Sat Feb 26th. 2011. Swansea City 3-0 Leeds United. 01 Schmeichel, 04 Bruce, 20 Lichaj, 29 McCartneyParker 73) 40 O’Brien, 07 Gradel, 08 Kilkenny, 14 Howson, 10 Becchio (Watt 61) 23 Snodgrass (Paynter 73) 27 Somma. Unused Substitutes : 09 Paynter, 18 Watt. Swansea City clinically enhanced their Premier League promotion credentials as a Scott Sinclair double inspired a crushing win over rivals Leeds United. Sinclair finished a flowing move to fire the Swans in front, converting Luke Moore’s lovely back-heel. Leeds had a penalty appeal rejected but Sinclair’s 21st this season came from the spot after the impressive Nathan Dyer was brought down by Max Gradel. Moore added a third as second-placed Swansea won their fourth in a row. And their best league run for three years seems to be coming at a perfect time for Brendan Rodgers’ men as they hunt promotion from the Championship. Swansea’s impressive home triumph in front of a record Liberty Stadium crowd of 19,309 was a statement of intent from an in-form team that hopes for a top-flight return after a 28-year absence. Swansea dominated both territory and possession in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and recalled striker Stephen Dobbie was a lick of paint away from scoring in successive games early on. Dyer, arguably man of the match in his 100th Swansea appearance, jinked down the Swansea right, cut the ball back for Dobbie but the Scottish striker’s close-range effort rattled Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel’s near post. Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers hails his ‘outstanding’ team . But Schmeichel could do nothing to stop Sinclair’s beautifully-worked opener halfway through the first-half. Left-back Neil Taylor burst forward, fed Sinclair and the former Chelsea winger skipped past two defenders and seemed to lose the ball. But the ball ricocheted to Swans striker Moore whose deft back-heel fell right into Sinclair’s path and Swansea’s top-scorer’s finish was emphatic. The diminutive Dyer was giving Leeds left-back George McCartney a torrid time and the Swans winger, who beat Bruce for pace, stung Schmeichel’s hands with a rasping, low drive. Then from Mark Gower’s resulting corner, Leeds again needed a goal-line clearance from a Dyer effort – this time Jonathan Howson was on hand to hack the ball off the line. Ashley Williams then went close for the hosts as the Wales defender header over from another dangerous Gower corner. Leeds, who had only lost once in their previous 20 games, had not been in the game until Davide Somma gave the hosts a warning that the Yorkshire side were still in the game. The recalled South African striker leapt above a statuesque Swans defence to head Neil Kilkenny’s free-kick goal-wards and home keeper Dorus de Vries had to be alert to tip Somma’s header onto the crossbar and over. The Welsh team were then lucky not to concede a penalty at the end of the second-half when Robert Snodgrass’ 20-yard strike hit the left arm of Swans captain Alan Tate. But referee Phil Dowd waved away any Leeds protests despite television replays that showed Snodgrass’ effort hitting defender Tate’s arm.Dowd, however, had no doubts awarding Swansea a penalty ten minutes into the second-half. Dyer’s dash into the box was curtailed by Max Gradel as the Leeds midfielder sent him crashing to the ground just inside the penalty area. Sinclair stepped up to cooly slide in his 21st goal of the season, slipping the ball to Schmeichel’s right and sending the Danish goalie the wrong way to secure the three points. Swansea eased into cruise control as they extended their championship best statistic of claiming an unrivalled 52 points from games in which they have taken the lead – and Gower almost added to that advantage. But the Swans midfielder’s 25-yard curling free-kick before the hour mark cracked the bottom of Schmeichel’s left-hand post. Moore completed the rout with his second goal in a week after the former Aston Villa striker raced onto Dobbie’s beautiful reverse pass – following another Dyer burst towards the box – and Swansea’s January signing dinked the ball over the on-rushing Schmeichel to score. Substitute Sanchez Watt and Somma should have both scored a Leeds consolation – the latter firing over when put through one-on-one with Swans stopper De Vries. But Simon Grayson’s men failed to score for the first time since November and suffered their second loss in 21 league games – both, perhaps coincidentally, in south Wales following their January defeat at promotion rivals Cardiff. Swans boss Rodgers will also be pleased with a third successive clean sheet – their 17th shut-out this season – as the Championship’s top-scorers were kept at bay as their 47-year winless run in Swansea continued. Grayson said: “I thought we were poor from start to finish. Swansea were very good, they passed the ball around, closed us down well and we didn’t impose our own game. We were lacklustre and we gave away possession very cheaply. “But, in saying that, I thought we should create some half-decent chances. At 1-0, we hit the bar and then had a blatant penalty turned down. It wasn’t given and it was a massive turning point in the game. “No matter how poorly we played if we scored the penalty, at 1-1 then we are right back in the game. It could have been the spark and lifeline we needed and how the officials missed it I do not know.”But, overall we probably got what we deserved out of the game and that was a defeat. “Swansea are a good team and we knew it would be tough. Things didn’t go for us but we have always reacted well from defeats this season.”Brendan Rodgers : He said: “I’m proud of the players. It was a wonderful performance and great result. “I like winning games but I also want to do it in style. “Some of our play and invention was fantastic against a very good side going forward. “Leeds have scored the most amount of goals in this league so to restrict them to just one shot on target showed our superiority in the game. “We started really well and I believe the best teams do that. They start quick and finish strong. “The first goal was terrific. It was a marvellous pass from goalkeeper Dorus de Vries and he is like an outfield player. “All our offensive players were excellent but Nathan Dyer produced a brilliant piece of skill for the second goal and the third one was a wonderful team goal. We are happy. “It’s three points and it’s what we want from a game. Three points, clean sheet and the fans go home happy.”

 On another day Leeds would have has stone wall penalty which may or may not have changed the game. Phil Dowd not for the first time displeased United fans with his decisions (he handled our match at the Emirates) as three out of our back for were booked before half time. Somma could and should have scored two. But you can’t continue to give soft goals away. McCartney is poor and O’Brien/Bruce partnership is made of chipboard instead of concrete. Once gain we lack a holding player in midfield, as Howson and a poor Kilkenny were continually up against three in the middle. We are looking over our shoulders now instead of looking ahead. 

Tues 22nd of February 2011. Leeds 3-3 Barnsley. 01 Schmeichel, 04 Bruce, 20 Lichaj, 29 McCartney, 40 O’Brien, 07 Gradel, 08 Kilkenny, 14 Howson, 16 Johnson, 10 Becchio (Somma 66) 23 Snodgrass (Watt 66) Unused Substitutes : 12 Higgs, 26 Bromby, 27 Somma, 44 McCormack. A late Kieran Trippier leveller earned a Barnsley side, who twice came from behind, a point against 10-man Leeds. The Tykes had taken the lead when Jason Shackell powered in a shot but Luciano Becchio’s header evened things up. A controversial penalty by Max Gradel put Leeds ahead only for Matt Hill to slot in to haul the visitors level. Despite Leeds losing Bradley Johnson to a second yellow card, Gradel restored their lead before Trippier’s 25-yard free-kick meant the spoils were shared. The home side will be left ruing a setback to their promotion hopes while Barnsley will be pleased their determination was rewarded with a point. The visitors had started the brighter and went ahead after only two minutes as Shackell blasted past Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel at the far post. Leeds responded with a Gradel free-kick coming back off the crossbar and hitting keeper Luke Steele on the back of the head before going inches wide. However, the home side eventually equalised when Steele missed Neil Kilkenny’s inswinging left-wing cross and Becchio nodded into an empty net. Referee Mark Clattenburg then controversially ruled that Hill had fouled Gradel, who picked himself up to score from the spot eight minutes before the interval. Hill made amends for any mistake by latching on to a Jacob Mellis through ball before calmly slotting home. Johnson dismissal appeared to give Barnsley the initiative but Gradel grabbed a second with a curling effort into the far corner in the 70th minute. Barnsley refused to give up and were rewarded when Trippier’s free-kick found its way through the Leeds wall and past an unsighted Schmeichel. Inspite of Johnson’s red card Leeds really should be putting sides like Barnsley to the sword, especially a side that relied on Paul McShane at centre half. Once again it’s painfully obvious that or defence is jut not up to it. No good scoring five goals in two games and win neither. “We switch off, we keep making mistakes as a team which we need to eradicate.”People will think the back four have been poor again but it`s other areas of the pitch that people need to concentrate more. We need to be more professional if we are going to do anything this season.”

Sat Feb 19th 2011. Leeds Utd 2-2 Norwich City Leeds : 01 Schmeichel, 04 Bruce, 20 Lichaj, 29 McCartney, 40 O’Brien, 07 Gradel, 08 Kilkenny (Somma 73) 14 Howson, 16 Johnson, 10 Becchio (Paynter 90+1) 23 Snodgrass . Unused Substitutes : 12 Higgs, 19 Parker, 26 Bromby, 11 Sam. Crowd –  31,601 Davide Somma reacted to the disappointment of being dropped by becoming Leeds’ supersub with a stunning strike to salvage a point. After falling behind to Wes Hoolahan’s strike midway through the second half, striker Somma came on and scored with his first touch, pouncing on Luciano Becchio’s header. Grayson said: ‘We made sure we were hard to beat and played the extra man in midfield and that’s why we didn’t play him from the start. He showed great technique.’ The South Africa striker stepped off the bench in the 74th minute with his side trailing 2-1 to promotion rivals Norwich and 60 seconds later sent a right-footed volley from Luciano Becchio’s flicked header arrowing into the bottom corner. Becchio had headed Leeds deservedly in front in the 16th minute, but Henri Lansbury fired Norwich level in first-half stoppage time. Wes Hoolahan clipped home the Canaries’ second to the delight of their travelling hordes in the 69th minute before Somma rescued a point Simon Grayson’s side merited in a super advert for second-tier football. Becchio and Leeds skipper Jonny Howson both struck the woodwork in the first half and Norwich’s leading goalscorer Grant Holt hit the post in the second as two accomplished teams went head to head in front of a captivated audience of 31,601. Leeds sent out the same line-up that started last week at Bristol City, while defender Zac Whitbread and striker Aaron Wilbraham returned for Norwich. Howson had the game’s first chance, bursting forward to shoot inches wide in the fourth minute, while Becchio headed Robert Snodgrass’s free-kick onto Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy’s left-hand post soon after as the home side started with menace. Leeds were rewarded for their early energy and accurate passing with the opening goal in the 16th minute. Max Gradel’s cross from the left was flicked on by Snodgrass and Becchio brushed aside Norwich left-back Adam Drury at the far post to head home his 15th goal of the season. Norwich began to find their feet 10 minutes before the break and following some neat possession David Fox forced a flying save from Kasper Schmeichel with a 25-yard shot that was otherwise destined for the top corner. But only the woodwork denied Leeds a second goal in the 38th minute. Full-back Eric Lichaj, on loan from Aston Villa, drilled in a low cross and when Ruddy blocked Howson’s first effort, the Leeds skipper fired the rebound against the post. But Leeds were dealt a blow in first-half stoppage time when Lansbury lashed home a low shot inside the near post following Grant Holt’s knockdown from Andrew Crofts’ cross. The encounter lost none of its rhythm after the break. Leeds left-back George McCartney’s shot was smothered by Ruddy and Hoolahan’s similar effort at the other end was fumbled away for a corner by Schmeichel. Leeds produced the best move of the game in the 55th minute, with McCartney, Gradel and Snodgrass combining to send Howson clear, but the midfielder’s low drive was deflected agonisingly wide.Gradel dragged a volley off target three minutes later.But Norwich served warning of their intentions when Holt flicked the ball onto the post and within two minutes the Canaries stole into the lead. Crofts played in Hoolahan and the Norwich midfielder’s low right-footed shot beat Schmeichel and Lichaj, who could only deflect the ball into the net. Leeds manager Simon Grayson sent on striker Somma for midfielder Neil Kilkenny in the 74th minute and within another 60 seconds he volleyed the ball beyond Ruddy for a fine equaliser with his very first touch.Late substitute Billy Paynter almost snatched all the points for Leeds in the closing seconds, but was denied by Ruddy at full stretch as the drama lasted right up until the final whistle. Leeds manager Simon Grayson on Davide Somma: “He’s got a fantastic attitude, he works ever so hard and is a massive team player and I wouldn’t say he’s best coming off the bench because he scores for us when he starts as well. “He appreciates what we’ve done for him in terms of bringing him to this football club, of what he can be and what we’ve made him. But he’s a great lad to work with and I’m sure he’ll only get better. “I don’t know his goals ratio to minutes he’s spent on the pitch, but it can’t be far away from a goal a game now.” Norwich manager Paul Lambert: “This is a hard place to come, there’s no doubt, with the crowd they’ve got behind their back. “But I thought we gave as good as we got. I don’t really bother with the table at the minute because I know how many games there are left, but what we’ve done is make it exciting for everyone connected. “I’m absolutely over the moon with the 18 months I’ve been here. “It’s been a huge rise after the disappointment of being relegated (from the Championship). What we’ve done is terrific.” I watched the 20 minutes highlights on LUTV in Boston @ 0500 Irish time and I don’t know how Leeds didn’t win that game. Jonny Howson on another day would have scored 3 or 4 goals. On the plus side Davide Somma (who some of us backed @ 50/1 to be top scorer in the Championship) scored a world class goal, given it was his first touch on a horrible surface. The lad will score goals at a higher level, and there is no doubt that Becchio, Howson, Snodgrass and  a few more are quite capable of competing in the Premiership. If we can sort out our leaky defence they will be plying their trade at a higher level before the year is out. One last word for poor Billy Paynter who deserved to net the winning goal for sheer character if nothing else. We hit the woodwork four times. Maybe it’s time for Gypsy Rose to lift the curse of Elland Road one more time. RIP Don.

Sat Feb 12th 2011. Bristol City 0-2 Leeds United. 01 Schmeichel, 04 Bruce, 20 Lichaj, 29 McCartney, 40 O’Brien, 07 Gradel, 08 Kilkenny (Somma 78) 14 Howson, 16 Johnson,  10 Becchio (McCormack 85) 23 Snodgrass Unused  Substitutes : 12 Higgs, 19 Parker, 26 Bromby, 11 Sam, 09 Paynter. Leeds extended their unbeaten run in the npower Championship to five matches with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Robert Snodgrass put United ahead with a superb solo effort with 17 minutes gone before Max Gradel doubled their lead with a clinical finish five minutes into the second half. The home side pressed for a way back into the game and hit the bar twice in a matter of seconds but it was not to be their day and Leeds held on for the win. Bristol City made a bright start and fashioned the first meaningful chance of the game when Jamie McAllister got forward and crossed for Martyn Woolford who headed over. However Leeds went in front after 17 minutes through a fine goal from Snodgrass. The Scot collected a pass from Gradel and turned superbly before fashioning some space and slipping the ball past Bristol City goalkeeper David James. Leeds immediately went in search of a second and the impressive Snodgrass left fly with a shot from 25 yards but James made a fine save to tip the ball round the post. From the resulting corner, Snodgrass found Alex Bruce but his shot went wide. The home side eventually found their rhythm but Louis Carey fired over from 20 yards. With half-time approaching Marvin Elliott had a sight of goal but could not direct his shot on target as the Robins finished the half strongly. Bristol City continued where they left off at the start of the second half with Woolford and Brett Pitman both firing wide. With 50 minutes gone Leeds delivered another sucker punch when Snodgrass’ shot was deflected into the path of Gradel who swivelled and finished well past James. It almost got worse for the Robins a minute later when Snodgrass found Bradley Johnson with a pinpoint cross and his header just went over. Bristol City pressed forward in search of a way back into the game and Andrew Keogh had a chance from six yards out but Andy O’Brien made a good block. At the other end Jonathan Howson played in Gradel but he fired over with James scrambling. The game was going from end to end and Leeds had goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to thank for keeping their two-goal lead intact when he made a good reaction save from David Clarkson’s shot. The Robins were left wondering quite how they did not score with 75 minutes gone when a goalmouth scramble saw Albert Adomah hit the bar Elliot. But Bristol failed to score and Leeds earned the double over the Robins. Speaking on the Bristol City official website, Killen said, “We`re massively disappointed with the outcome today. “Leeds matched up against us and it was man-for-man; a stalemate really. “A clever bit of play by Snodgrass has got them the opening goal, although it was disappointing defending from our point of view. “It was another poor goal that cost us in the second half at a time when we needed to get ourselves going. “It`s finished 2-0 and perhaps that isn`t a fair result, but when you miss the amount of chances we did then that`s what happens.” Simon Grayson was a happy man after the match : “ Very satisfactory, a clean sheet, and  two good goals. Every time we seem to go away it’s  a capacity crowd. At 2-0 they gave nothing to lose and I thought we defended well. On another day we could have had two or three more goals. They have got some good goal scoring players, but our players put their bodies on the line, and I’m delighted we got two clean sheets in a row. Snoddys goal showed fantastic composure and great movement with his feet. He works very hard, and is always willing to listen and learn and. It caps off a fantastic week for him. Max  also took his goal well and did ever so well. They are both playing with good confidence. They are thriving on the passing and movement . Luciano battles up there on his own. Somma played eighty minutes for South Africa and  endured a lot of  travelling. Killa came in and did well. In any team you have got to have a work ethic and we have that, even chasing in the 90th minute. Its’ a testing time but we can get results anywhere we go and that’s why the players play for  our fans who make great noise. We’re in it all together”.

Sat Feb 12th 2011. Whilst Davide Somma was scoring for South Africa and Robert Snodgrass made an impressive debut for the Scots, Goerge McCartney retired from N Ireland after falling out with Nigel Worthingon.

Feb 11th. Speculation continues over Johnson. Simon Grayson has given the clearest hint yet of a plan to bring Michael Johnson to Leeds United by revealing that Manchester City want assurances over the midfielder’s fitness before sending him out on loan. Scouts from Leeds took in Johnson’s performance during a reserve game between Manchester City and Bolton on Tuesday night, and United’s manager left no doubt that he was monitoring the 22-year-old’s progress with the emergency loan window open. Leeds used the temporary market earlier this week, signing right-back Eric Lichaj from Aston Villa as cover for the injured Paul Connolly, and the club watched Johnson’s 77-minute outing for City’s reserves amid the possibility that he will be made available for a short-term loan by his parent club. Johnson is returning from a long-term knee injury and has not played in a competitive fixture for more than 12 months, but an indication of his improving fitness was Manchester City’s decision to name him in the 25-man squad submitted to the Premier League on February 1 and make him eligible for the second half of their season. Grayson has repeatedly stated that he is satisfied with the strength of his existing squad but he made no secret either of his intention to pursue any options which will “make us better” during the Championship run-in. Grayson said: “He (Johnson) is a good player and he played 80 minutes for the reserves the other night. We like good players. “Michael made it public that he’s a Leeds fan and would like to play for us. We’ve got a good team at the moment and when you’re after any particular player, you need two things – the club to be willing to allow them out and the player wanting to come out. “City at this moment aren’t letting Michael out because they don’t think he’s fit enough. In the future if they let him out, would we want to take him? You’d have to wait and see.”

Tues Feb 8th. Villa defender comes in. Leeds United tied up the loan signing of Aston Villa defender Eric Lichaj with injured right-back Paul Connolly set to miss Saturday’s clash with Bristol City. Lichaj has been lined up for a month-long stay at Elland Road following the loss of Connolly to a hamstring strain in last weekend’s victory over Coventry City. Connolly limped out of United’s 1-0 win late in the second half and was unlikely to recover his fitness in time for the club’s trip to Ashton Gate. Leeds were short of replacements having allowed Andrew Hughes to join Scunthorpe United on a permanent basis last month and 22-year-old Lichaj is set to provide cover during the coming month. United boss Simon Grayson told the club’s official website: “A deal has been agreed for Eric to join us and we’re delighted Aston Villa have agreed to let him come.
“He is a player that they have high hopes for and they believe him coming to Leeds will be beneficial for him and us. “A few other Championship clubs were interested so we are delighted to get a player that has played international football at different levels.”Grayson indicated last weekend that he would move to sign a temporary replacement for Connolly if his injury threatened to keep him on the sidelines for a sustained period of time. “He’s tweaked his hamstring and we’ll see where he is,” Grayson said. “The loan market opens (this week) so if he’s going to be out for a bit then it’s an option for us.”Alex Bruce and Leigh Bromby have both turned out for Leeds at right- back in the past but Bruce is firmly established in the centre of Grayson’s defence and Bromby has been covering for both Bruce and Andy O’Brien since the sale of Neill Collins to Sheffield United. Fellow centre-back and club captain Richard Naylor is available again having missed all of the Christmas schedule after a knee operation but the signing of Lichaj would provide a specialist candidate for the right side of defence. Lichaj has taken his first steps into Villa’s first team this season after previous spells on loan at Lincoln City and Leyton Orient. His most recent outing for Villa came in a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City on December 28

Sun Feb 6th. 2011. Skysports.com  have reported that  Leeds United are leading the chase for former Manchester United youngster Michael Stewart. The 29-year-old joined Turkish club Genclerbirligi last summer but terminated his contract in January after a series of late and part payments of his salary. He is now due to link up with Championship side Leeds on Monday, and will spend the next week training with Simon Grayson’s men. Stewart is understood to have rejected an offer to join Premier League outfit Blackpool ahead of linking up with Leeds. The Seasiders had appeared to be in pole position to land Stewart before Leeds stepped in for the midfielder, who left Hearts for Genclerbirligi last summer. Looks like an agent trying to hook up a player with K Bates to me. His CV isn’t exactly brilliant. Perhaps one for Ian Foster instead of Simon Grayson.  Wilkipedia on Stewart : As a highly-rated young player, Stewart trained twice a week with Rangers while still at Craigmount High School. Manchester United signed Stewart as a professional in 1998. He made his senior debut for the club on 31 October 2000 against Watford. Later that season it was agreed for Stewart and two other players (John O’Shea and Jimmy Davis) to be loaned to Belgian feeder club Royal Antwerp, but Stewart decided against the move, believing he would break into the first team more quickly by training with United.[1] His initial promise saw him rewarded with further opportunities, filling in for a suspended Roy Keane.[1] He struggled to hold down a first team place,[1] however, and had a disappointing loan spell at Nottingham Forest. He is known for playing with a high-tempo style and can often find himself in trouble, regularly being booked or sent off. In the summer of 2004, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson intimated that Stewart had no future at the club and he was free to leave. Rangers initially showed interest, but after a two week trial, he was sent back to Manchester.[2] Stewart’s lucrative contract with United was seen as a stumbling block to a transfer.[2] A loan deal was reached with Stewart’s boyhood favourites Hearts, with Stewart himself taking a substantial wage drop to facilitate the deal.[3] Stewart failed to match expectations and at the end of a season disrupted by injury, Hearts allowed him to leave.[3]Desperate for continuity and regular football, Stewart expressed his wish to stay in Edinburgh. He therefore signed for Hearts’ rivals Hibernian after negotiating the end of his Manchester United contract. After two seasons with Hibs, the club announced in April 2007 that his contract would not be extended and he was free to leave the club.[4] He left Easter Road after the media reported that there was unrest amongst the Hibs squad.[5]Stewart spent a week training with Roy Keane‘s Sunderland, but he did not earn a contract. On 30 June 2007, Hearts introduced Stewart as a new signing,[5] making him the only player since the Second World War to sign for Hearts, then Hibs and then return to Hearts. Stewart scored his first SPL goal for Hearts against Aberdeen on 12 August 2007. He also scored a penalty for Hearts in a 4–2 win over Rangers in September 2007. Stewart was appointed Hearts club captain by manager Csaba Laszlo before the start of the 2009–10 season, following the departure of the previous captain, Robbie Neilson, to English side Leicester City. He was sent off, for two bookable offences, 52 minutes into his first competitive game as captain in a 2–0 loss to Dundee United at Tannadice.[6] Stewart left the club by mutual consent on 13 May 2010. Stewart then agreed a “lucrative” move to Turkish club Gençlerbirliği.[7] Stewart left the club in January, claiming that they had not honoured his contract since suffering an injury early in the 2010–11 season.[8] Sky Sports reported on 6 February that Stewart had agreed a short-term contract with Championship club Leeds United.[9] (Above pics are from Adam Barlow on Facebook)

Sat Feb 5th 2011. Leeds United 1-0 Coventry City. 01 Schmeichel, 02 Connolly (26 Bromby 83), 04 Bruce, 29 McCartney, 40 O’Brien, 07 Gradel, 14 Howson, 16 Johnson, 10 Becchio (Paynter 88), 23 Snodgrass, 27 Somma (Kilkenny 79) Unused Subs :  12 Higgs, 19 Parker, 11 Sam, 33 Nunez. Att: 27,033. South African Davide Somma scored a second-half winner as promotion Leedsedged past Coventry. The hosts pushed forward from the start with Somma wasteful on four minutes after being set up by Robert Snodgrass. Richard Wood went close for the Sky Blues when his close-range hit was deflected wide by Luciano Becchio. Becchio missed two chances but Leeds got the crucial strike on 56 minutes when the impressive Snodgrass set up Jonathan Howson who fed Somma to score.  The three points got Leeds to within three points of an automatic promotion spot while piling on the pressure to Coventry who are 16th and without a league win in 10. Apart from Wood’s early effort for the visitors it was largely one-way traffic for Leeds as Snodgrass, who could make his Scotland debut on Wednesday, pulled the strings. Top scorer Becchio was guilty of two bad misses from only three yards, while winger Max Gradel was also wasteful in front of goal. After Somma had grabbed his 10th goal in as many starts just before the hour, they almost conceded an equaliser immediately with Lucas Jutkiewicz firing over. Leeds though held on relatively comfortably to seal the spoils as they continue to drive up the table. It’s always nice to take six points out of Aidy Boothroyd. As Brian Clough once said if God wanted football to be played in the air, he would have built goals in the clouds”. Coventry manager AidyBoothroyd said: “We found out before the game that Marlon King was unable to travel because he has flu and couldn’t get out of bed. “We’re in a bit of a storm at the ­moment – we get over one hurricane and another one comes along. “We had to throw a makeshift team ­together whereas Leeds have been very fortunate because they haven’t had many problems with injuries.” He’s done brilliant to be fair,” Grayson (on Somma) said. “We sent him out on loan last season, he started this season with a bang and then he was out of the team because of the formation we were playing, but he’s scored whenever he’s come off the bench. He’s still got a lot more work to do with his overall play, but he’s certainly got that one thing that a striker lives off and that’s knowing where the back of the net is. “He can shoot with both feet, he’s strong, he works hard and he’s got all the right ingredients. But to go from League Two to the Championship in half a season shows what the lad is capable of and I’m delighted we’ve got him.””On another day, we could have been three or four up at half time. “It was a professional performance, we passed it around in the second half and we killed the game off in the last five or six minutes.”

Tues Feb 1st. Hull City 2-2 Leeds United. 01 Schmeichel, 02 Connolly, 04 Bruce, 29 McCartney, 40 O’Brien , 07 Gradel,14 Howson ,16 Johnson, 10 Becchio, 23 Snodgrass, 27 Somma (Sam 69) Unused Substitutes : 12 Higgs, 19 Parker, 26 Bromby, 08 Kilkenny, 11 Sam, 09 Paynter, 44 McCormack. Crowd – 24,000 (3,000 LUFC) Once again kamikaze defending from Leeds left them 2-0 down after 40 minutes through Fryatt and Chester. It was another mountain to climb.  Leeds grabbed one back in the 44th minute through a brilliant free kick from Snodgrass. In truth Leeds were lucky to be only 1-2 down at the break. Leeds have taken 16 points this season from coming from behind, and Somma equalised on 56 minutes. It was a much better performance in the second half by Leeds nut twice Lloyd Sam cleared the ball of the line. Our achilles heel all season has been defending from set pieces and every Hull ball into the box caused Leeds defence enormous difficulty. A draw was a fair result but Leeds give themselves too many mountains to climb with poor defending.