|Wigan Athletic 1 v 1 Leeds United|
SkyBet League One
Sunday, 7th May 2017 Kick-off 12:00
Match Report: Wigan Athletic 1-1 Leeds United - Whites Held At The Season's End
Sunday, 7th May 2017 15:20 by @LucasMonk_
In a game that saw the talismanic forward Chris Wood score the 100th goal of his professional career, Leeds United today concluded the 2016-17 season away from home, labouring to a 1-1 draw against relegated Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
After seeing their aspirations of finishing within the play-off positions all but dissipate in a gallant blaze of glory with a 3-3 draw at home to Norwich City last time out, Leeds United contested the 46th and final game of what has been a season of considerable furtherance for the Whites, under the masterly tutelage of Garry Monk.
This match, much as the performances of Monk’s side have this season, confounded all preliminary expectations. It proved a more intriguing contest than many had first thought; of this statement, Ryan Tunnicliffe’s opener in the sixth minute serves as irrefutable evidence.
Michael Jacobs displayed excellent vision and finesse to play Tunnicliffe in on goal and with only the former England international Rob Green to outrival, the Fulham loanee promptly rounded the Leeds ‘keeper before slotting home - his first Championship goal since October 2015.
United’s equaliser could only have manifested on the part of one man. After Jacobs, the creator of the game’s opening goal, felled Eunan O’Kane inside the penalty area in the 49th minute, the visitors were presented with a marvellous opportunity to restore parity in the scoreline from 12 yards. In spite of vociferous calls from the travelling contingent of Leeds supporters for Gaetano Berardi to assume the responsibility of taking the penalty, Chris Wood, a player utterly transformed by the astute management of Monk, proceeded to hold his nerve and rifle the ball home for his 30th goal of the season in all competitions.
The Latics would spurn late a chance to end their tumultuous campaign on an appreciable note when Omar Bogle, a January acquisition from League Two Grimsby, ponderously dithered on the ball with only Green to beat.
In consequence of the draw, Leeds conclude the season in seventh position, having amassed 75 points, with a positive goal difference of 14. For Wigan, League One beckons once more, with Graham Barrow’s men having now been relegated back to the division from which they had been promoted only one year ago.
Wigan Athletic (3-4-2-1) - Gilks; Connolly, Morgan (Bruce 57’), Burn; Hanson, Perkins (Colclough 76’), Power, Warnock; Jacobs (Powell 62’), Tunnicliffe; Bogle.
Unused Substitutes: Jääskeläinen, James, Byrne, Lang.
Leeds United (4-2-3-1) - Green; Coyle, Bartley, Ayling, Berardi; Vieira (Phillips 77’), O’Kane; Dallas (Sacko 70’), Hernandez (Pedraza 64’), Roofe; Wood.
Unused Substitutes: Peacock-Farrell, Denton, Antonsson, Doukara.
Man Of The Match
Having joined from AFC Bournemouth during the summer transfer window, the Republic of Ireland international would have hoped to have featured for United with greater regularity than has been this term, but with an energetic and vibrant performance the 26 year-old midfielder has doubtless proven himself to be deserving of more opportunities next season.
Pass Success: 91%
Dribble Success: 100% (5/5)
Tackle Success: 100% (2/2)
Match Rating: 7.9 (WhoScored.com)
Media: Leeds United head coach Garry Monk
"We started well, but the first time Wigan got into our half they scored.
"We came out well in the second half as we have done so many times this season and I thought we were going to get the winner.
"Chris Wood has joined an illustrious group of names by scoring 30 goals this season and should be proud of that."
Match Statistics and Facts
Stats - (Wigan/Leeds)
Possession - 41% / 59%
Pass Success - 75% / 84%
Aerial Success - 37% / 63%
Shots - 9 / 17
On Target - 3 / 3
Tackles - 19 / 19
Fouls - 15 / 16
Corners - 1 / 5
Referee - Scott Duncan
Booked - Burn (Wigan), Green, Bartley (Leeds).
Attendance - 15, 280.
A marginally underwhelming conclusion to a season that has defied all expectations. The disappointment that comes with having laboured to a draw against a side whom have already been consigned to League One is tangible at present, but the focus of us Leeds United supporters will doubtless turn apace to next season.
In light of the lurid revelation that Charlie Taylor contemptibly refused to play for the club in today’s match, a certain priority of the United management will be to recruit a new first-team left-back, as will securing the long-term futures of Garry Monk and Chris Wood.
Taylor’s insolence in a game of modernity awash with vast oceans of finance comes with little in the way of surprise. In his post-match press conference, Garry was keen to impress upon the media that the player had been ‘badly advised’. Perhaps so, it is common knowledge that football agents know no bounds in their pursuit of monetary gain, but for Taylor to behave in the way in which he has is an affront to Leeds United and its supporters.
By marked contrast, Gaetano Berardi once more delivered an impassioned defensive display, but in particular, it was the performance of Eunan O’Kane that caught the eye. Whenever called upon, the Derry-born midfielder fails to disappoint, and he proved instrumental in winning the penalty that Chris Wood gleefully tucked home for his 100th goal in professional football.
Though time has been called on a seventh successive season in the second tier, this, a fine campaign chock-full of memorable moments, is representative of significant progress for our club. It is symbolic of a decisive severance with our recent past; and an embrace of all he salient qualities that have eluded us over the course of the last six years. At long last, there is now a considerable weight of feeling that this proud footballing institution shall henceforth chart a new course; of coherence, rationality, and on-field prosperity.
With Andrea Radrizzani now having seemingly acquired full control of the club, a new dawn may have broken, in spite of Taylor’s petulance and in spite of all the turmoil through which we have been. Let us build on the foundations of our existing assets and mount a real charge toward the promised land next season. Garry Monk, Josep Clotet, James Beattie and Darryl Flahavan are axiomatically the correct management team to take this club to greater heights than those reached this term, and the retention of their services should be achieved at all costs.
Now, how many days until August is upon us?
Photo: Action Images
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