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United suffer Snodgrass injury blow
SK Brann Bergen 1, Leeds United 3
In-form Robert Snodgrass was carried off on a stretcher with a painful knee injury in the first half of Leeds’ pre-season victory over Brann Bergen in Norway last night.
Winger Snodgrass, whose cross set up the first of two goals for Luciano Becchio, was the victim of a crude challenge to leave manager Simon Grayson concerned over the Scot’s fitness with the start of the season just over a week away.
Neil Kilkenny and goal-scorer Lloyd Sam also received some rough treatment from a largely young and inexperienced Brann side.
“At the moment we are not sure about the severity of Robert’s knee injury,” said Grayson.
“Hopefully it was just a whack but obviously there is a bit of concern when a player is stretchered off. It was a poor tackle, which you don’t need in a pre-season friendly.
“Robert has looked one of our best players. To lose any player at this moment is hard to take but it is too early to say if he will be fit for Saturday’s friendly against Wolves.”
Grayson added that he expects to make at least one addition to the United squad by the weekend.
Richard Naylor, Andrew Hughes and Federico Bessone returned to the Leeds defence last night, along with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The Norwegians included one former Elland Road player, Gylfi Einarsson, in their starting line-up but there was no place for another, Eirik Bakke.
Snodgrass and Becchio combined for the opening goal in the 18th minute, the Argentinian heading a cross from his team-mate into the bottom corner. This goal assist was the last contribution from the winger before he was carried off.
Sam doubled United’s advantage in the 25th minute, side-footing Kilkenny’s cross into the net seconds before Max Gradel left the bench as replacement for the unfortunate Snodgrass.
Bradley Johnson and Kilkenny hit the woodwork as Leeds dominated their under-strength opponents but, after Becchio was denied a clear penalty, slack defending allowed Cato Hansen to score for Brann just before half-time.
Becchio took his goals tally to four in two games with his second of the night in the 56th minute, firing in off the bar after clever play by Sam and Kilkenny.
Club captain Naylor completed an hour, as planned, in his first senior appearance since recovering from a hamstring injury and once again Grayson made several substitutions.