Leeds United fans praised by coach after big turn out for Carabao Cup win over Barnsley

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Assistant coach Rene Maric paid tribute to Leeds United fans as they turned out in big numbers again for the second round Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley at Elland Road.

A crowd of 35,472 saw the Whites progress with a comfortable 3-1 victory as Luis Sinisterra scored a spectacular goal on his first start for the team and Mateusz Klich struck twice.

It might have been a more difficult night had Callum Styles not hit the post with a first half penalty for Barnsley, but Leeds controlled most of the second half against their plucky League One opponents to keep the feel good factor going at Elland Road.

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"Fans are very honest here. If you are not running or fighting, they will excuse a few mistakes if you keep working hard," said Maric.

Mateusz Klich scored twice as Leeds United beat Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.Mateusz Klich scored twice as Leeds United beat Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.
Mateusz Klich scored twice as Leeds United beat Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.

"If you are not able to outplay, but outright and outrun them, they like that.

"For sure it competes with the best atmospheres I have seen."

On how the game went, Maric said: “The performance in general was good, but we could have been better.

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"We were not as consistent over 90 minutes as we wanted to be. We can improve on certain things.”

Sinisterra showed glimpses of magic that had the fans cheering as he scored one goal and had a hand in the other two to push his claims for a starting spot now he is over the injury that saw him left out at the start of the season.

But it looks like he still faces a fight to force himself in, according to Maric.

He added: “Obviously we have other players at our disposal too, who played really well in the last games, so he’s for sure in the competition.

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“But we have a really good squad, a really good roster in terms of the depth and it will be hard for him if the others keep it up like they have so far.

"He’s a great player, he’s a great guy, so we’re really happy he was able to return after injury.

“The way he trains, the way he behaves – he’s a great presence in the locker room. There’s a lot to come from him, but he still has to continue working.”

United took the chance to have a look at their fringe players for the cup tie with nine changes from the side that beat Chelsea on Sunday.

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They started a bit hesitantly and Barnsley could have scored first when Liam Kitching sent a glancing header wider from a free-kick in the first minute and Devante Cole's low shot was well held a minute later.

Sinisterra almost got onto a clever chip over the defence by Klich as the new look Leeds team began to find their stride, but it took them 21 minutes to manage a first shot on goal.

It was a beauty, however, as Sinisterra went past a defender to cleverly create space then beat keeper Jack Walton with a terrific strike from 20 yards out to open the scoring.

It could have been two a minute later as Sam Greenwood was sent clear by Klich, but went for power with his shot and saw his effort well saved by Walton.

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Joe Gelhardt was then played through, but was unable to get a shot away after a poor first touch.

Sinisterra showed his quality again on the half-hour as his one-two with Klich led to him racing into the area where he was brought down by Conor McCarthy. A penalty was the result and up stepped Klich to calmly put his spot kick away.

Just when it looked like United were in control they were hit by a sucker punch as Josh Benson's free-kick was headed in by unmarked defender Mads Andersen.

And Barnsley could have been level soon after when referee John Brooks gave them a soft penalty for a push by Adam Forshaw on Callum Styles. There was minimal contact and the decision was certainly harsh, but it did not matter as Styles hit the post with his spot kick.

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In the second half young winger Crysencio Summerville began in lively fashion, cutting in to fire a shot just wide.

Styles went down in the box again in what looked a better penalty shout than his first one, but no decision was forthcoming from the referee this time - nor did he book the player.

That was the last seen of Barnsley in attack for some time and it was United who scored again when Gelhardt did well to win the ball and from a standing start Sinisterra flew past his marker into the box. His low cross was only half cleared and fell for Klich just inside the box from where he calmly curled a shot home for his second goal.

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The Whites now controlled the game and came close to adding to their lead through two substitutes. Rodrigo sent a near post shot over and Marc Roca's powerful shot from distance beat the keeper only to land on the roof of the net.

Barnsley had one last chance, but Slobodan Tedic was unable to take it as he headed wide.

Leeds will now face a trip to Wolves in the third round.

Leeds United 3(Sinisterra 21, Klich 31, pen, 57)Barnsley 1(Andersen 35)Carabao Cup round twoWednesday, August 24, 2022Attendance: 35,472Leeds: Meslier; Drameh, Llorente (Koch 45), Cooper (Struijk 45), Hjelde; Forshaw, Klich; Summerville, Greenwood (James 75), Sinisterra (Roca 62); Gelhardt (Rodrigo 75).Barnsley: Walton; McCarthy, Andersen, Kitching; Helliwell (Williams 62), Benson (Connell 79), Styles, Oduor (Wolfe 62); Thomas (Hondermarck 79); Cole, Norwood (Tedic 62).Referee: John Brooks