Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Albion 1-0 Leeds United, Championship, February 11 2014

A bus to the ground and bemused texts from those without blue and white veins trying to negotiate the station can only mean Leeds are visiting. Our original swashbuckling Spaniard (in place of the injured Bruno) is the only change from the Donny game, so it’s unsurprising to see the first half head much the same way as Saturday, with Orlandi and March among those to lump shots into the away end.

The second half, as an ITV commentator might have it, proves more industrial – we seem to re-emerge intent on matching their physicality.

Maybe it’s designed as a trick, because a few minutes later Oscar slings LuaLua down the left in place of Rodney. Kaz promptly leaves a couple of hapless markers with double-knotted blood and, in an unexpected twist, manages to find Ulloa with a cross, who appears to half-shank it into the far corner with the outside of his foot.

Buckley returns (and almost scores) and the defence seems to have self-healed since the Watford game, although during the final few minutes we revert to type and offer them a succession of attacks and corners.

The result stops Leeds, who bring 2,000 angels with them, from leapfrogging us and puts us to within a point of the play-offs – bad news for their manager, Brian McDermott, whose crazed Italian would-be chairman didn’t stick to his threat to turn up at the ground but presumably will try to sack him if he takes hold of the world’s angriest club. Ince also looks increasingly like our best arrival from Chelsea since little Leon and little Liam.

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