Leeds United U21’s kicked of their season in rampant style.
The Premier League 2 Division 2 got underway for the Under-21s as they took on Derby County Under-21s at Pride Park Stadium. Spaniard Mateo Joseph netted four times in an impressive 2-5 victory. Leeds raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 28 minutes, with a new look side featuring Dan James. He is suspended for the season opener against Wolves but had asked to be included to keep up his match sharpness and he didn’t disappoint. Creating Joseph’s first with good work in the middle and a perfectly waited through ball for the youngster to notch early in the game. Shortly after, Joseph had his second, as he was the quickest to react to Derby goalkeeper Harry Evans parry, to nod home for the brace. He completed his hat-trick just after from the penalty spot after Archie Gray had been fouled in the area.
Leeds were made to feel anxious though, conceding two goals in quick succession. Osazee Aghatise was credited with both goals, although there was a hint of an own goal for the first from Kris Moore. Leeds again took control of the match when Sonny Perkins swivelled in the six yard box to slot home after the keeper had fumbled, to make it 2-4.
𝗙𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥 𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘!#LUFC U21s defeat Derby 5-2 at Pride Park, as Joseph scores four, whilst Perkins grabs a debut goal
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 5, 2022
Mateo Joseph nodded in a fifth for Leeds and his fourth of the night after Sean McGurk’s free-kick was headed back across goal by Kris Moore. It was a convincing performance under new head coach Michael Skubala, and he was very pleased with his team’s efforts at full time, heaping praise on four-goal teenager Mateo Joseph in particular. He said “What an athlete Mateo is and what a kid he is, first of all, what a human being he is. He works so hard, If I’m watching as a fan, I’m thinking wow, you know, I want him in the team.”
Leeds were on the front foot for most of the game, pressing Derby into difficult areas of the pitch and forcing them to concede possession on many occasions. The win puts Leeds at the top of the table in what was a perfect start for Skubala and his players. The Leeds fans will be hoping the senior team can replicate the result in their season opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 6th August.
What do fans think of the U21’s performance? Let us know in the comments.
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