Leeds pay the penalty for shoddy 90 minutes against Hull
Wednesday, 16th Sep 2020 23:35 by Tim Whelan
Alioski’s late goal against Hull City took Leeds to a penalty shootout we hardly deserved to reach, and even then we didn’t manage to save our place in this season’s Carabao Cup.
Well that’s 90 minutes of my life and £10 I won’t get back. The most exciting part of my evening between kick-off and final whistle was paying for my car tax online during half time.
Marcello Bielsa changed the entire team from the eleven who began the season at Anfield on Saturday, but the starting line-up did include all three of the substitutes who came on during that game. And most of the side consisted of regular first teamers from last season and promising youngsters we have heard a lot about.
Hull arrived with thee ex-Leeds in their ranks. There was Matt Wilks, who I was surprised we let go 12 months ago as he always looked promising whenever I saw him. Lewie Coyle made his debut after being on loan at Fleetwood forever, and he once seemed to have a promising Leeds future before an injury in a League Cup tie at Norwich.
And they also had Dan Batty, who grew up as a Leeds fan but was released for being too small. Like Fulham’s Tom Cairney, he might go on to spend his whole career wanting to make Leeds regret that decision. After the shambolic way Hull collapsed during the second half of last season we might have thought that any Leeds side would be able to beat them, but that’s not how it turned out.
One advantage of fielding players who aren’t current starters in the league is that they should be keen to seize the opportunity to show what they can do, but you couldn’t say that any one of them had made a case for getting a bit more first team action. Leeds never managed to play with any cohesion and right from the off Hull were dominating the possession.
And it took only five minutes for the visitors to take the lead. Casilla gave away possession with a poor clearance but he couldn’t be blamed to failing to get to the final shot, after being wrong-footed by a deflection. And you have to say the defence was also at fault for giving Wilks far too much space in the box to create the opportunity.
As Leeds tried to find a way back into the game Hull worked hard to close us down, using one of Bielsa’s tactics against us, and one we tend to struggle to cope with. Wilks was denied a second by a smart save from Casilla, and from his next shot the deflection went the right side of the post for Leeds, after Lief Davis reacted quickly to get the block in.
At the other end Alioski had our best chance of the half with a shot that was quickly blocked by Jones, but a few minutes later he stretched for a cross and sent it wide, when he should have let it run for Poveda, who would have had a better opportunity. Poveda was our liveliest player throughout, though tended to want to beat too many players all the time instead of setting up his colleagues.
We did hope that Bielsa would be able to work a bit of magic at half time, but all we got was more of the same, with Hull keeping us at bay without too much trouble and looking the more threatening side when they broke away. I would have thought that the Leeds players out there would be desperate to win the tie, if only to secure a third round tie and another opportunity for a first team appearance, but that wasn’t much in evidence.
We did manage to get a bit more possession, but our few promising moves broke down through misplaced passes. Our new signing Roberto didn’t get much of the ball to show us what he could do, at one stage he almost fell over his own feet while going forward. We had Philips, Harrison and Bamford among the substitutes, which I expected to be an insurance policy in case things went wrong, but the first change Bielsa made was to send Struijk on as a midfielder in place of Casey.
Casilla was having a few dodgy moments as usual, and gave us one of his trademark charges off his line to fail to get any distance on the punch, but Hull failed to get the ball back in the box fast enough to take advantage. But to be fair to the Spaniard, he did keep us in the tie near the end with a spectacular save from Docherty.
It wasn’t till a few minutes before the end that Leeds got a shot on target, and that was a fairly weak effort from Gotts that was straight at the keeper. But four minutes of injury time was added after some blatant time-wasting from Hull, including a booking for being only two yards away at a goal kick! You’re supposed to be outside the box old son, at least ten yards further upfield.
And lo and behold, Leeds grabbed the equaliser we scarcely deserved during this extended period. After a corner was cleared Hull stopped thinking it was going behind, but Douglas managed to get to the ball before it crossed over the line. Creswell headed it back across goal and after a scuffed shot the ball fell kindly for Alioski to hammer it into the roof of the net.
And so to penalties, and ironically Aloski was the first to miss after being the one to rescue the tie, with his kick coming back off the post. But Lewie Coyle sent his penalty far too close to Casilla, and the shoot-out was level again. It got as far as 8-8 when Shackleton stepped up to take out 9th penalty, and he demonstrated why he’d been so far down the order, with a week effort that Ingram had no trouble keeping out.
So Hull would be through if Jones could score their 10th penalty and he did, smashing it into the corner to give Casilla no chance of getting to it. So it’s the Tigers who head to West Ham in the next round. As for Leeds, we’ll just have to hope it was a bad night and it was all down to a lot of these players being unfamiliar with each other’s style. Because if any of them are called upon for a Premier League game they will need to show a big improvement on what we saw tonight.
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