Leeds United v Crewe Alexandra 2nd round Carabao Cup 24th August 2021 at Elland Road

Crewe Alexandra Carabao Cup 2nd round 24.8.21

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It was a warm and pleasant evening as I set off in plenty of time for the game tonight. Saturday had seen lots of issues traffic wise, so I wanted to avoid any potential hold ups. It was lovely in the Peacock Garden and before the game, it was good to catch up with a few lifelong friends. There were lots of younger children at the game tonight which was lovely to see and there was a buzz around the ground.

Team: Meslier, Phillips (Captain), Llorente (making his comeback after injury), Firpo, Struijk, Roberts, Costa, Rodrigo, Forshaw (returning to first team from injury since 2019), Shackleton and Harrison.

Subs: Ayling for Llorente (45), Klich for Forshaw (61), Bamford for Rodrigo (69).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Summerville, Dallas.

Leeds won the game 3-0 with Phillips (79) and Harrison with a brace (85, 90) scoring the goals.

Attendance: 34,154 with 1,494 Crewe fans.

Referee: Benjamin Speedie.

Booked: No Leeds players.

Bielsa named a strong side for the game today which was good to see. Having a good cup run breeds winning and confidence for me and something I would like to see again. There was a good atmosphere in the ground as Leeds saw Forshaw’s shot saved by the keeper in front of the South Stand. With the Crewe defence holding firm, a good free kick from Phillips saw them clear a Llorente header off the line before the keeper saved another shot from Harrison. Leeds had been on top for most of the half but had been unable to get that breakthrough goal so far. Rodrigo’s shot was blocked before another chance just before half time saw Firpo’s shot hit the outside of the post.

Ayling was brought on at half-time to replace Llorente who had been given a good 45-minute workout and Forshaw had a further 15 minutes before being subbed. Roberts was then denied a goal with another clearance off the line. With Crewe having a rare attack that saw Meslier make the save, he looked to be very confident in his area. Bamford came on for Rodrigo as Leeds upped their game. With attack after attack which saw them constantly passing the ball, with the fans shouting for them to shoot, we needed that clinical finish to avoid the game going to penalties after 90 minutes. Bamford was on fire and looked so confident, showing that the 5-year contract extension was the right decision. Leeds took the lead from a Harrison corner where Phillips hit a low shot into the net. After a great run from Bamford, he calmly passed the ball to Harrison in lots of space who hit the ball into the net to give Leeds a second goal. Bamford was instrumental with a third goal shortly afterwards, with Roberts denied a goal but Harrison followed up to get his second goal of the game.

Bamford coming on as sub had changed the game and the fitness of the team told in the end. The Crewe fans could be heard chanting for their team at the end of the game which I thought was good. With them returning some tickets, it meant that Leeds had sold the lower part of the stand to our fans. With the team clapping the fans as they walked around the pitch at the end of the game, it was noticeable that Costa had gone straight down the tunnel and not joined them. My thoughts were, is he going out on loan before the transfer deadline as that has been rumoured? Although he had put some great runs in down the wing, his final finishing was poor. We’ll find out soon enough.

Having been messaged to appear on BBC Radio 5 Live after the game, I found out that I’d been stood up as they decided that Mbappe moving on was more newsworthy. Never mind. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get away from the ground as I was back home by 10.30pm. Despite that, I kept falling asleep whilst trying to type my blog up but that was due to not sleeping well the night before. It had been a good game of football despite not scoring until very late but once we got one, that opened the floodgates. The fans had been in good voice and showed how much fans being at games had been missed. Back to league action on Sunday with our trip to Burnley so see you there, LUFC – Marching on Together!