Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s goalless draw at Reading
Well, I think we all knew this was going to be a tight game – but we might have expected a few more chances from both sides.
At the final whistle the shots-on-target count was just four; three from Reading and just one from Leeds (a drive from Stuart Dallas that was easily held by Reading goalkeeper Jonathan Bond).
In fact, the only thing that roused the home fans during a lacklustre first half was a wonderful round of applause for Royals academy manager Eamonn Dolan, who is undergoing a course of chemotherapy.
The Leeds fans all joined in and the whole ground stood to support him; his picture appearing on the big screen in the stadium.
It is hard to remember any clear-cut chances – Chris Wood had a header fly over with the help of a Reading head late on in the match, and both sides had shots just wide that rippled the side netting.
Leeds can at least take heart from the clean sheet, a rare thing for the Whites in recent seasons.
Perhaps we most missed the sudden impact of pace that those little runs of Lewis Cook bring us and, of course, we have another two games to survive before we see him again. The new-look middle three of Mowatt, Phillips and Adeyemi held their ground well but there was little invention from Leeds or Reading in that part of the pitch. It could be argued that we should have seen Mirco Antenucci earlier than the 72nd minute when he and Luke Murphy joined the fray while Phillips and Mowatt were withdrawn perhaps with one eye on that trip to Bristol on Wednesday.
Antenucci looked lively and his pace did ask questions of the Reading defence that had looked untroubled. Sam Byram was unusually quiet on the right-hand side and for this Leeds side to buzz we do need him at his best.
It is to be hoped that the constant speculation about his future is not the cause of his lull yesterday or indeed his penalty miss on Thursday.
With little to choose between several Leeds players I went for Liam Cooper as man of the match for his best display this season so far, albeit just three games in.
Man of the match: Liam Cooper.
Leeds United made it two points out of six with a hard-earned draw at Reading.
Uwe Rosler made six changes for the game at Reading from the team that was knocked out of the Carling Cup by Doncaster Rovers. Although Leeds lost the game on penalties and played the majority of the game with 10 men after Lewis Cook’s sending off, it is clear to me that further strengthening of the squad is necessary.
Reading started well, Sol Bamba went in the book early after a challenge which gave the home side a sight of Silvestri’s goal but the free-kick didn’t really trouble the Italian. Stuart Dallas shot straight at Bond when Silvestri’s goal-kick found him. Adeyemi had Leeds’ first effort in the second period but it deflected wide. Reading still threatened but McShane’s effort went over, but Wood should have put Leeds up when in space, but his effort went narrowly wide. A double substitution by Rosler sent on Luke Murphy and Mirco Antenucci for Phillips and Mowatt. Chris Wood had the last effort on goal but his volley went over.
There is a concern that Wood is ploughing a lone furrow up front and maybe in either of the next two games Antenucci may get a starting spot in a different formation. The big forward could do with some support. Great support again by the fans.
Man of the match: Chris Wood.
United registered a point on their first league travels of the season in a drab encounter.
The 90 minutes saw Stuart Dallas and Chris Wood come as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock in a game of few chances and little quality.
Man of the match: Charlie Taylor.
Despite chances being scarce it was a good showing at Reading yesterday as Uwe Rosler’s organised game plan showed its worth away from home.
There were rumblings in the away end about Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas but, in fact, it was Sam Byram who looked most out of sorts up top.
The defence was almost faultless in keeping its shape and the midfield three worked hard to help them out.
Kalvin Phillips had his best game so far for the Whites and Tom Adeyemi was at the heart of everything.
Three points at Bristol City on Wednesday would represent an excellent start to the season.
Man of the match: Tom Adeyemi.
It was a poor game. Neither team had a clear-cut chance and there was absolutely nothing between the two sides. We defended well but lacked creativity. Phillips and Adeyemi were brilliant in the middle. Before the game, we’d have taken a point.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.
Just as we will be unsure how good a point it was last week against Burnley, we cannot be sure if the draw at Reading is a good result away from home, or if it was two points dropped against a poor side.
Even so quickly after the final whistle it is difficult to recall either side creating any real clear-cut chances.
Uwe Rosler has certainly built a decent hardworking side but it is clear that, once again, creativity will be a problem. Leeds never looked like causing Reading any real problems and once again Chris Wood cut an isolated figure up front. Leeds face another tricky fixture at Bristol City on Wednesday. A point there is acceptable, but Leeds could do with a win sooner rather than later.
Man of the match: 4,000 hardy souls who made the trip.