Leeds United put their shaky league performances to one side, with a win over fellow Championship outfit Birmingham City in the FA Cup third round replay. Now Tottenham await.
Leeds’ league performances of late have been more like pub football than a ‘destined for the Premier League’ style of play. Neil Warnock has came under serious criticism for the way his side has played of late. A win was a must – if Neil Warnock was to ease the pressure on his immediate future.
Lee Clark’s side took the lead in the 36th minute, as Wade Elliot was able to make it his second FA Cup goal against Leeds United in a matter of weeks, after he latched on to a pass from Nathan Redmond. Despite the opening goal, the game had been a drab affair in the first 35 minutes and as the half-time whistle blew, it seemed like the same of story for Leeds fans.
Leeds came out in the second half all guns blazing. Rodolph Austin came close to equaliser, forcing Colin Doyle in to a good save. As fabricated as it sounds, Leeds were dominating possession and were looking for the elusive goal that could send them on their way to victory.
It eventually came, as Ross McCormack was able to convert a knock back from El Hadji Diouf in the six-yard box. Leeds did not have to wait long for their second, as Paul Robinson was adjudged to have handled in the area. The ever reliable Diouf was able to dink the ball confidently into the back of the net – sending the Leeds United faithful into raptures.
Birmingham brought on the 6 ft 8 Nikola Zigic as they searched for an equaliser. The big Serb scored four times at Elland Road in the game that saw Simon Grayson receive his marching orders -from then owner Ken Bates.
The tallest player in English football saw an effort cleared off the line late on, as Leeds United held on, to set up a fourth round tie with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Mighty Whites will face a mighty task, if they are to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup. Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham side have quite literally ripped teams apart in recent months away from home. If the likes of Bale, Lennon, Defoe and Dempsey play at Elland Road, it could well feel a lot longer than 90 minutes for the loyal Leeds United support.
Spurs should be a force too strong for Leeds United, but an entertaining game nonetheless in front of the ESPN cameras.