Here is what our YEP Jury had to say on the weekend win at The Den including a slice of Leeds history, the team’s potential and a particularly ‘quality’ Whites addition.
A very satisfying performance. We are starting to gel. Aspects previously missing are there for all to see. Quality finishing – three shots on target, three goals – game management and, dare I say it, decent refereeing in the hotbed of hotbeds.
The first 15 minutes were always going to be tough – and they were, with uncertainty rife in our defence, especially with Illan Meslier and Pascal Struijk – but scoring after 15 minutes put us in control and composure increased in defence where Sam Bryam was excellent and made use of his experience.
And what a team goal. It was great to see Georginio Rutter being unselfish for goals one and two, and what a composed finish for goal three. A centre-forward’s performance.
Joel Piroe looks absolute quality. And, when the relentless effort of our wingers starts to wain, we put on quality replacements. I feel there is more to come as the team bonds together and new signings slot in. Never has a game at Millwall been so fruitful both in result and promise for the remainder of the season. A repeat at Hull on Wednesday would be nice.
Man of the match: Sam Bryam
Three points, three goals and a clean sheet? Not many Leeds fans would have been bold enough to place that wager ahead of kick off but this was the complete performance from Daniel Farke’s men.
In the five previous games we wondered when things would click, with United having scored and conceded in equal quantities. As hoped, it seems that the international break gave Farke the time to work on the finer tactics within his squad. The combination play between Rutter, Gnonto, Summerville and Piroe was excellent throughout, particularly on the break.
Meanwhile, the defence was also outstanding after resisting some early Millwall pressure. On previous trips to The Den, Leeds have been used to buckling under that pressure. But Farke has given his players a sense of confidence, which will be crucial in this long Championship campaign. It was important that Leeds picked up the win here after a sluggish start. Let’s hope they can maintain this form.
Man of the match: Georginio Rutter
The first steps the ‘new’ squad takes may take time but once it clicks all can see, especially in attack, how good this Leeds United team could be. The 3-0 beating of Millwall was thoroughly deserved and brought an end to a winless run that stretched back to 2012. Daniel Farke brought back Sam Byram into the starting XI; Jamie Shackleton was unluckily to drop to the bench after some good displays when called upon recently.
Leeds were up against it for the first 15 minutes but, against the run of play, they opened the scoring, Willy Gnonto and Georginio Rutter making the chance for Joel Piroe to finish superbly. Millwall, being at home, tried their best to get back into the game but Joe Rodon and his fellow defenders stood firm and, when they did get behind, Illan Meslier dealt with their efforts.
Leeds got further ahead in the second half when Piroe scored his second and Georginio ended the game with a good finish with less than 10 to go. It was a feisty affair, as always, with Millwall trying to wind up their opponents but they didn’t get not much change out of the Leeds players. A good, if not great, win and back-to-back away victories is a good springboard to take into midweek at Hull City.
Man of the match: Ethan Ampadu.
Not since the days of Robert Snodgrass, Ross McCormack and Old Mother Warnock have United won at Millwall.
The gullible used to comfort themselves with the dreaded London Curse and similar nonsense as the run of poor results continued. On Sunday, apart from their awful but ultimately quiet fans, Millwall had little to offer.
Apart from the first 15 minutes or so when they looked like an over-confident five-year-old squaring up to his indulgent dad, the Lions stuttered and spluttered and eventually capitulated to a superior Leeds side.
The Whites shone in every department and delivered a performance that was almost complete. Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter shone in attack and looked impressive but this was a team performance with both the midfield and defence being immaculate.
You felt that the well-taken Piroe goal on 15 minutes wouldn't be enough but he added another 13 minutes before the end and Rutter finished the Lions off six minutes later as substitute Dan James set him up with a stumbling cross after speeding away on the right. In a word – impressive.
Man of the match: Ethan Ampadu.
What a pity we didn’t have this side last season… we might have stayed up! But that’s in the past, the present is looking better each game. I’m still to see another side any better than Leeds in the six we’ve played to date but now we’re turning superiority into goals.
Millwall came at us hard for 15 minutes, albeit without causing us much worry but once we grabbed the lead we dominated much as we’ve done in most games. The difference this time, as at Ipswich was a) we showed class in front of goal and b) Millwall’s defence gave us a bit of a hand.
The first goal had echoes of Bielsaball as we moved the ball forward and the dancing feet of first Georginio and then Joel Piroe finished in style. Everyone played a part, though, none less than Illan Meslier who made two important saves either side of the break.
The better we play the luckier we get too as Dan James’ stumble and miss fell perfectly for Piroe to score the second and then Dan’s cross took just enough of a deflection off one defender to elude a second and Georginio finished again clinically.
Man of the Match: Crysencio Summerville.