Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-0 defeat at Derby County.
Leeds slipped to only their second defeat in seven games – a lacklustre 70 minutes punished by a team eager to impress their new manager. The 1-0 defeat kicks off a hectic period after the international break.
Garry Monk was forced into his first change in four games, Alex Mowatt replacing the injured Stuart Dallas. Matt Grimes also took his place amongst the substitutes.
Leeds were backed by over 3,000 fans in the away end at the iPro Stadium.
Leeds were on a the back foot early, Derby dominating the early possession, but all they had to offer were Jacob Butterfield and Bradley Johnson efforts that sailed over the Leeds crossbar. The partnership of Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson provided Robert Green with superb cover.
A player that seemed to always do well against Leeds – Matej Vydra – had Derby’s best chance but his effort went wide. It was Leeds who had the best chance of the opening half, Bartley hitting the cross bar from a Alex Mowatt corner moments before the break.
The Leeds defender left Ikechi Anya in a heap with a ‘robust’ tackle in the early stages of the second half, the Derby player was replaced by Johnny Russell soon after.
It was the Scotsman who broke the deadlock, Charlie Taylor’s hesitation saw Derby win a corner which was half cleared to the Derby substitute, his effort squirming under Green. Leeds replaced Hadi Sacko with Kemar Roofe, a strange decision as the winger was probably the biggest threat in attempting to get back in the game.
Will Hughes brought a splendid save out of Green and Vydra thought he’d doubled the lead. The linesman and his flag thought otherwise. Leeds’ last throw of the dice was to replace Mowatt and Wood with ten minutes to play. Pablo Hernandez went agonising close with a shot that crept past the far post and substitute Antonsson was denied by the woodwork in stoppage time. So close but so far.
Although Leeds were unlucky to lose they really didn’t deserve to win against a pretty average Derby team. A draw would have been a fair result.
Leeds must ‘dust themselves down’ quickly as Wigan will be the visitors to Elland Road tomorrow. A win against a team in the bottom three will put this ‘blip’ behind them.
Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane, impressive second half.
Leeds United need to find a killer instinct if they are ever going to escape from mid-table mediocrity in the Championship.
Saturday saw the team more than hold their own against a Derby County side rejuvenated by the return of Steve McClaren but fall to a disappointing defeat.
The difference between the two sides was that Derby took their chance and Leeds failed to take theirs. Had Kyle Bartley’s header which crashed against the crossbar on the stroke of half-time been six inches lower, I have no doubt that Garry Monk’s side would have taken all three points.
Unfortunately it was Johnny Russell’s strike midway through the second half that proved decisive.
Even after falling behind Leeds were the dominant team but failed to create many clear cut opportunities.
The side seemed a little imbalanced with the selection of Alex Mowatt on the left-hand side and that position is a puzzle that needs to be solved with Stuart Dallas out for a considerable amount of time with a thigh strain.
Leeds have the opportunity to bounce back quickly with a home game against Wigan tomorrow night.
Three points are a must in that one if the last few weeks’ momentum is not to stall.
Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.
This was probably a timely reality check for all Leeds fans many of whom were perhaps getting carried away with the recent good run of results. We are as strong as most teams in the Championship on our day but equally we are no better than a lot of them. The loss of even a single player – Stuart Dallas on this occasion – exposes our lack of strength in depth in the squad and just takes the edge off our capability. If we then don’t get a good rub of the green during the game, we will often come out on the wrong side of a narrow defeat just as we did at Bristol City and in the home game with Huddersfield Town.
We twice rattled the woodwork on Saturday whilst the one opportunity Derby had was despatched with a couple of ricochets on the way in. As Garry Monk often reminds us, the Championship is all about fine margins.
Man of the Match: Eunan O’Kane.
United slipped to a disappointing defeat at Derby with a Johnny Russell strike, following a scrappy corner being the difference between the two sides, United, who replaced the injured Stuart Dallas with Alex Mowatt, could count themselves unlucky with Kyle Bartley and Marcus Antonsson both hitting the woodwork and the Whites dominating the second half but failing to find the “killer ball” on several occasions. Let’s hope this is just a blip rather than a dip in form as United have a quick opportunity to make amends against Wigan Athletic tomorrow.
Man of the match: Kyle Bartley.
It’s fair to say that United were worth a point at Derby and the very fact we are deserving more from these away defeats is a sure sign of progress.
Both teams played a very similar game at first, patient but with good pressing, just waiting for the right break. Ours came when Kyle Bartley rattled the bar late in the first half. Derby put theirs away in the second but there was still time for us to hit the woodwork again late on after some sustained pressure that showed what United could do when on the front foot.
There were some good performances in the United ranks and Eunan O’Kane just shades Kyle Bartley for my man of the match.
Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.
MIKE GILL Steve McClaren worked his magic on Derby who eased past Leeds in a game United did not deserve to lose.
Leeds failed to assert themselves in a first half that produced very little until Kyle Bartley rattled the bar with a bullet of a header.
Russell put Derby in front in the second half and Antonsson hit the post with Hernandez coming very close also.
United missed Dallas and we would hope for a more direct approach against Wigan tomorrow. Mowatt lacks pace and Roofe and Sacko should start on the flanks.
an of the match: Kyle Bartley.