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Three talking points as Leeds United U23's beat Reading at Thorp Arch on Monday

What promised to be a close encounter as first-placed Leeds took on second-placed Reading at Thorp Arch, ended up being a one-sided affair as Mark Jackson’s side continued to look good money for title winners in Premier League 2 Division 2 with a 3-0 win in Yorkshire on Monday afternoon. A Liam McCarron volley and a brace from Stuart McKinstry saw Leeds pick up all three points – and go 13 points clear at the top.

The Whites score two quick-fire goals before half-time. A lovely team goal that saw Crysencio Summerville provide a beautiful cross for McCarron was then followed by a pile driver from McKinstry with his left foot. The Scottish teenager scored Leeds third in the second half, when Joe Gelhardt tackled the goalkeeper – and here are three talking points:

Kiko still has it

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Casilla might be routinely reminded that he should be sold, and that his time is up at Elland Road – but he continues to do a job for the Under-23 side. With Illan Meslier at fault for two goals on Sunday against Arsenal, the Spain international produced an excellent performance to help Leeds keep a clean sheet against the Royals. Calm in possession, dominant from set-pieces and crosses and tipping a one-on-one shot onto the post, it was a good display from the Spain international.

Jackson grittyness on show

The game got quite feisty towards the end, summed up when Charlie Cresswell was booked for a scuffle with a Reading attacker. But Mark Jackson is clearly teaching this young Under-23 side how to cope when it comes to game management, and being solid defensively. They nullifed Reading, albeit from a moment of magic from Casilla, to keep a clean sheet. Cresswell, Olly Casey, Nohan Kenneh and Cody Drameh were all crucial.

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Gelhardt has Bielsa quality

The likes of Max Dean, Summerville and others showed frustration when they got into the final third, but failed to be given a pass to score – or missed an opportunity themselves. But not Joe Gelhardt. Instrumental in both of McKinstry’s goals, the £1million signing from Wigan was excellent as ever. He occupied both centre-backs, allowing Leeds to target a gap elsewhere. Many times he got in behind but did not try to score himself, instead setting up teammates. He showed, today, that he is a team player – a quality Bielsa loves.

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