Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 0
Rotherham United lost their second away game of the season this afternoon with Leeds United beating the Millers two-nil at Elland Road.
The hosts had an early corner which Will Vaulks cleared without much trouble with Rotherham’s first forage of note saw Jon Taylor beat two Leeds players down the wing but his cross wasn’t really up to much. Richard Wood did well to get the better of Kemar Roofe Wood before a Vaulks long throw at the other end was eventually claimed by Leeds’ ‘keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Just before the quarter of an hour mark Zak Vyner might have done better to stop Luke Ayling crossing with Roofe’s shot going wide of the upright. After falling under a challenge Jon Taylor was shown a yellow card but a nasty foul minutes later by Mateusz Klich didn’t even earn him a talking to from referee Rob Jones as Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa urged Joe Mattock to get to his feet by holding out his hand to him from the sidelines. There had been good natured banter from both sets off fans and on twenty minutes all four sides of the ground joined in with the chant of ‘from me to you’ and ‘there’s only one Barry Chuckle’ speaking about one of the Rotherham’s Honorary Life Long Presidents who sadly died recently. Four minutes later the Millers had a great chance to go ahead when a mix-up between Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi and the ball fell to Ryan Williams who really couldn’t miss, but did and Peacock-Farrell collected at the wingers feet. And there was another let off for the hosts just before the half-hour mark when Jon Taylor took the ball off Kalvin Phillips and with Peacock-Farrell off his line the Millers winger tried his luck from some thirty yards out only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar and go to safety. This was followed by a cross from Taylor finding the head of Williams only for the Leeds’ ‘keeper to save well. Matty Palmer was the next to have a shot, after some good work from Michael Smith, but the ball flew inches past the upright. At the other end Klich went close before Berardi tried his luck from distance only for Marek Rodak to pull off a brilliant save. The hosts had a shout for a penalty when a shot from Pablo Hernandez appeared to hit the arm of the Millers skipper Wood but Mr Jones shook his head.
The second half was only seconds old when Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski sent in a good cross which skidded along the line and must have got the faintest touch from a blue and black shirted player because from the following corner the hosts opened the scoring. Barry Douglas sent the ball in towards Liam Cooper who was denied by Marek Rodak with the ball falling to Kemar Roofe he sent the ball back and Luke Ayling appeared to head in. Mr Jones at first shook his head and then after a few more seconds, and word from someone with goal technology, Ayling’s first Leeds goal was given with Millers players arguing that Richard Wood had been fouled in the build-up. The first substitution of the afternoon saw Rotherham new boy Ryan Manning, on loan from QPR, on for Matty Palmer. Twenty minutes from time it could have been two when some good work between Pablo Hernandez and Samuel Saiz saw the latter’s shot headed off the line by Wood. Three minutes later the hosts did make it two when Roofe did well to get past the Millers defenders and putting the ball in from a tight angle. Kyle Vassell and Jamie Proctor came on for the Millers in place of Richard Wood and Michael Smith while Lewis Barker replaced Samuel Saiz for Leeds. Some good work from Jon Taylor in the final ten minutes saw him find Manning who tested Bailey Peacock-Farrell giving the Millers their first corner of the game which came to nothing. Peacock Farrell was in action a few minutes later when he did well to climb above everyone to claim the ball above everyone after a Manning free-kick. Patrick Bamford came on for Kemar Roofe and in time added on Mateusz Klich was replaced by Pontus Jansson.
Rotherham did extremely well in the first half but looked like a different side the second half when they gave Leeds far too much room all over the pitch. If those chances in the first forty-five had gone in it might have been a different game and we really, really should be taking those chances because they probably won’t come along too often in this league.
Crowd – 33,699
Referee – R Jones