Barnsley 3 Leeds United 2: YEP jury verdicts on Whites’ Oakwell defeat

Man-of-the-match contender behind Chris Wood, Gaetano Berardi.
Man-of-the-match contender behind Chris Wood, Gaetano Berardi.
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LEEDS UNITED lost ground on the Championship top two on Saturday when they went down 3-2 down at Oakwell to Barnsley.

As usual, our YEP Leeds United Jury have cast their verdicts on what was an entertaining Yorkshire derby. See if you agree with their comments below .... or not.

GARY NEWBOULD

United slipped to a first loss in eight games as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at Oakwell on Saturday evening.

Coach Garry Monk named an unchanged side from the one that performed so admirably against Derby County with Liam Cooper, Hadi Sacko and Charlie Taylor all failing to recover from their respective injuries, whilst Pontus Janson served the final match of his two-game suspension. Meanwhile Eunan O’Kane was considered fit enough to take his place on the bench.

On a typically freezing Barnsley evening, the hosts settled the better of the two sides without creating too many clear-cut chances before United came more into things with Pablo Hernandez generally at the heart of most things.

The game exploded into life on 17 minutes when a Hernandez corner was slotted home by Chris Wood.

For the next 10 minutes, United totally dominated possession and forced a number of successive corners, all of which posed a threat for the home side.

It looked like the Whites would take an advantage with them into the half-time interval when United more than contributed to their own downfall.

A needless free-kick was conceded by Soulemeyne Doukara and the hosts took it quickly with United fast asleep and the resultant cross was headed home for the equaliser just before the half-time whistle arrived. The second half exploded into action with Barnsley racing into a two-goal lead courtesy of a long-range shot and direct from a free-kick.

And the Whites looked utterly rattled and had to dig in.

Just after the hour mark and there appeared to be a way back for the visitors as Barnsley conceded a needless penalty and Wood scored his second of the game.

The game remained an end-to-end encounter for the last half-hour with chances at either end, the best of which for United fell to Kemar Roofe and Stuart Dallas.

However, a first-ever defeat when striker Wood has scored will leave a bitter taste as United were far from their best yet again at a traditionally unhappy hunting ground.

As if anyone needed reminding, the Championship is a very unforgiving division. However, thankfully, results below United didn’t do too much damage with them only slipping a single place over the weekend.

It will now be another test of character to see how the Whites react and hopefully bounce back from such a reversal and rare under-performance than of late.

Man of the match: Chris Wood.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds’ impressive run came to a end at Oakwell, beaten by a determined outfit who, if they manage to keep their young players may have a say in the hunt for those top-six places.

Garry Monk kept faith in the 18 on duty against Derby.

The home team gave Leeds a little of their own medicine by pressing them back, but United rode that early pressure and took the lead. The ever-reliable Chris Wood put the blue shirts ahead via his knee – a scruffy goal, but they all count.

Leeds could and should have put the game to bed but their possession after the goal wasn’t good on and they paid for it just before half-time at a free-kick.

The second half was only minutes old when the hosts got their noses in front, and it was a beauty. Things got worse when highly rated and seemingly Aston Villa-bound Hourihane’s superb free-kick beat the Leeds keeper to give Barnsley breathing space. At 3-1 old Leeds teams may have wilted but this team never knows it’s beaten, referee Mike Dean giving a debatable penalty which Wood despatched and the last 20 minutes saw both teams come close to adding to their score.

If we’re serious about challenging for the top two or the play-offs, then we need to spend (just a little) bit of money in the window. A disappointing defeat.

Man of the match: Chris Wood.

MIKE GILL

Garry Monk warned it would come at some point and now it has. All credit to Barnsley who rose above their problems off the field. The most important thing is that they pick themselves up and come out fighting against Forest on Wednesday

Man of the match: Chris Wood.

STEPHEN CLARK

Just as we shouldn’t have got too carried away by beating Derby last week, the defeat to Barnsley on Saturday evening shouldn’t be anything to get too downhearted about.

Trips to Oakwell have always been tough; when you don’t perform at your best in a derby then the result’s not too surprising. What we should take heart from is that we were still in it against one of the division’s form teams despite performing poorly for long stretches. There is no time to fret over the result as we are right back into it on Wednesday against Forest. Three points there will put the bandwagon back on track and with players returning from injury and suspension Garry Monk may be able to freshen things up.

Man of the match: Chris Wood.

MATTHEW EVANS

Off day? Wake-up call? Reality check? Whatever it was, it felt unfamiliar and unwelcome.

This was the first time we’ve been beaten by a team below us and the level of disappointment shows just how good a season this has been so far.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

DAVID WATKINS

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that if Leeds played anywhere near the level we saw against Derby then they would comfortably beat the Tykes, regardless of how well Barnsley could play.

Sadly, we produced a display well short of what we saw at Elland Road. Add to that the fact Barnsley played to their game plan perfectly and Leeds came up just short.

Our defending was not as tight as we’ve become used to either, and that is no slight on Luke Ayling or Lewie Coyle but my guess is a backline with Pontus Jansson and Ayling back at right-back would have coped better. Our talisman will be back on Wednesday night and a good win against Forest will make us forget this aberration.

Man of the match: Chris Wood.

Stuart Dallas scores against Sunderland.

Leeds United: Winger Stuart Dallas determined to deliver the goods