I made for me the shortish trip to Southampton on Saturday to watch Leeds hopefully gain more points in their push for promotion.
On a nice March afternoon with the sun on your back for a change, Leeds produced a performance that left you feeling cold.
Even a few pints in the Giddy Bridge before kick off (A pint of bitter was only £1.35) couldn`t make the performance of a large number of players in Leeds shirts look better through beer goggles.
Despite Leeds being under pressure for most of the first half he made just the one meaningful save and that was from distance.
Was well beaten when Puncheon hit the post, went wandering once and was bailed out by Hughes and not sure where he was for the goal.
Just got pipped to star man by Kisnorbo, was given a tough ride by Lallana in the first half but stuck to his guns. Switched to left back in the second half and kept Puncheon very quiet.
Did ok at the back but was probably made to look better than he was by Kisnorbo.
Kisnorbo 7 Star man
Thank god we had him at the back in the first half, won everything that came near him and managed to keep both Lambert and Barnard. A few wayward clearances cost him an 8.
White 4 (replaced 45 minutes)
Will probably not sleep tonight!
Was given a harsh lesson by Puncheon in the first half but wasn`t helped out by McSheffrey who failed to track back and help the youngster out.
As always does the hard graft in the middle which should allow the rest of the midfield to play, unfortunately someone needs to tell the rest of the midfield this.
If anyone knows where he is can they help him back to Leeds, went missing this afternoon at 3.01pm and hasn`t been seen since, might have a blond haired chap with him.
Huffed and puffed out wide, got back to help the defence but didn`t really see enough of the ball to cause Southampton problems. Thought he`s snatched a draw in the last minute of normal time but his effort flashed past the post.
McSheffrey 4 (substituted 62 minutes)
If you find Howson you might also stumble across McSheffrey, needed to help out defensively in the first half, gave White absolutely no support in defence. Not the first time since his arrival that he`s done this. Is he really better than Bradley Johnson on the left wing? I don`t think so.
Becchio 5 (Substituted 77 minutes)
Got absolutely nothing from the Southampton defence all afternoon, when even he isn`t winning balls in the air you know we are in trouble yet we continuously persisted with the long ball.
If Becchio isn`t winning headers then Beckford isn`t going to get close to winning one. Needed the ball at his feet, had one or two chances when played into his feet, so why did the defence and midfield continuously bombard them with the long ball.
Goes down far to easy when anyone goes near him and usually when he comes up against two strong defenders he goes missing.
Neither centre forward played well but the service to them was very poor.
Bromby 5 (46 minutes)
Came on to help stop the threat of Lallana and Puncheon and manage to keep both quiet who shared the second half down his side.
Kilkenny 6 (62 minutes)
Needed a player to try and control the midfield, bring the ball down and play it to feet, our game did improve after his introduction.
Gradel 3 (77 minutes)
Not sure whats happened to him since signing full time, not making any impact on the play like he was when he first arrived, he just seems interested in self destructing and could have quite easily have been red carded inside 60 seconds of arriving on the pitch. Nigel Pearson knew what he was doing when he wouldn`t allow us to take him on loan for the rest of the season.
We was second best to a very well organised, strong Southampton side who gave us no time on the ball in midfield. The two wide men ran us ragged and their central defenders were very impressive.
They have made three signings this year that I would have loved to have seen in a Leeds shirt today, Puncheon looks class on the wing, Barnard was quiet today but is scoring the goals and Fonte is well above League One standard.
How you managed to get that lad to drop down from the Championship to play in League One was a master stroke by someone at St Mary`s.
We have been lucky today by the fact that Charlton and Colchester lost but now Millwall have come into the reckoning and they will be well up for the clash at Elland Road in nine days time. May be a bold statement to make with nine games after it, but I think this game will decide who will fill the second automatic promotion spot this season.
I`ve now given up on the title, Norwich have somehow pinched all the luck we was having in the first half of the season and once again came from behind to win today.
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