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A Vital Victory Over Relegation Rivals – What We Learned from Leeds United vs Southampton

Javi Gracia is a major Leeds United talking point

Javi Gracia has gotten through his first relegation six-pointer at Elland Road, and the win is sure to help with the nerves around the club. See Last Word on Football’s Leeds United talking points for the Premier League clash with Southampton, and what Whites fans can expect to see from the club for the rest of the season.

Leeds United Talking Points vs Southampton

Javi Gracia is Making a Difference

Javi Gracia’s arrival at Elland Road was marked by a swift change in tactics. The incredibly narrow and stifling football of Jesse Marsch is no more, with the Spaniard’s arrival bringing a transition to greater width. Willy Gnonto shone as always, but Jack Harrison’s return to form along with the emergence of Junior Firpo shows that the new manager will make the most of the club’s portfolio of wide players.

Having more players hug the touchline brings even further benefits, being more space in the middle of the pitch. Patrick Bamford and Brenden Aaronson both had great performances thanks to the amount of space they had to play their game. It might have only been a 1-0 victory, but it could have been more given the chances the Whites created.

Intricate and Exciting Football

In the warmup before the match, the squad were doing what looked like simple training drills. This included a short passing sequence that ended with a shot. Working on more complex football and interplay meant that the attacking play was a lot more intricate than under Jesse Marsch. A lot was at stake in this match, and the positive performance is ideally the first step to attacking football that keeps the Whites up.

There is a Focus on Defence

Elland Road was a cauldron of a ground for the Southampton match, with the atmosphere on a knife edge. Things needed to go right, as the team losing the crowd could put the players off. Max Wober and Robin Koch were incredibly solid in this match, and if there were any errors, Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo did plenty of tracking back. Illan Meslier faced only two shots on target, both of which were fairly simple to deal with, which proves the more solid nature of Gracia’s Leeds.

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