YEP Jury: Penalty decision and Gaetano Berardi’s red card were bitter pills to swallow for Leeds United

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s controversial 2-1 defeat at Millwall on Saturday.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 2:36 am
Gaetano Berardi leaves the field at the New Den after being sent off.

DAVID WATKINS

If we didn’t have bad luck I’m certain we’d have no luck at all! Once again circumstances contrived to make it as difficult as possible to get anything from this latest trip to South Bermondsey.

At the time, looking on from the stand behind the goal, my instinct was Tom Bradshaw threw himself to the ground and, after studying replays, I’ve not changed my opinion. It was a bitter pill to swallow but when referee James Linington doubled the punishment by controversially also sending Gaetano Berardi off, that pill became toxic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Gjanni Alioski celebrates his goal at Millwall.

A poorly defended second goal compounded our problems and although Gjanni Alioski’s goal did rekindle memories of a fightback in similar circumstances two seasons ago (though that ultimately ended in failure) we all knew it was a long shot.

Leeds played well enough in the second half but, as so often, we didn’t create enough despite being the better side. The failings we’ve noted before, the lack of proven goal poachers on the pitch and some wayward wing play, ultimately meant we’d achieve nothing.

Two weeks off now and I’d suggest we get Monsignor Philip Moger back to bless the Elland Road pitch again ready for the return of Pep Clotet and his boys.

Man of the match: Ben White.

Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline at Millwall.

ANDY RHODES

There’s only one word that crosses my mind when summing up the game on Saturday – frustrating.

Again, it was a game full of ifs, buts and maybes, most of which centred on one key moment. James Linington’s decision to award what replays suggest was the softest of penalties undoubtedly took the game away from Leeds.

Once that happened it was always going to be an uphill task but United still gave it their best and didn’t stray from their usual fluid style, registering an impressive 68 per cent possession.

Leeds United fans at Millwall.

The only thing that was lacking was the usual abundance of goalscoring opportunities. Just the five this week with Gjanni Alioski’s goal being United’s only shot on target.

The sending off forced Bielsa to change shape which unbalanced a usually well structured unit. The side may also lose another centre-back after losing Liam Cooper to injury against West Brom.

They have the international break to plan their next move and get back on track.

Man of the match: Gjanni Alioski.

Patrick Bamford is challenged by Millwall's Murray Wallace. Picture: Simon Hulme.

MATTHEW EVANS

To say I am tired of going to the New Den and dropping points is the understatement of the season.

The form guide appears to be totally irrelevant when this fixture rolls round and it doesn’t matter how good we think we are, Millwall are always full of running and aggression with every lucky break going their way.

In real time, I thought that Gaetano Berardi was the victim of a blatant dive for the penalty decision and I’ve seen nothing in the TV replays to suggest otherwise. That he was then sent off for the same ‘offence’ just poured insult onto the injury. If I was being positive then I would talk about how United put up a good fight with 10 men and probably should have equalised but I don’t feel like being positive. How we go from beating West Brom with such resilience to looking so painfully average against Millwall I don’t know. Nevertheless, there were one or two bright sparks. Luke Ayling is well and truly back, Stuart Dallas and Kalvin Phillips stepped up the mark again and Ben White was our best player, a colossus at the back.

Yet again we go into the international break with defeat ringing in our ears.

Man of the match: Ben White.

SHAUN SMITH

Ruined by the referee, this debacle of a game was remarkable only for the fact that the losers were the only team to emerge with any credit.

Probably not a penalty, certainly not a red card, Millwall were being cheered for winning throw-ins as the side with 10 men looked like it was they who had the extra man.

A niggly game, the Lions biting the dust at every opportunity, 10-man Leeds ran them ragged for much of the second half. It is unfair to criticise any player in white but it looked a game too industrial for Jack Harrison and Helder Costa.

Points dropped and a setback ahead of the international break but at least Gaetano Berardi’s red card will be rescinded. Or will it?

Tough going for Leeds at the moment who are not reaping the rewards for their superiority.

There must be a resolute determination to make better of the chances available. Shots off target, killer passes overhit but another one in the file of unfair results. There must come a time when a run of victories result from such sterling play.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

KEITH INGHAM

For the second time in seven days Leeds United suffered defeat in London. The 2–1 defeat was disappointing and Leeds as a result dropped to fifth place.

The key moment came early in the game when defender 
Gaetano Berardi was sent off for a professional foul, it seemed very harsh but the defender has a history of indiscretions and from that moment Leeds were up against it.

Millwall scored from the resultant penalty that was awarded before they doubled their lead just before the break.

Gjanni Alioski reduced the arrears and their keeper kept it from ending up a draw.

This isn’t a good period for the club, yes it was a good result against WBA but sandwiched either side have been very poor away-day displays.

The situation isn’t helped by the fact we’ve a very small squad and maybe the tea lady will line up as centre-half against Birmingham City!

The international break will give Leeds time to regroup and hopefully come back fighting when proper football returns in two weeks’ time.

Man of the match: The fans – incredible support once again.

MIKE GILL

Once again, Leeds United crossed the Thames and came home empty handed.

It has to be said that the circumstances were, to say the least, dubious but that often seems to be the way of things in the Championship.

The Whites had settled into their usual dominant pattern and all seemed well.

Disaster struck in the 16th minute when Gaetano Berardi appeared to lightly clip Tom Bradshaw. The referee not only pointed to the spot but issued the Leeds man with a straight red card. Jed Wallace duly dispatched the penalty. Shortly afterwards Jack Harrison was felled in the penalty area but the referee waved play on. This seemed to knock the wind out of the Whites and they struggled to maintain their usual shape. On the stroke of half-time, the Lions went two up thanks to Tom Bradshaw.

That should have been that but United came out in the second half like a team possessed. Gjanni Alioski slid one in and it was game on. For half an hour United played as if they had the extra man but it was all to no avail.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.