Date: 12th January 2019 at 9:00am
Written by:

OPINION

Leeds United brushed off the controversies of the past few days by sealing a comfortable win over Derby County on Friday night.

Goals from Kemar Roofe and Jack Harrison, with assists coming from the excellent Jack Clarke and Ezgjan Alioski respectively, were enough to see off Frank Lampard and his men after accusations and confirmation that the Whites had a spy in place watching the Rams’ training session.

The three points keeps Leeds at the top of the Championship table ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, although is unlikely to bury the backlash from the controversial incidence prior to the game.

So what exactly can fans take away from victory?

This is FutbolĀ has picked out three things learned about the clash at Elland Road:

Clarke a worthy starter

The question had been asked whether Jack Clarke was ready to be named among the starting XI and the answer was as clear as day on Friday night.

What a performance the young man put in on the right hand flank, terrorising the Derby defence with his dribbling abilities and wicked deliveries from out wide.

If there were any doubts he was ready to play more than the bit-part role he had been offered, they have been shot down against the Rams.

What an exciting talent the Whites have on their hands.

Alioski a man reborn

Speaking of tricky wingers, Ezgjan Alioski looked a man reborn on the left hand side, somehow finding a way to be more of a threat from a deeper position than when he starts as a winger – a position where he has been hammered by fans in the past.

The left wing back role looks perfectly suited for a wide man of his talents, offering the overlap to the winger and delivering dangerous crosses from further back, rather than the more advanced position he would usually find himself in.

He got incredibly lucky to assist Harrison for his goal but it was a case of being able to be in that position which helped him set up his fellow star on the left.

Spygate may have worked wonders

Obviously the game was overshadowed by what had happened in the days leading up to the clash, with Bielsa admitting his role in spying on Derby at their training camp.

While no one but the Leeds team know what information was garnered from this controversial scouting mission, the whole controversy did not seem to phase the players one bit and if anything it was the Derby squad who looked off the pace.

Did Leeds find an advantage? Even if there were no tactical secrets sussed out, there could well have been a mental effect which gave the Whites the upper hand.