Nottingham Forest 3 Leeds United 1: YEP Jury Verdicts

Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Gary Newbould

United slipped to a disappointing defeat after they lost 3-1 at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Just when they appeared to be turning the corner to their start to the season, it was the very same set-pieces that contributed to their downfall as the all too familiar defensive frailties ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.

Garry Monk made 10 changes to the starting line-up that defeated Luton in midweek with Pablo Hernandez replacing Alex Mowatt being the only difference from the 11 that started the previous league fixture and victory at Hillsborough a week ago. Given the nature of the opposition and the importance of midfield possession this seemed a strange change to make and would ultimately contribute to the defeat.

Surprisingly for two teams who have already conceded plenty of goals in the first month of the season, it was a cagey opening with chances few and far between before Forest took the lead just after the 15-minute mark as a result of poor marking at a corner.

And United remained a goal in arrears as half-time arrived.

The start of the second half was United’s best phase of the game with Chris Wood firing over and the visitors holding plenty of possession. The game was still there for the taking before the hosts doubled their advantage as United’s soft centre from set-pieces was exposed with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Credit to the Whites as they refused to throw in the towel and Kalvin Phillips halved the arrears and made for an interesting final seven minutes with a fine swerving free-kick from distance.

Both Kyle Bartley and Marcus Antonsson went close to restoring parity late on before Oliver Burke (a thorn in United’s side all afternoon) confirmed United’s defeat.

The Whites have now lost three of their opening five matches and once again appear to have a “soft centre” that requires immediate attention.

Although always fully committed, Liam Cooper must be approaching being replaced by a match-fit Pontus Jansson.

It is simply not possible to score three goals every week to win football matches.

And the defensive skills of our coach are now required urgently to avoid a crisis developing.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds fans were brought back to earth very sharply by the 3-1 defeat at old rivals Nottingham Forest.

From a defensive point of view the bad habits of earlier games – and indeed past seasons – resurfaced.

Garry Monk brought back nearly all the players that played very well at Sheffield last Saturday bar one – Alex Mowatt omitted and Pablo Hernandez included. Teenage left-back Tyler Denton didn’t even get a place on the bench after his heroics in midweek and a contract extension.

In a open game the points were settled because of poor defending at set-pieces. Indeed, a junior league team would have been embarrassed by the back five’s performance. It’s simply not good enough and it has to be asked what they do on the training pitch!

To concede two goals so easily isn’t professional at all.

Leeds, mind you, had enough chances at the other end to salvage at least a point. The only bright spot was Kalvin Phillips’ wonderful free-kick goal.

The transfer window shuts on Wednesday and it’s obvious more players need to come in, with the likes of Diagouraga, Murphy and possibly Bamba leaving the club.

The game with Huddersfield comes after the international break and pressure will be on Monk. Back to square one.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

DAVID WATKINS

It is starting to look like this season will follow the pattern of others; glimpses of hope interspersed with regular defeats at places where we ought to be picking up points.

Once again Leeds were unable to turn possession into goals while at the back we continue to concede too many goals.

Garry Monk now has a couple of weeks to ponder on how best to put together a team capable of winning games regularly from a squad which has many useful, if not always consistent, contributors.

I thought Forest would be a tough test but I hoped Leeds had already found a decent formula.

Now I am not so sure.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips for his free-kick!

MATTHEW EVANS

Already a season of the familiar ups and downs that follow Leeds United but every defeat becomes even more daunting at the prospect that Garry Monk could be dispensed with faster than he was appointed.

I would imagine most fans want to see this team given a proper chance, including manager and backroom staff. There are few more depressing thoughts than another season of another new manager demanding new players, deriding those we already have and talking of building for next season. Monk will need to get the team playing much better but there’s time – as well as room – for improvement. The international break has come at the right time.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

MIKE GILL

Until Oliver Burke put the game beyond doubt, this was a game of set-pieces.

Two badly defended corners put Leeds on the back foot and it was only after Kalvin Phillips scored a brilliant free-kick that Leeds looked really threatening.

It was also a game of missed chances especially in the first half. Once again Hadi Sacko looked dangerous but he was unable to get the right crosses in or indeed convert his own chances. He was our most dangerous forward right up to the point where he was withdrawn. Pablo Hernandez was busy but was caught in possession too often. Bridcutt put in a typically swashbuckling performance and could not share any of the blame. Back to the training ground Garry.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson and Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

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