Leeds United 0 Blackburn 3: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Luke Murphy.
Luke Murphy.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home defeat to Blackburn.

MATTHEW EVANS

Sometimes you just have to be grateful when a game is meaningless. If Saturday had turned out the same way in a game crucial towards a play-off place then Elland Road would have been apoplectic.

United started brightly and should have scored early on; it was the same old story of not quite carrying the required threat in attack.

Rudy Austin had already made a case for man of the match by the time the referee waved a red card in his direction with the game at 0-0. As usual he was full of running and tackling and had been the centre of most of United’s best play. Unfortunately 10 minutes before half-time, at an attacking corner, the linesman in front of the West Stand began flagging furiously and, after the briefest of discussions, the referee took United down to 10 men.

That was the crucial point of the game and the moment when a Blackburn victory became almost inevitable. Without having seen the incident close up it’s hard to tell who was to blame; Austin or linesman, but either way they conspired to turn a promisingly entertaining game into a drab spectacle of one-way football.

Once Blackburn had swept Leeds aside with three second-half goals in the face of some questionable defending Neil Redfearn faced the media and said he felt the decision was poor. He is not the type of manager to shirk an admission of his team’s guilt. As it was, the game, the points and even Austin’s dismissal meant very little.

Redfearn waved at the Leeds fans chanting his name from a lonely position in the dugout – without an assistant for the second time this season after Steve Thompson’s suspension. The decision not to explain who made that call and why proves, yet again, that PR is a scarce commodity at Elland Road.

Amid a fog of bizarre decision making in the boardroom, rumours of laughable clauses in Mirco Antenucci’s contract, speculation of a takeover by Red Bull and a Twitter storm over Wesley Sneijder’s contemptible advertisement, the United fans came together to observe an immaculate minute’s silence to remember the lives of two of our fellow Leeds fans, now 15 years gone. On a pretty meaningless afternoon, remembering their lives was anything but.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

KEITH INGHAM

On a day when fans and the club remembered Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight 15 years on – wonderfully observed by everybody – Leeds United suffered a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road.

This was three days that Neil Redfearn will want to forget as the hierarchy at the club seem intent on destroying everything he has achieved since the turn of the year.

The suspension of Steve Thompson is clearly a bad decision.

Neil Redfearn’s team showed two changes as Lewis Cook was absent due to injury and Steve Morison was preferred to Billy Sharp or Mirco Antenucci, the latter rumoured to be the player that Redfearn was asked not to play due to a agreement in his contract.

Both though were on the bench alongside youngsters Kalvin Phillips and Chris Dawson.

Leeds started really well but once down to 10 men, Blackburn asserted themselves and turned the screw as Leeds’ defending grew progessively worse.

A bad day at the office not helped by instability within the club.

Just when we thought it was going so well.

So, cheers current officials; you can really turn a silk purse into sow’s ear!

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

GARY NEWBOULD

United slipped to a disappointing defeat on Saturday afternoon in a game that was changed on 38 minutes by yet again another harsh decision from the officials against United with the sending off of Rodolph Austin.

Up to that point the Whites looked the better side, but the sending off led to the home side (and in particular Guiseppe Belusci) being pulled to pieces by Rovers. They say decisions even themselves out over a season so I look forward to a dozen penalties and six sending offs in our favour in the remaining six games of the season. They say that you learn more from a defeat than victory; let’s hope the Leeds United board learn how to run a football club properly.

Man of the match: Sam Byram.

JAMES HARRISON

I thought we were really unlucky on Saturday. In the first half, we were really dominant and they never looked like they were going to threaten us.

However, the bizarre decision to send off Rudy Austin disrupted the game and we never recovered. The atmosphere dropped and I think at half-time everybody in the ground was expecting us to go on and lose.

We had a few half-chances in the first half but we didn’t create much at all, to say we were the better team. We pushed men forward going for the win and they caught us on the counter attack. It was a disappointing result but there are more important things to worry about at the moment!

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

JONATHAN FORD

The turmoil at Leeds shows no sign of ending; the only positive being the tribute to Chris Loftus and Kev Speight by the fans and club. The performance failed to match the occasion but it’s difficult when circumstances have been tough and when a red card is shown.

Man of the match: The fans.

Liam Cooper in action for Leeds United last season

Cooper returns to ease Leeds United’s defensive concerns