Leeds United vs Watford: Honours even in a 6 goal thriller at Elland Road
The decibel levels increased as Mowatt took the corner. Bond came for the ball and missed and Smith thundered in from the back post but his header sailed inches over the bar. Adrenaline was surging through the Leeds team and fans alike as they battered the visitors back line with wave after wave of attacks that raised an earthy roar from deep in the bowels of Elland Road.
With just 5 minutes of the half gone got what they wanted. Ross Mac was the instigator as he found space on the right and crossed the ball into the box where Pugh came crashing onto the ball and lifted it high over Bond into the Watford net. A roar of epic proportions greeted the goal. Game on 2-1 Watford.
Watford wilted under the intense pressure from Leeds. Murphy Mowatt and Austen were greedily gobbling up anything that moved in midfield as Leeds smelt the fear in Watford’s play and went for the jugular like a Lioness stalking a lame Gazelle. Pelts set up Ross Mac with a lovely ball down the right, the Leeds goal machine clipped an inch perfect cross to the back post for Smith to thump his header into the net and Elland Road erupted in delirious celebration. 2-2. What a game!
Chances and shots now rained in on the Watford goal. Austin twice went near then Mowatt hit the bar before Smith had a shot saved. Leeds were on fire and despite the urinal philosopher’s prophet of doom Leeds definitely had more goals in them as they pushed for the winner. This was fantastic stuff.
Watford drew breath though and threatened the Leeds goal again on the break bringing a superb save from Kenny to keep the scores level. This was now an end to end game with both teams taking outrageous risks in looking for a winner. Austen seemed to be everywhere and Murphy was having his best game in a Leeds shirt as Leeds battled to pinch the winner.
On the 16th anniversary of Billy Bremner’s untimely death he would have relished a game like this and you could almost hear him cheering as Rudy crunched into yet another “firm but fair” tackle. Something had to give though in this thrilling contest.
With the crowd noise at fever pitch Luke Murphy won the ball in midfield and then put a delightful ball over the top of the defence into the path of Ross Mac who calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Bond in the Watford goal to make it an incredible 3-2 to the home side. A tidal wave of noise engulfed LS11 as the Leeds fans celebrated an epic comeback. With 79 minutes gone, there was still time for more goals though.
Most teams would have shut up shop and enjoyed a famous comeback win but the adrenaline driven surge continued as Leeds slugged it out toe to toe with Watford. Mowatt put Smith through with a sublime ball but the big striker had strayed inches offside. A 4th would have been greedy but it would also have settled the nerves as the game entered the final 5 minutes.
Suddenly a cavernous hole opened up in the Leeds midfield as tired legs took their toll. George Thorne picked up the ball and dragged his weary legs towards the Leeds goal before unleashing a fierce deflected shot that Kenny did well to save but Deeney reacted quickest to slot home the equaliser and break Leeds hearts. Bollox. 3.3.
There was still time for a winner in this enthralling game. Murphy dragged a left footed shot wide before Zakiulas made an incredible goal saving block in the final minute as Watford looked certain to pinch the winner. Final score 3.3 but what a game.
The smiles that Brian McD talked about earlier in the week were definitely on the faces of the fans as they streamed away from the ground. Murphy, Mowatt and Austen all performed well with Ross Mac having another 5 star performance up front. Smith is still work in progress but he was a hand full all afternoon and finished his goal well.
Probably the best game I’ve seen at Elland Road for a long time. Leeds are still not the finished article but if they continue in this vein there’s every chance we will be right in the mix come next May. Doncaster and Barnsley up next. If we can get a result in both of those games then we can start dreaming of a White Xmas and a strong promotion challenge in the new year. Delicious.