Boro's Icy Blast for Leeds
By Robert Nichols
Saturday 03 Mar 2018 13:08:00
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It was the game that seemed to be in jeopardy all week but there was absolutely no doubts about the result, an emphatic 3-0 win as Boro trounced Leeds and Leeds. It was a glory night for Patrick Bamford, completing Boro's first Riverside hat trick since Afonso Alves. Also a special night for the reprieved from suspension, Adama Traore, who ran riot through the bamboozled Leeds ranks. IN fact, all in all, what a night!

Yes, a top evening it was down at the Riverside. All credit to the staff and volunteers that ensured this vastly entertaining game could go ahead. Also to all the supporters that battled their way to the stadium, amongst whom was an octogenarian that drove from Luton and two Norwegians that dodged a cancelled flight by jumping into the last two seats on stand by. You had to feel for all those snowed in but I am sure they will have enjoyed their tv viewing.

Everyone present and all those watching on SKY tv were rewarded with an outstanding night where Leeds faltering play off hopes were finally shattered and Boro put themselves into that final spot. For now. But we have set the target for the weekend, others must now attempt to match it.

Skipper Grant Leadbitter passed a late fitness test on his hamstring but a yellow card and suspension and a substitution before half time means he will now be recovering for a week or so. Still, his energy and driving inspiration played no small part in helping us into a first half lead.

In truth, Leeds had started fairly well but the sight of lumbering centre forward, Lasogga, in his lycra tights was highly amusing. What on earth would Billy Bremner or Johnny Giles have made of his Keith Weller style fashion show (vintage reference there) or for that matter his fairly pathetic display?

The Leeds legends would probably have been equally dismissive of the woeful goalkeeper, Wiedwald, who made Gary Sprake look like Gordon Banks and David de Gea rolled into one. Woeful Wiedwald, you night say. But surely then again the petulant, cartoon-headed Saiz would have been right at home in the classic Don Revie dirty Leeds team.

Boro had carved Leeds open down the flanks several times before we opened the scoring. Another old timer, currently turning back the clock, Stewart Downing was the provider swinging in a centre from the right and the deft finish by Patrick Bamford was absolute top class. There was elegance and artistry as well a goal scorers mastery in this flick. Superb goal.

Traore had been cynically chopped down several times before hitting the turbo and driving through Leeds centre and delivering the perfect ball out wide for Bamford. A confident Bamford pulled the trigger and with Wiedwald in goal there are extra reasons for confidence as the shot appeared to go straight through the hapless (un) stopper. Hands up who thought Traore's run reminded them of Man City cutting through Arsenal. What a player we have.

Boro were running rampant 2-0 up at half time and with this display, suddenly no one was complaining of the cold. Leadbitter had limped off to be replaced by former Leeds man Adam Clayton who like Jonny Howson seemed to revel in playing his old club. Leadbitter had been booked for a foul on Saiz, who in turn was shown a yellow card, presumably for the ungentlemanly conduct of signalling to the referee to book Leadbitter. The final whistle came just in time to save Saiz from a red when he reacted and had to be pulled away in the very last action. He is an absolute liability for Leeds.

After the break we were all wondering who was the last Boro player to score a hat trick at the Riverside and whether Patrick Bamford could become Hat Trick Bamford. We eventually worked out it was Alves v Man City just as Patrick “hat trick” Bamford pulled the trigger following in as Traore's shot was parried into his path by a defender.

There was time to see Adam Forshaw come on for Leeds and for the fans to give Bamford an ovation as he was subbed for Pulis stock replacement, Martin Cranie. If only Cranie could have scored.

George Friend and Stewart Downing went close in the second half as Boro threatened to romp home. Boro fans enjoyed the Leeds United show of Marching on Together and added the theme tune of the night, a twist on Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart – Leeds Are Falling Apart Again. And they were.

It was a night to warm the cockles of your heart. Tony Pulis most emphatic victory. A glorious hat trick for born again Bamford. Six goals in three games. He is on fire. And suddenly Boro have put themselves right back into play off promotion contention.

We did so well to get the game on last night and as a result it is game on now for the season.

Middlesbrough 3-0 Leeds United – Hat Trick Bamford (3)

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