The hoodoo that Rotherham United hold over Leeds United in the Championship continued on Saturday, but any wounds that Steve Evans’ side suffered were entirely self inflicted as they once again found new ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
I was never confident going into the game that Leeds would get anything from it, and upon seeing another bizarre selection from the manager, any lingering self-belief quickly disappeared.
Chris Wood thrives on service from wide areas and on his return to the team any sensible person would have expected to see the likes of Stuart Dallas and Mustapha Carayol in the starting line up.
Instead Evans packed his midfield with four central players, leaving the two strikers devoid of anything to feed on.
If the midfield was a mess, then the defence was a disaster, or rather one man seemed intent in handing Rotherham the points. I have had to stop myself from tearing into Giuseppe Bellusci here, but his performance and attitude on Saturday was nothing short of a disgrace.
He appears to have appointed himself player-manager as he wants to do everything on the pitch, most of which he does wrong.
His disastrous error in the final minute forced Marco Silvestri to concede the decisive penalty and has left us with a child in goal for the next game against QPR. Unless of course he decides he would like to take the position himself as he did following the keeper’s red card.
Leeds are not safe from relegation just yet and this result sees us dragged closer to those teams scrapping for survival at the foot of the table.
We need another couple of wins to guarantee our safety, but, to be honest, I just can’t see where they are going to come from.
The result should hurt, but Leeds United at the moment just leave me numb.
As Aston Villa are demonstrating in the Premier League, when there is no plan, no pride and no passion the slide to oblivion is an inexorable one. It’s a path we have trodden before and are in the process of doing again.
Man of the match: Lewis Cook – inexplicably removed by a clueless manager.
Another trip to South Yorkshire ended in a late defeat, which was bitter in taste due to the lateness of the winner and how it came about from a act of stupidity by a player who seems prone to them.
Steve Evans’ return to his former club was far from a happy one.
After the debacle versus Huddersfield there were changes to the XI, with Chris Wood replacing the disgraced Doukara, and, in midfield, Toumani Diagouraga and Lewis Cook replaced Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas, who both dropped to the bench.
With time nearly up a mistake by Giuseppe Bellusci gave Frecklington a run at goal which ended with him being upended in the penalty area by Marco Silvesri.
The Leeds stopper was shown a straight red for the challenge. With Silvestri off and all three substitutes used, Bellusci went in goal to face the penalty. Halford converted coolly to complete the double over Leeds.
Another defeat must edge Evans closer to the Elland Road exit door; there is no way he’s the man to take this club anywhere. Leeds are far from safe and I’m wondering where the next win will come from. QPR visit Leeds on Tuesday, but I think I’m not alone in thinking that this rotten season can’t finish soon enough!
Man of the match: Lee Camp – some quality saves.
Rotherham have done the double over us – some how.
We clawed our way back in then two silly mistakes threw it all away. I’m not sure the players have any pride, which means home and away crowds will drop off massively.
Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.
Defeat at Rotherham was down to a wholly unprofessional display on the pitch. It shouldn’t be a surprise given unprofessionalism is synonymous with the club from boardroom to playing staff.
It’s nearly a year since Giuseppe Bellusci, Marco Silvestri and four others withdrew themselves from an away game at Charlton. If only they’d done the same ahead of Saturday’s match and we might have salvaged a draw. Neil Warnock, Rotherham’s victorious manager, said after the game he had no sympathy for Steve Evans. He spoke of his time at Leeds, the broken promises, the lack of investment, the expectant crowds watching humiliating defeats. Plus ca change, Neil.
Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.
A perfect example of why we are where we are in the table.
If you have twice as much possession, a man advantage and you still concede twice as many goals that tells you all you need to know about our attack, defence and goalkeeper.
Man of the match: 2,200 fans.
Once again Leeds United pointed a rifle at their own foot and pulled the trigger.
Having worked our way back into the game after giving the home side simple first goal, we came up with another piece of ludicrous football. Antenucci showed a total lack of game management as he first lost the ball, then realised he had to impede his man only to then let him go, free to run at goal!
Of course, the referee waves advantage and the Millers are away. Bellusci’s ridiculous overhead kick added to the pantomime and Silvestri was left with little option but to bring down Frecklington to give away the penalty. All with the Millers down to 10 men!
I didn’t think Leeds could surprise me anymore ...
Man of the match: Sol Bamba.