How Leeds United pushed 'perfection' in opening up hapless Huddersfield Town

On a day when Daniel Farke claimed Leeds United sailed close to perfection at times, it was hard to judge how much their 4-1 win over Huddersfield Town was down to their brilliance or the visitors' ineptitude but it is crystal clear clubs less than 16 miles apart are light years away in footballing terms.

Play like they did on Saturday, and neither will be in next season's Championship.

Because Leeds were brilliant. For someone whose mother tongue is German, Farke has a fantastic turn of phrase and his description of "electrifying offensive fireworks" was as prescient as it was topical.

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The Whites can win in different ways but none as exhilarating as when Crysencio Summerville and Dan James are in full counter-attacking flow. Both scored twice and the former made James' goals too.

Few Championship sides could have lived with the pair in this mood.

Had Leeds wanted to score more, they would have. At the end of a three-game week it was more sensible to conserve energy and substitute those playing best, not worst.

It made the second half an utter non-event, often at walking pace as Town laid out a bank of five with another of four or five guarding it.

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But that is not to let them off the hook because this was no one-off. When you concede four goals twice in a week to teams who ease up long before the final whistle, it cannot be.

FOURMIDABLE: Crysencio Summerville puts Leeds United 4-0 up in the first halfFOURMIDABLE: Crysencio Summerville puts Leeds United 4-0 up in the first half
FOURMIDABLE: Crysencio Summerville puts Leeds United 4-0 up in the first half

At 0-0 they harried white shirts in a way they did not with Cardiff City, but even then their ambitions were very limited and Leeds chances were not.

Joel Piroe ought to have punished them for not marking properly at a corner – again – inside 10 minutes and when a throw into Leeds' area found the back of Huddersfield’s net seconds later, they were set up to fail. Give a team which loves counter-attacking a lead over seeking a clean sheet, as they did after 20 minutes, and it only ends one way.

Terriers manager Darren Moore claimed things could have been different had Delano Burgzorg, running off the left of a five-man midfield, put away the chance Sorba Thomas presented two minutes later, it could have been different.

Perhaps, but probably not.

UNSTOPPABLE: Neither Tom Lees nor Lee Nicholls can prevent Dan James scoring Leeds United's third goalUNSTOPPABLE: Neither Tom Lees nor Lee Nicholls can prevent Dan James scoring Leeds United's third goal
UNSTOPPABLE: Neither Tom Lees nor Lee Nicholls can prevent Dan James scoring Leeds United's third goal
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The chances of such a rampant Leeds not exploding down the other end and regaining the lead seemed slim then, anorexic in hindsight.

Huddersfield's frustrations were not hard to spot. Ethan Ampadu's punishment for blocking Burgzorg's shot was twice having his ankle rattled by Jonathan Hogg. Captain Hogg's for the first was a fifth booking this season and a suspension at home to Watford when Town lack midfielders and leaders. There was no second punishment.

But when Summerville beat Lee Nicholls – who delayed his reaction to see if the shot deflected off Michal Helik, who got out of the way – then three minutes charged down the middle and released James for a second calm finish, it was game over.

Leeds fans were giving it the oles in first-half stoppage time as Georginio Rutter, whose clearance set up the first goal, powered down the left and picked out Summerville. Again he shifted his feet looking for an opening and found it.

ON THE SLIDE: Dan James celebratesON THE SLIDE: Dan James celebrates
ON THE SLIDE: Dan James celebrates
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Friday's trip to Leicester City will tell us far more about whether Leeds can challenge for the title Farke won twice with Norwich City but play like they have done in the last couple of months and they will certainly compete for promotion.

Huddersfield's season is also beginning to look set. And grim.

Shoving as popular a manager as Neil Warnock through the exit on the back of consecutive victories looked risky and is backfiring now.

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Seven games is far too early to jump to conclusions about a manager who won promotion last season, but few Huddersfield fans have yet been won over by Moore.

One win in seven is far from great, three four-goal defeats calamitous when you consider their talent is largely stacked at the back.

Having switched from a back five to a four at half-time on Tuesday, on Saturday the interval reorganisation was from a four to a five. Deckchairs on the Titanic sprang to mind.

A 56th-minute corner drew ironic cheers and Leeds fans poked fun at Moore. It was hard to tell how many who had not gone home from the away end joined in.

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Even Helik's 70th-minute goal, pouncing on the rebound when Thomas' shot bounced off Ilan Meslier, showed Huddersfield's best strikers are defenders.

The Pole is their top scorer with four goals. Three-goal Jack Rudoni spent Friday afternoon with a specialist looking at the foot injury expected to keep the midfielder "out for some weeks". How many "some" is is not Moore's style to say.

What we can say is Huddersfield are a mess, whereas Leeds – despite Wednesday's defeat at Stoke City – look formidable. Fortunes can change quickly in the Championship but on this form, next season they could be leagues apart.

Leeds United: Meslier; Shackleton, Rodon (Cooper 64), Struijk, Byram (Ayling 59); Ampadu, Kamara; James (Anthony 78), Piroe, Summerville (Gnonto 59); Rutter (Bamford 74). Unused substitutes: Gray, Poveda, Darlow, Gruev.

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Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Edwards (Pearson 46), Helik, Lees, Nakayama; Thomas, Hogg, Wiles, Diarra (Jackson 46), Burgzorg; Harratt. Unused substitutes: Edmonds-Green, Maxwell, Headley, Hudlin, Austerfield, Daley, Iorpenda.

Referee: J Bell (Sheffield).