|Sheffield Wednesday 1 v 1 Leeds United|
Friday, 28th September 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Leeds disappointed with a draw at Hillsborough
Saturday, 29th Sep 2018 21:36 by Tim Whelan
Leeds had almost all the possession against Sheffield Wednesday, but had to be content with a point from this eventful Yorkshire derby.
Marcello Bielsa named the same starting eleven as he had for the game against Birmingham, but with one change in formation. Phillips was moved further forward, from central defence into his more usual role as a deep-lying midfielder, after our supremo had admitted it had been a mistake to play him in a different position last week.
And the Leeds defence looked much the better for this adjustment, but had to survive one anxious moment early on, when a long ball to the edge of the box saw Forestieri get in front of Jannson. There was a shout for a penalty as the Wednesday man went to ground, but although there might have been a bit of accidental contact, Forestieri was certainly keen to throw himself to the ground, and the referee wasn’t interested.
After that escape Leeds got into their stride, and the first of our many chances arrived as Douglas forced Dawson into a fine save. But the Wednesday keeper was less convincing a few minutes later with a weak punch that led to Jansson heading wide. Then Douglas failed to connect properly with a free header that bounced off the post, and a defender reacted brilliantly to block Phillips’ shot from the rebound.
Wednesday were also having their moments, with Fletcher shooting just wide and Peacock-Farrell making a great stop from Baker. Bielsa must have considered dropping our young keeper after his mistakes last week, but you couldn’t fault his performance in this game. At the other end Klich was denied by another decent save from Dawson.
So it was a shock when Wednesday took the lead a few minutes before half time, completely against the run of play. A throw-in found Reach thirty yards from goal on their right in plenty of space, and his powerful shot came down from a great height to give Peacock-Farrell no chance, as it bounced in off the post.
Leeds could have been downhearted by this setback, but we almost got back into the game straight away, as Dawson fumbled a long-range shot from Cooper, but managed to grab it at the second attempt. And our determination to get something from the game was evident in the second half, when if anything we were even more dominant.
And we took only nine minutes after the break to get ourselves on level terms. Klick scored with a powerful shot from well outside the box which curled into the bottom corner, much to the delight of over 4,000 Leeds fans behind that goal at the Leppings Lane end. And the Leeds chances would keep coming for the rest of the game, but somehow we were unable to force a winner.
Our approach play from the back was excellent as ever, but it was frustrating that one or two moves broke down with wayward passes in the final third of the field. Even so, opportunities were created for Roberts to have a couple of shots cleared off the line, Alioski to have a couple off efforts blocked, and Harrison to shoot narrowly wide. Amongst several other chances.
With Wednesday on the back foot, I was wondering if Bielsa would send young Clarke on as a second striker to really go for the win. But his only change was a rather strange one, as Forshaw came on for Saiz. The little Spaniard had been lively as ever and I thought we would need his genius out there on the field. He was visibly annoyed once he’d taken his place on the bench, but he’s always got something to moan about, so it’s hard to tell if that was specifically because of he’d been ‘hooked’.
I should mention that the Wendies had a couple more long-range shots from Reach to get excited about, but Peacock-Farrell was able to deal with both of them. And it was Leeds who produced the final chance of the game, as Cooper got his head to a corner. But the ball was just too high for him to control his header and he could only send it over the bar.
And so Leeds were denied the win that we really needed to get things back on track after the Birmingham defeat. A Wednesday-supporting mate texted to say he was pleased they ended up with a draw, and so he should be after that performance. And Bucket Man had every right to be less pleased with the result when he spoke to the official site after the game.
“I am truly disappointed. The fact we had 25 chances to score talks about what we deserved from the game. Usually we need three chances to score one goal and this statistic is common to teams that lead their competition. In the last two games, against Birmingham we needed eight chances to score one goal and against Sheffield Wednesday we needed 15 chances to score one goal.”
“Obviously we can’t say we are satisfied with the result, because if we did that, we would be ignoring a very important factor, which is the impact you have in a game. From the last two games we have only got one point from six and if we took into account who deserved to win, I think we would have deserved to have had more than one point. We played very well against Sheffield Wednesday”
Should we be worried about these statistics? They might suggest that without the injured Roofe and Bamford we are lacking a cutting edge, with only the inexperienced Roberts up front, as he continues to recover from his own fitness problems. Apart from his two well-taken goals against Preston I don’t think he’s contributed that much, and for a lone striker he tends to drift a little bit too wide and too deep.
I shouldn’t be too harsh, as at 19 Roberts is still learning the game, but we could do with getting Roofe back on the field sooner rather than later. And in the meantime, let’s hope we can be equally dominant in our visit to Hull on Tuesday night, but this time come back with all three points.
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