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A WONDER GOAL from Manchester City loanee Brandon Barker saw 10-man Preston North End into the third round of the League Cup.
The 21-year-old winger took on the Leeds United defence on his own, dribbling half the length of the pitch before powering past Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman.
“It was a great counter-attack for us and a piece of individual quality which Brandon is capable of, that gave us the platform to win the game,” said Preston manager Alex Neil.
The Scotsman’s side went down to 10 men on the 29th minute when Ryan Ledson was dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Lewis Baker.
The midfielder may have got something on the ball as he ploughed into the tackle, but he got plenty on the man with his follow-through, persuading referee Tony Harrington to dig out his red card.
The visitors won a penalty in the opening minute when Conor Shaughnessy felled Louis Moult. Daniel Johnson stepped up to open the scoring from the spot. Barker’s goal scored while down to 10 gave them a cushion as they saw the game out diligently.
Leeds had a mountain to climb as a result of that early penalty, but they regularly tripped and fell as they attempted to get back into it.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side struggled to make things happen in attacking areas despite having the extra man, much to the frustration of their home fans and their manager.
Samuel Saiz was introduced in the second half, adding bite and no little amount of skill, but he didn't have much help from those around him. Credit should go to Preston for defending stoically and being able to see the game out with a man less.
“I’ve seen [Leeds] live twice this season and they’ve been outstanding, blowing teams away, so to come here and win with 10 men speaks volumes,” added Neil.
“The defence were fantastic. Read the game well, covered when they needed to and won headers at crucial times.
“I thought there were some outstanding performances, so my decisions at the weekend will be difficult.”
Bielsa was disappointed with his side’s performance but still felt they deserved to win. It was Leeds’s first loss of the season and this much-changed side failed to replicate the club’s league form.
“Football is about the performance, but it's also about what you deserve,” said the Argentinian.
“Sometimes we only evaluate what you get and don’t evaluate what you deserve. My conclusion is that we didn't play well, but the result shouldn’t have been a defeat for us.
“Usually when we have three offensive actions we score one goal, today we had 12 and we didn’t score any. Unfortunately, we were not good enough to build on our offensive actions and we could have avoided the goals we conceded.”
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