Last Gasp Bullet Header from Jansson Sees Leeds Win at Blackburn – by Rob Atkinson


Jansson & Co – victorious at Blackburn

The Leeds United team tasked with laying the grisly ghost of FA Cup humiliation at Sutton last Sunday contained only one survivor of that sorry afternoon. And, fittingly, it was that one man, Stuart Dallas, who finally made the breakthrough after 74 minutes last night at Blackburn Rovers, as United made a belated start on making up to their fans for such an awful lapse. Latching onto a sumptuous cross-field ball from Liam Bridcutt, the Ulsterman took one touch on his chest before firing in left-footed from the left of the penalty area into the far right-hand corner of Rovers’ net.

What had gone before was a lot of huffing and puffing, with quality at a premium but no little effort. League strugglers Blackburn were earnest but incompetent, while high-flying Leeds threatened more but failed to deliver. A major feature of the match was the sight of the home team’s attacks being repelled time after time by United’s returning colossus Pontus Jansson. As it turned out, in making so many aerial clearances, Jansson was just warming up his forehead to deliver a late coup de grâce in typically emphatic and ebullient fashion.

It was a goal-laden final quarter of an hour to finish a match that had been mostly dour and scrappy. Once Leeds had taken the lead, you fancied them to hang on and see the evening out. Ten minutes after the Dallas opener, though, Leeds keeper Rob Green managed somehow to let a scrappy bobbling low shot slip past him at the foot of his left hand post, and it looked as though the hosts would salvage an unlikely point. In previous seasons, we might even have worried that such a late pegging-back of a hard-earned lead would result in United chucking even a draw away and ending up beaten. But this Leeds side is made of sterner stuff – and they showed the character and persistence to come storming back and seal a late, late victory.

The winner, when it came, had a familiar look about it. United have been quite lethal from corners lately, with the diminutive Spanish trickster Pablo Hernandez seemingly able to place his corner kicks precisely where he wants to. On this occasion, he floated the ball with quality and accuracy into exactly the right cubic foot of Ewood Park airspace, where the hurtling Jansson met it resoundingly to send his header flashing into the back of the net, before the massed ranks of the joyous, exultant travelling White Army. In almost the same last-gasp moment, miles away up on Tyneside, Newcastle conceded a comical own-goal equaliser to QPR, completing an instantaneous four-point swing in Leeds’ favour. As last minute bonuses go, even Carlsberg would be hard-pressed to do better.

So Leeds, after such a calamitous Cup capitulation (which may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise) march on in the league. Next stop is local rivals Huddersfield on Sunday, and Town themselves face a home clash with fellow contenders Brighton on Thursday evening, in a match Leeds fans will fervently be hoping that both teams can lose. For the moment, some measure of forgiveness can be extended to our heroes in white (who actually turned out at Blackburn in a decidedly natty yellow/blue/yellow ensemble). Such an ignominious exit from the FA Cup will take longer to forget than completely to forgive, yet any fan with yellow blue and white running through his or her veins will know that cups are merely tin-pot, compared to the holy grail nature of promotion.

The least welcome statistic of the evening was another yellow card for the redoubtable Jansson, but that sort of thing goes with the territory of his robust and committed approach to keeping the opposition at bay. As long as he can continue doing just that, with the occasional fringe benefit in the shape of decisive goals from crafty corners, then everybody who loves Leeds United will allow him some latitude in matters disciplinary.

Because, make no mistake, the iconic Jansson is set fair to become the biggest Leeds United hero since Gordon Strachan – and he may well soon emulate the diminutive Scot by leading the Whites back up where they belong.

13 responses to “Last Gasp Bullet Header from Jansson Sees Leeds Win at Blackburn – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Always good to read your blogs Rob. It’s a great time to be ‘Leeds’ and the next few months will be electric. MOT!


  2. Let’s hope we can reel in one of the top two rob.
    Because leeds don’t do playoffs like carlsberg do.


  3. I must say I quite like the decidedly natty ensemble. Takes me back to the mid 70s when I first saw Eddy Gray in it.


  4. Fawaz Biek El Merheby

    Fabulous article to read takes you into Wonderland , to the point , contains a lot of football knowledge , rich in :content , descridescription , analysis , history,emotion ,and imagination cheers


  5. I wish you would not embellish your reports, I am now distracted by the question, can ghosts be grisly?
    I hope that Leeds will be promoted this season. I remember talking my Mother in Law a supporter of the club though non attending on her first visit to Elland Road, a part of her ninetieth birthday celebration. The match was the last European competitive home match Leeds United played, I think it was Malaga, Leeds did not win and I told her I would take her to a match the next time Leeds was in an European competition, sadly she has died and I hope that I will live long enough to see Leeds play in an European competition again.
    Even if I do not live to see it, I hope the fans of Leeds United get the chance to see their team lift the European Cup.


  6. On a less important note, it’s nice to see a bit of a ‘mix & match’ approach to our away strip – first Preston & now Blackburn. Shows a bit of imagination.


  7. I hope Town pagga Brighton tonight as it’ll really open it all up at the top. We can widen the gap between ourselves and Town on Sunday hopefully. I’m dreaming of a top two finish and for Newcastle to be in the play-offs come may. I was reading an article by a Jurassic hack on a north east rag/site where he described everyone below Brighton and Newcastle “much of a muchness”. This wanker has got history when it comes to making snide remarks about Leeds United,possibly due to the fact that the last trophy the Toon won was presented to them by Queen Victoria. Not that I hold grudges of course.


  8. David Dean


  9. Steven Emsley Perth Australia

    lets go up as champions and real em both in we deserve it after all the crap we have been through over the last 13 years. MOT


  10. All very good. I’ve forgotten Saturday already. (In fact, I was indifferent anyway, but then I’m not a cup man,)


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