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Leeds United 1-1 Southampton

Jesse Marsch’ Leeds United was searching for three wins on the bounce while hosting Southampton at Elland Road this Saturday.

Jack Harrison’s strike just shy of half an hour in was cancelled out by a stunning James Ward-Prowse free-kick leaving both teams settling for a draw. 

The contest started with the familiar high intensity that we’re used to seeing from United, Dan James won a corner to which Harrison delivered the ball to Diego Llorente whose header just drifted wide of the far post.

It wasn’t long before the Whites were back peppering the Saints’ goal with a plethora of chances that saw James and Harrison have their efforts narrowly kept out before Mateusz Klich eventually drifted a shot wide.

Fraser Forster had a busy 5 minutes when he was forced into a smart save first from Raphinha and then a couple of minutes later Dan James broke through the backline for the game’s best chance.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as the visitors broke through with Che Adams, he created some space down the right-hand side for teammate Mohamed Elyounoussi who forced the first save of the match for Leeds ‘keeper Illan Meslier. 

The ball did hit the back of the net shortly after however, Anthony Taylor blew his whistle before Jack Harrison’s finish as Rodrigo seemed to push Saints defender Bednarek during the buildup.

Harrison wouldn’t be denied the second bite of the cherry minutes later as a blunder from Forster saw him tap home from close range however the plaudits will go to Raphinha who danced his way to the byline to create the goal. 

Things weren’t plain sailing for the home side as Oriol Romeu created an opportunity which was taken by Che Adams making Meslier produce the save of the game getting down low to his left so impressively.

The sides went into the break creating a few half chances each however by the whistle, Marsch’s side was the ones in front. 

Shortly into the second half, the visitors were presented with a freekick 20 or so yards out and with one of the world’s best dead-ball specialists in their artillery, you could resonate with the anxiousness flooding through Elland road.

Saints enjoyed a spell in United’s half, pinning them back with a flurry of chances orchestrated by youngsters Tino Livramento and Armando Broja. 

Rodrigo and Raphinha were the two bright sparks hoping to get back Leeds back into the lead.

Marsch spoke out in a press conference and noted Joe Gelhart would have a bigger role in the first team moving forward and that was proven today as he was the new boss’ first change of the match. Gelhart isn’t a stranger to late winners as he has been heavily involved in two noticeably Wolves and Norwich both at Elland road. He came on to replace James.

It didn’t take long for Gelhart to get stuck in as he immediately created a chance to pull back a ball into the box. Eventually, Dallas forced a stretching save out of Forster.

The closer the game ticked to full time the scrappier the game became and despite 5 minutes of added time neither side was able to break the deadlock and things ended 1-1.

It was an important result for the Whites in their bid for survival and the draw sees them remain 16th with 30 points. As for the south coast outfit, they sit pretty in 11th with 36 points. Leeds have a must-win game up next as they travel to Hertfordshire to face Watford in a match that could decide the fate of either team.

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