Leeds and Southampton battled to an entertaining draw at Elland Road as Jesse Marsch continues to pull the Yorkshire club away from the relegation zone.
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Jack Harrison put Leeds ahead in the first half as they came flying out of the traps but a magical James Ward-Prowse free kick (shock!) grabbed a point for Southampton.
The game could have gone either way late on but Leeds will happy with the point as they’re now three games unbeaten and sit on 30 points, eight points above the relegation zone.
Southampton sit in 11th place and have 36 points.
Leeds vs Southampton final score, stats
Leeds 1-1 Southampton
Goals scored: Harrison 29′, Ward-Prowse 49′
Shots: Leeds 12, Southampton 14
Shots on target: Leeds 3, Southampton 6
Possession: Leeds 56, Southampton 44
Three things we learned from Leeds vs Southampton
1. Ward-Prowse’s England chances improve: He played well for England in their win against Ivory Coast during the international break and Ward-Prowse has to be right on the cusp of their World Cup squad. Ward-Prowse is a good player on the ball, works hard off it and is so reliable. But the X-factor is his incredible ability from free kicks and he scored a stunner to grab Saints a point. He has now scored 13 goals from direct free kicks in the PL, with only David Beckham (18) scoring more in the history of the competition. That free kick ability coupled with his improvement on the ball in the run of play means Ward-Prowse has to go to the World Cup for England.
2. Phillips’ return showcases control: There was a huge welcome for the Yorkshire Pirlo as he came off the bench and returned from injury to play for the first time since December 5. Kalvin Phillips came on just after Southampton made it 1-1 and were dominating the game, but he settled things down, dropped into defense to get on the ball and he brought calm to the usual Leeds chaos. That is what they’ve missed so badly this season (plus Patrick Bamford’s goals, of course) and Phillips showed his class as he looks to get back to his best and be fully fit for the last six weeks of the campaign.
3. Leeds fail to finish chances: It has been a bit of a theme this season as Leeds created lots of chances but couldn’t stay calm when finishing. Raphinha, Stuart Dallas, Diego Llorente and Dan James all had big chances and Leeds seem to snatch at opportunities quite a lot. Bamford’s cool head in the final third is missed but Leeds keep creating and now look more solid defensively under Marsch. However, they will feel like this was two points dropped at home.
Man of the Match: Che Adams – Always a threat and denied brilliantly by Meslier in the first half. Kyle Walker-Peters was excellent too.
Frantic start from Leeds
Leeds started well as Dan James was played in but Mohammed Salisu timed his last-ditch tackle to perfection.
From the resulting corner Diego Llorente somehow sent a free header just wide, then Mateusz Klich fired a shot wide.
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Mohamed Elyounoussi fired a low shot on goal which was saved, as Saints gradually settled down and started to press higher up the pitch. At the other end James raced free but Fraser Forster saved down low.
Hosts deservedly lead
The end-to-end nature of the game continued, as Che Adams’ deflected shot flew just wide and then Leeds took the lead. Fraser Forster couldn’t collect a cross and Jack Harrison tapped home to make it 1-0.
Adams should have equalized after a lovely turn, but Illan Meslier saved superbly and Kyle Walker-Peters flashed a shot just over.
At the start of the second half Walker-Peters won a free kick in a dangerous position after a fine run.
Ward-Prowse delivers free kick magic
And Ward-Prowse curled home that free kick brilliantly to make it 1-1, as the England international stunned Elland Road.
Moments later Armando Broja almost tapped home as Livramento whipped in a decent cross.
At the other end Stuart Dallas’ shot was pushed away by Forster as Leeds and Southampton went at it late on but neither could find a winner.