Leeds were impressive in Blackpool victory, but should see the warning signs

Leeds United Crest

Neil Redfearn won his first game as permanent Leeds manager with a 3-1 victory over Blackpool.

Goals from Liam Cooper, Souleymane Doukara and Mirco Antenucci capped off the best first-half performance seen at Elland Road for a long while, before Nile Ranger grabbed Blackpool’s consolation in a much scrappier second half.

The Whites performed as a rejuvenated side, with the quick-passing move that led to the second goal a joy to behold, and it appears as if Redfearn has found the perfect way to combine both possession and directness in Leeds’ play, whilst also getting the best from Brazilian prospect Adryan at the tip of the diamond midfield.

The result did not flatter the performance, although there is no right for Leeds to consider themselves as a ready-made outfit heading into the international break, with Blackpool offering little competition in the tie.

The Seasiders are destined for relegation this season, sitting bottom of the Championship table after 17 games, with just one win and four draws leaving them 10 points from safety. They have scored just 11 goals, and chairman Karl Oyston thought it wise to replace Jose Riga - the man who led the side to their only victory this season, a 1-0 victory at home to Cardiff - with Lee Clark, who has apparently swapped being relegated with Birmingham to being relegated with the Tangerines.

Their performance at Elland Road was mediocre, and they were cut open time and again in the final third of the pitch, despite playing a deep-lying five-man midfield. They offered some threat in the second half when switching to a more direct style of play, and Leeds looked fatigued when faced with that style of play, but they were never seriously threatened - despite conceding once in the second half. The young midfielders Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt were shrugged off the ball too easily by the more physical Blackpool side, and, although they controlled the ball with their exceptional talent, the game certainly ended with a number of questions being asked of the Whites.

It was a top class performance by Leeds on Saturday, and one that many will be hoping kick-starts their season after the international break, but the fact that it was only Blackpool defeated should keep fans, and players, level-headed with the challenges of the Championship as a division. The Whites are unlikely to have an easier game this season, but, if they continue to perform as they did in the first-half at Elland Road, it is hard to see any team getting the best of the Yorkshire-based side.

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