Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1: YEP jury verdict - A point better than none from difficult trip

Stuart Dallas
Stuart Dallas
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The YEP Jury give their verdict on Leeds United’s 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday.

DAVID WATKINS

Well-done to four of the Jury for correctly predicting the 1-1 result. I went for a 1-0 home win and for 42 minutes I thought I was going to be right!

Leeds were awful in the first-half, never getting going as passes went astray far too often. The pitch was not the best and the argument that it was the same for both sides fails to take account of the fact that the home side play on it every other week – but I don’t think it was the whole story.

Going a goal behind in the ninth minute felt somehow “usual” at Portman Road where we’ve frequently arrived full of hope and optimism only to be disappointed within minutes of the start. For much of the first-half there was no sign of this game ending much differently to the seven defeats we have suffered in the previous nine visits.

There were a few glimpses of what we can do though when attacking down the left and on those rare occasions Ipswich didn’t actually look that good in defence.

Nevertheless, it was against the run of play that Stuart Dallas popped up at the back post to collect the merest flick from Chris Wood to send us into the break level.

Something had to change and for the second-half and Garry Monk turned to Liam Bridcutt. Most were surprised it was Ronaldo Vieira who was replaced and not Eunan O’Kane but it did eventually make a difference. Not immediately though, for the opening minutes of the new half it was like the Alamo as the ball ricocheted around the Leeds area but somehow a combination of poor Ipswich finishing, the woodwork, Rob Green and a hefty dose of good fortune meant the game remained level. Then, mid-way in the second-half we began to make a better fist of it with Liam Bridcutt now controlling the middle and Pablo Hernandez pulling the strings further forward.

Leeds had lots of possession but didn’t fashion any chances worth the name and Dallas’ goal was our only attempt on target. Even the introduction of Mo Barrow and Souley Doukara didn’t improve our penetration as both struggled to get the measure of the bobbly pitch.

We have to start better than this on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday or they may not be as generous as the Tractor Boys.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

KEITH INGHAM

Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a bumpy ride! A point at in-form Ipswich was very welcome, as last season another defeat would have been in our column.

The best thing that can be said about the current squad is that when needed they dig in, on Saturday they did just that.

Behind to a lovely-worked, early goal from Freddie Sears, Leeds only fleetingly offered their opponents a glimpse of Rob Green’s goal and when they did see it the ex-England keeper was in fine form again. Leeds levelled just before the break, Stuart Dallas getting on the end of a Chris Wood flicked header.

Much of the same in the second half with lots of possession for both teams but only threatening a few times, mind you the bar and Rob Green thwarted Ipswich and McGoldrick missed a glorious chance when he “fresh-aired” a chance when set up by Kevin Bru. Three substitutions by both teams couldn’t conjure up a winning goal.

The draw was enough to keep fifth place, Wednesday are the same points and same goal difference but Leeds have won more games. Seventh-placed Norwich surprisingly lost at Burton so the gap to seventh increased to seven points.

It sets up the game between Leeds and Sheffield next Saturday to be a real six- pointer.

Man of the match: Rob Green.

MATTHEW EVANS

Ipswich proved a resilient opponent and, like Cardiff a week ago, were able to prevent United taking the win they need in the promotion hunt.

It was another disappointing afternoon with plenty of probing but very little cut through and, worryingly, you always sensed that Ipswich could break and take all three points. Garry Monk will need to work on a plan for when we face this type of tactic again because we will become very easy to play against without a second option. Our defence generally played well but, for spells, it looked like they were facing Ipswich alone. More is required from the midfield and attack and especially when the face Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday lunchtime.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

MIKE GILL

Who stole the yellow shorts? The recent combination of yellow/blue made us look like Sweden. No problem. Saturday: yellow/white? However, the fried eggs fought out a tough draw with Rob Green saving our blushes more than once. Not our best display.

Man of the match: Rob Green.

GARY NEWBOULD

United lost further ground on the promotion pack with a draw at Portman Road. However after a poor first-half display and conceding an early goal they could consider this a point gained, rather than two dropped, courtesy of a Stuart Dallas equaliser.

Man of the match: Rob Green.

STEPHEN CLARK

Whilst it wasn’t a vintage performance it was certainly a game that we would have lost over the last few seasons, so to come away with something after playing so poorly was a real bonus.

Stuart Dallas might not get pulses racing with his play but he is a solid member of the squad, and seems to be the choice of the manager when hard work and graft is required. He was rewarded for his efforts with the equalising goal just before half-time.

Leeds never looked like winning the game so it was all about ensuring they didn’t lose it in the second half. It sets up a massive match against Sheffield Wednesday. An improved performance will be needed to win that one.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

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