Leeds United (A) – Rivalry Renewed
Match 1: Saturday 7th August 2010
The start of a new season brings hope and optimism to every football fan. Derby have won only once in eight opening days before 2010.
Leeds United returned to The Championship after a three year absence, clinching promotion on the final day, after two failed play-off attempts, including a play-off final against then Paul Green’s Doncaster Rovers.
The Leeds/Derby rivalry would now re-emerge. Gone are the days when both teams, managed by Brian Clough and Don Revie, were top forces in England. Derby, now managed by Nigel Clough and Leeds, managed by Simon Grayson, played the rivalry down before the match. But just like in the 70’s, Derby walked the last part of the trip on foot.
Derby named an attacking side with Rob Hulse in front of Kris Commons. New signings Gareth Roberts, John Brayford, James Bailey, Thomasz Cywka and, the now permanent signing, Russell Anderson all started. Shaun Barker was only fit enough for the bench.
Leeds were without main striker Jermaine Beckford, now at Everton, and Robert Snodgrass who can create dangerous crosses and free kicks.
Derby started the brighter and on the 9th minute, Paul Green slid Rob Hulse in to thump the ball past Kasper Schmeichel in to the roof of the net. That goal proved to be his last for the Rams. The fans went crazy and it was a dream start.
However, Leeds equalized three minutes later after Becchio swept the home inside the area after a Howson cross. Derby were the ones who kept going though and were rewarded just a few minutes before the break. Cywka was brought down in the area – penalty. Kris Commons stepped up and cooley sent Schmeichel the wrong way for his first of the season. Derby lead again.
The second half was more of the same with Schmeichel somehow keeping Leeds in the match. A terrific double save to deny Hulse and then Barker (who came on at half time) stopped Derby finishing Leeds off. Leeds huffed and puffed but barely troubled Bywater in the second half.
Derby picked up three points and are the first team to beat Leeds on the opening day of the season since 1989.
Final Score – win 2-1. Onwards and upwards for the Rams.