Austin strike, full of supremacy, gusto and uncompromising vigour. From that moment on, the Jamaican’s confidence and influence skyrocketed as he dominated the match.

As the first goal settled any lingering nerves, the second goal settled the match as a contest. If Austin’s first Leeds goal was indicative of his playing style, then Sam Byram’s first Leeds goal whetted the appetite for what the youngster’s career has in store. Byram dodged his way into the Oxford penalty area before producing a finish worthy of Andrea Pirlo, dinking the ball over the hapless visiting goalkeeper.

The second half brought further domination, and Leeds could quite feasibly have won by 6. El Hadji Diouf showed a touch of quality up front, Aidy White began to terrorise on the flanks and Austin continued his mission to prove that he could beat Oxford all on his own. Shots rained in on the away team’s goal, with Byram volleying over from a pinpoint Diouf cross and Austin striking the crossbar from range. At the other end, a defence missing captain Peltier and keeper Kenny was proving itself adept in their absence, comfortably securing a third consecutive home clean-sheet.

A fully deserved third goal was scored by Tom Lees with 15 minutes to go, as he nodded in a telling right-wing Diouf cross.

If the manager has learnt anything from this match, it is that he has adequate replacements in some areas but not in others. Ashdown looked safe in goal and Kisnorbo appeared to have rediscovered some of the form that once made him a crowd favourite. In attack, however, Andy Gray was completely anonymous from start to finish and it is this which must worry Warnock the most. This team requires more attacking options, especially if Diouf’s contract is left unsigned.


Many thanks to those of you who entered my ‘predict the score’ competition on Twitter. The closest guess came from Jordan Armitage (@Jordan_Armo) who correctly predicted a 3-0 win and also foresaw goals from Austin and Byram. Send your predictions (including goalscorers) for the Blackburn match to me @Matt_K_Burton for the chance to be mentioned in the match report.

32 Responses

  1. Melvyn Burton

    I still think the problem with Grey was that he got no service and that his partnership with Diouf just didn’t work; they didn’t play off each other like you’d normally expect a front two to do. He did a lot of running,closing down Oxford defenders, which made up for Diouf’s lack of running and pace of any kind. Diouf did make a good contribution to the game but reaching a speed in access of a steady jog, wasn’t part of it.

    • topvalleywhite

      i agree, most of them played well, you’ll never get all 11 but the signs are good, bit of cream on top would be nice but i think we’ll give most teams a game, Blackpool will run away with it but 2nds up for grabs

  2. Martin Badger Chadwick

    listened to the match on yorkshire radio last night and was impressed with our weakened side for the majority but am franticly scouring the night for the goals from last night as i dont wanna wait till tomorrow to see them and refuse to put a penny in bates pocket by paying for lutv can anybody help at all?

  3. Derbyshire White

    If the plan for last night was to give Varney a rest, Byram and White a run out and then have these two on the bench on Saturday I hope the manager is having a rethink. Both grew in confidence and looked very comfortable in midfield. Never mind Andy Gray, let’s have a longer look at Poleon.

  4. TSS

    3 very good goals, especially Byram’s, it takes great confidence to attempt something like that.

    • Colin

      It was a very smart move signing him up on a 3 year contract earlier this month. Early days yet, but he looks like he could be a real quality player in the future.

  5. mrbigwheels

    The match will have given Warnock cause to think on individual performances and possible future positioning… Rudy, Byram, Poleon, Varney, White and hopefully Drury staying at LB.
    As to EDF… will he/won’t he?. I suggest Warnock is being very clever with the PR and easing him into hearts and minds reference his skills and come on… we do need him on side in the present situation. More useful team gelling and another win with good goals.

  6. henrymouni

    Did anyone listen to the phone in after last nights game?
    A couple of fans politely tried to bring up the farce of a takeover,
    and the weak depth of the squad.
    They were jumped on by Eddie and Mike somebody.
    “We are here to talk about the match and nothing else.”
    It was as if they did not realise/care that this is the No1 concern on all of our minds!!!
    Calls will be filtered/controlled even more now – like the e-mails – are they real??
    Eddie said the squad looked good/playing well, contradicting what he says when watching and discussing the team on LUTV!
    He has said that we are not playing well, and humping the ball upfield etc etc.
    It was so annoying!!

    • Matthew

      Its ridiculus for them to attack people speaking about the takeover, for one this Oxford game meant absolutely nothing. We were always going to win this game, what more do you need to say? Put a first team on and win this game by 5 or 6, or put a 2nd string side with a few regulars and get this result.
      There was nothing spectacular to say beyond some of our youth players doing well. I mean come the fuck on, what do Eddie and MIke expect? We weren’t playing a good team, nor a team we could all ring up and say FUCK YEAH WE WON, WE BEAT THE SCUM AGAIN.

      • Irving08

        For information, they did not attack anybody; they just politely said that they did not want to discuss the takeover. And it does not do to belittle the win: we have lost against teams like Oxford in this competiton before. As for Man United being the yardstick, please get over this obsession: it only diminishes us.

      • henrymouni

        It was a fans phone-in.
        The takeover has taken us all over!!
        It was a good win!
        They would not allow the question, politely or not.
        LUTV and Yorkshire Radio are an embarrassment to us all – or should be.

      • Matthew

        He speaks like I’m not aware of our losses to teams such as Histon, fact remains we were always going to win this game, losing was never in doubt. There wasn’t much you could speak about in that regard.
        And what are you talking about, yardstick? I was pointing out rather bluntly that we didn’t beat anyone worth shouting about, had we won against a team like Scum, Chelsea, etc then yes, that would be worth ringing up for just to go aw hell yeah we beat the beeps.
        And I agree henymouni, my top 2 paragraphs were aimed at Irving. This at you. The takeover is an important issue, Bates should just sign already.

      • topvalleywhite

        always goping to win, did you see some of the results last night, it was a good win and it proved beyond doubt theres more than the starting 11, a couple didnt play well but they will next time, its what warnock expects, we’ve a good side enjoy it, if the take over happens it happens, support the team, ignore Bates

      • henrymouni

        To ignore Bates you have to ignore the club – they are one and the same.
        Oxford are in Division 2 – the old 4th Division.
        If we had lost it would have been a ‘shock result’.
        Against teams in our division we are mid table only.
        We don’t want another crap season.
        A chunk of the fans money goes to pay off Bates personal debts, and loans for Leeds United folly’s.

      • Irving08

        Surely, it is too early to say how we will measure up this season.
        I think we have no alternative but to ignore Bates and just get on with the challenge of helping the team possibly punch above its weight.
        Bates is going sooner rather than later, but the hard truth is that he, not us will decide when this is.
        It is difficult to envisage his using our money to build yet more follies(though new owners might not view them that way).
        So let’s try to get as much positive as we can out of the present situation: in my view, there is quite lot to be positive about, not least NW.

      • Matthew

        Ignore Ken Bates? Hahaha.. Are you for real? He has screwed this football club at any and every chance he could get. Do you love Leeds? Because if you did, you would be quite frankly as pissed off as the rest of us. No one wants Bates, not those at games, not those who comment on here. Infact this websites very own admin TSS would be over the moon too if Bates left. He hates Bates as much as 99.99999999 percent of fans.
        Infact if news broke of Bates dying of old age, it’d be like Christmas come early.

      • TimPM

        Sad to say given I don’t like the way some Labour folk act towards Thatcher, I feel the same way about our very own “Stalin” (steel) Chairman ——————

      • Irving08

        Mathew, as the lady said, what’s love got to do with it ?

      • Matthew

        You can’t ignore Bates, thats the thing. Bates has run this football club into the ground.
        We’d still have a manager called Simon Grayson had he not had his best players sold from under him with no money for any replacements of quality. We’ve been a patchwork team for a while now and no one, no one can deny that. Grayson, Warnock, anyone under Bates has had to try and patch pretty big holes left by quality players sold by Ken Bates.
        I support this team, with my money and with my voice. And my comments on the internet. I do what I can. And I don’t dress over the obvious faults.
        Either way, it has reached a point where Bates simply can’t be ignored, he has to leave.
        Apoligies for not rating Oxford, they are not a good team and although they gave a good effort yesterday, they lost. End of story.

      • topvalleywhite

        Given your view of football why waste nine months lets give man city the title and the rest of us will shuffle into an orderly que based on who you think will obviously beat someone else, why not just admit, our threadbare squad stood 6 changes and still easily beat a potential banana skin. My wife can tell you how much money I’ve lost on games we obviously should of won

      • Colin

        Man City will win the title. That’s obvious. Man United don’t have a defence. Chelsea will be their biggest threat.

      • Matthew

        My view of football? The f you talking about? My not rating Oxford and fully expecting us to win has nothing to do with what you’re talking about. I’m fully aware of the squad situation, infact had Warnock announced he was putting the starting 11 from the Youth team on instead to face Oxford, I would fully expect a win from us. Not my fault your predictions suck, and you’ve lost money on bets being overly optimistic.
        Infact on Saturday I’ll be sat there watching a game of football thinking we’l probably lose or draw this. Infact I’m not expecting us to beat Blackburn. I thought this long before they bought Rhodes too. I would be happy with 6-9 points from our next 4 games as they are all against solid sides.

      • Irving08

        I am puzzled why you are wiling to see our club automatically sold to owners about whom we know absolutely nothing.
        We should stand aside from the process and not disarm ourselves in advance by conferring legitimacy on the new owners.
        Furthermore, it is somewhat contradictory to paint Bates as a ‘villain’, on the one hand, and yet trust him to find ‘good’ owners on the other.
        A win against anyone for a club as demoralised as ours was last season is something to be applauded.

      • Irving08

        Unless we are to be given the full lowdown on the group of people who want to take us over, we should detach ourselves from the process. It is not in our itnerests to giv eeven our tacit consent to being owned by people of whom we know nothing. We may not be going anywhere with Bates, but at least we have the measure of him. As for YR, I think Eddie Gray often speaks a lot of sense. LUCTV ? – never heard of it !

      • henrymouni

        I like Eddie Gray too.
        He does speak sense, and never gets carried away if we win or down if we lose.
        He looks more at performance than results, to gauge our real progress.
        Even with the Wolves win he said that we won with endeavour rather than flowing football.
        I think we were able to detach ourselves from the takeover for a time, but it has gone on so long that fans are confused and depressed.
        Personally I have never really believed it would happen.
        I suppose because KB is involved, you are bracing yourself for disappointment.
        Remember when Radio Leeds were quoting to keep coverage, against Yorkshire radio. One of KB’s many fiasco’s.
        Surprise – Yorkshire radio won!!!!
        Since then fans, outside Yorkshire Radio’s small transmission area, have to pay LUTV to listen to commentary, and the sterilised phone in.
        No passion allowed!
        You may have ‘the measure of Bates’ but I don’t.
        I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what he is doing,
        or thinking, or feeling.

    • Colin

      Yorkshire Radio is a tin pot station run on the cheap (sound familiar?). What does anyone expect? Does anyone actually listen to any other programmes on YR? I don’t.
      If it wasn’t for Eddie Gray, it would be an awful listen.
      The pre season commentary from Kirwin & Paul Dews was embarrassingly bad.
      Thom Kirwin is okay but he’s nowhere near as good as Adam Pope who used to commentate on Leeds games on BBC Radio Leeds with Eddie.

  7. oldschoolbaby

    Diouf seems to think his role in the team is to hang on to the ball until he wins a foul and dominate the taking of set pieces, all of which he does at an amble. Although it annoys me to concede the point that role has some value.
    Byram`s development is proving extremely interesting, I`m starting to envisage him as a Beckenbauer. Disappointed Poleon didn`t get the entire second half

  8. chareose

    shame Byram didnt appear last season as i think he is a season away from starting to crack the first team…..him an Austin look to be the future. We need a loaned attacking player or two to give us a chance of promotion.
    As for takeover im again questioning whether its real or not…..

  9. chareose

    I think the most interesting thing that came out of the Oxford game is Austins best role……. If norris plays Austin sits back which for me is a waste of his obvious talents….. Im sure there is is more to come from norris but i imagine that Warnock is wondering if it may be better for the team to have Austin free to push forwards


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