At The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion secured a crucial 1-0 victory over Leeds United, adding further complications to Leeds’ aspirations for automatic promotion in the Championship.

In the damp and cold setting of the North Yorkshire Dales, the post-Boxing Day festivities for a group of friends and Leeds United supporters gathered around the Sky Sports broadcast quickly turned bittersweet. The anticipation for the game was palpable, set against the backdrop of the surrounding flooded fields, as everyone braced for the challenging encounter with West Bromwich Albion.

Daniel Farke’s tactical approach raised a few eyebrows in the pub, opting for a seemingly more defensive lineup. In contrast to Leeds’ typical preference for attacking prowess, the inclusion of Liam Cooper and Ilia Gruev indicated a strategy focused on strengthening the back line no doubt because of the exclusion of Illan Meslier.

The benching of influential players like Ariche Grey and Daniel James, both of whom have the potential to have a significant impact in the offensive third, further highlighted this shift in strategy.

Adding to the intrigue and concern among the Leeds faithful was the conspicuous absence of Pascal Struijk. Even though he’s injured, his omission only fuelled ongoing speculation linking him with a high-profile move to PSG, especially with the January transfer window looming just around the corner. Such rumours have been a topic of discussion among Leeds supporters, with the potential departure of a key player adding an extra layer of tension to the already high-stakes game.

Match Report insights

As the match unfolded, the tactical decisions and the composition of the team were put to the test against a formidable West Brom side. The outcome, a narrow defeat, has left Leeds supporters pondering the implications for the remainder of the season, particularly with the transfer window’s uncertainties and the team’s need to bolster its promotion bid.

Grady Diangana’s decisive strike in the 37th minute marked the game’s only goal, handing Carlos Corberan, a former Leeds coach, his second consecutive home win and imposing a second straight defeat on Daniel Farke’s Leeds.

The early stages of the match saw Leeds United demonstrating more control, with Sam Byram finding the net in the 16th minute, only for the goal to be disallowed due to offside. Despite their efforts, Leeds couldn’t capitalise on their chances, and West Brom gradually grew into the game.

West Brom’s goal arrived after a period of growing pressure. A brilliantly executed move saw Yokuslu’s pass find Jed Wallace, whose cross set up Diangana. Though his initial shot was blocked, Diangana didn’t falter and found the back of the net on his second attempt.

Leeds United seemed to regain some momentum in the second half but struggled to convert their opportunities into goals. The team’s frustration was compounded by a controversial incident in the 30th minute, where a penalty appeal for a foul on Wilfried Gnonto was dismissed, a decision that Leeds’ manager Daniel Farke heavily criticised in his post-match comments.

As the match progressed, Leeds pushed for an equaliser, but West Brom’s disciplined defence, orchestrated by Corberan, held firm. The Baggies’ commitment to defending their lead was evident, with notable performances from players like Yokuslu and Jed Wallace.

The result has significant implications for both teams. West Brom’s victory brings them within three points of fourth-placed Leeds, while Leeds now find themselves trailing the top three teams in the Championship, with a widening gap that puts their promotion hopes in question.

Reactions and Analysis

  • Carlos Corberan (West Bromwich Albion Head Coach): Praised his team’s commitment and the support from the fans, emphasising the need for team spirit to secure such victories. He highlighted the importance of strategic defensive plays and commended the team for executing their game plan effectively.
  • Daniel Farke (Leeds United Manager): expressed disappointment with the penalty decision and lamented his team’s lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. He emphasised the tight nature of the game and the difficulty in breaking down West Brom’s solid defence.
Daniel Farke reaction: WBA 1-0 Leeds United | EFL Championship

Social Media and Online Reactions

  • Leeds United’s official Twitter account posted reactions from manager Daniel Farke and highlighted the recognition of club legend Howard Wilkinson with an OBE.
  • Various reports on Leeds Live discussed potential transfers and the team’s performance, with a specific focus on the implications of the defeat for Leeds United’s season.
  • Sky Sports Football shared reactions from Jed Wallace and Grady Diangana of West Brom after their victory over Leeds.

Match Highlights

Highlights: West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Leeds United | EFL Championship

Upcoming Challenges

Leeds United must regroup and refocus their efforts as they face a challenging road ahead in their pursuit of promotion. The team’s resilience and adaptability will be tested in the upcoming matches, with a clear need to enhance their attacking efficacy to keep their promotion hopes alive.


West Brom

Formation: 4-2-3-1

  • 24 Palmer
  • 2 Furlong
  • 6 Ajayi
  • 4 Kipré (Booked at 90mins)
  • 3 Townsend
  • 35 Yokuslu
  • 27 Mowatt (Substituted for Chalobah at 76′ minutes)
  • 7 J Wallace (Substituted for Reach at 70′ minutes)
  • 8 Molumby (Substituted for Bartley at 69′ minutes)
  • 11 Diangana (Substituted for Swift at 69′ minutes)
  • 21 Thomas-Asante (Substituted for Sarmiento at 86′ minutes)

Substitutes: 5 Bartley, 14 Chalobah, 15 Pieters, 17 Sarmiento, 19 Swift, 20 Reach, 26 Ávila Gordón, 31 Fellows, 33 Griffiths

Leeds United

Formation: 4-2-3-1

  • 28 Darlow
  • 39 Spence (Substituted for Anthony at 60′ minutes)
  • 14 Rodon
  • 6 Cooper
  • 25 Byram (Substituted for James at 60′ minutes)
  • 4 Ampadu (Substituted for Firpo at 90′ minutes)
  • 44 Gruev (Booked at 46mins)
  • 29 Gnonto (Substituted for Bamford at 60′ minutes)
  • 7 Piroe
  • 10 Summerville (Substituted for Joseph at 90′ minutes)
  • 24 Rutter

Substitutes: 3 Firpo, 5 Cresswell, 8 Kamara, 9 Bamford, 12 Anthony, 13 Klaesson, 20 James, 22 Gray, 49 Joseph

LIVE MATCH STATS: West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United

Stat West Bromwich Albion Leeds United
Corners 57% (11) 42% (8)
Shots On Target 75% (3) 25% (1)
Possession 38% (38) 62% (62)
Yellow Cards 50% (1) 50% (1)
Red Cards 0 0
Shots Off Target 43% (10) 56% (13)
Attacks 40% (82) 59% (122)
Dangerous Attacks 43% (47) 56% (62)

I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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