Huddersfield Town will anticipate tomorrow’s open-top bus parade, among the dark, satanic mills of West Yorkshire’s bleakest outpost, in the most ebullient of high spirits. After this rare Cup Final win against their bêtes noires at Elland Road, they have much to celebrate. Leeds United were mercilessly obliterated in the second half, this after having made a reasonable start to what is usually a keenly-contested match.
The home side had actually taken the lead after Marco Silvestri in United’s goal saved an early penalty – only to be pegged back by half time before a healthy derby day crowd of almost 30,000. But Town ultimately ran out easy winners through a dominant post-interval performance when they rattled in three unanswered goals, the Whites subsiding in the end with barely a whimper, rolling over most obligingly and playing dead for their less illustrious neighbours.
For Huddersfield, this was ample payback for the three-nil beating they took in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. On that occasion, Leeds rode their luck and emerged with a slightly flattering victory that rankled deeply with Terriers fans. Wind forward to today’s debacle, and the one thing you could say without fear of contradiction is that both teams got exactly what they deserved.
Huddersfield are showing the benefits of life as a club with some unity and a cohesive approach behind the scenes. Leeds, on the other hand, flatter to deceive at the best of times – and at their worst, as here today and a short while back at Brighton, they are truly, dismally appalling.
In between times, the Whites had strung together three victories of varying quality and merit. But, against Huddersfield, they failed to derive any inspiration from a large crowd – and they proceeded, limply and almost disinterestedly, to let that crowd down and betray their loyal and long-suffering fans. Not for the first time this season either, let it be noted. And most likely, not for the last.
Leeds United continues to resemble a headless chicken of a club, bereft of any organisation or direction at the top, and with a tendency to run around in ever-decreasing circles before finishing up a twitching mess on the floor. The most pertinent question that Cardiff, Bolton and Blackburn – United’s three recent league conquests – can ask themselves is: how on earth did we lose to an outfit in that state? Huddersfield made no such mistake. Like a slavering, famished pack of hounds, they scented blood and pounced for an easy kill.
Perhaps the sole consolation on the Leeds side of things today will fall to those simple souls who are happy to proclaim their undying support for, and faith in, our loco owner Massimo Cellino. The picture here of a pro-Cellino demonstration can leave nobody in any doubt of the multitude of fans thronging to proclaim their backing for Il Duce.
Really: with a power base like that behind him – how on earth can Cellino possibly fail?