With one victory, Leeds United climbed from 18th and relegation to the comfortable heights of 13th on Tuesday night at Elland Road. But with nine matches still to play and the gap between Leeds and 20th-place Southampton just six points, there's still a lot of post-Jesse Marsch ball to come this campaign.
Leeds got strong performances out of Luis Sinisterra, Jack Harrison and Marc Roca in a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest while there was also special praise for Weston McKennie alongside Roca in the team's two-man midfield.
With Brenden Aaronson still mixing tireless work with toil from his attacking mid position, McKennie delivered his most eye-catching performance for Leeds with impressive actions in both defense and attack.
— Totally Leeds (@TotallyLeeds) April 4, 2023
There were early signs of the American's ability in England — especially that draw with Manchester United on his second appearance and the "Bad Boys" midfield with Tyler Adams — but McKennie, like his teammates, had largely failed to dictate matches over the last eight games (a spell of only two wins for Leeds).
But on Tuesday McKennie showed everything he's got in his locker: one-touch play, creative passing between the lines, crunching tackles, aerial dominance, skillful dribbling and a nonstop motor.
Here's the highlight reel.
— Follow @TotallyLeeds (@TotallyLeeds__) April 5, 2023
Weston McKennie went the distance for Leeds United and was all over the pitch in a massive 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest74 touches
2 key passes
5 long balls
5 duels won
Huge three points in the relegation battle! pic.twitter.com/IijSI5cj6X
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) April 4, 2023
The supporters (and an injured Adams) loved it.
Leeds fans showing Weston McKennie some love after his complete midfield performance in a massive 2-1 win over relegation contender Nottingham Forest.Ain’t nobody, like McKennie, plays with Adams, for the USA! @LeonLockwood6 | #lufc #alaw #mot #mckennie #USMNT pic.twitter.com/nInQUm3cOx
— State of Football (@St8ofFootball) April 4, 2023
When asked what the secret was to getting McKennie and Roca to shine together in midfield, manager Javi Gracia didn't take any credit.
"The secret is they are good players. After that I try to give them the information about the team, try to find a way to attack and defend better because as you know Nottingham Forest today, in my opinion they didn't create clear chances. ... I'm really happy with my players when they attack, creating the chances but with the concentration. With the concentration we defended is something I'm really proud."
With Adams out for the season after an operation on his hamstring, the form of McKennie in midfield will be vital to Leeds' survival. The club has another home match on Sunday against Crystal Palace with only one point separating the sides.