YEP Leeds United fans’ jury: A point’s a point but the draw with Cardiff feels like a defeat

A pretty gobsmacked Yorkshire Evening Post fans’ jury looks back on a remarkable game with Cardiff City at Elland Road on Saturday.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 8:36 pm
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford celebrates two goals against Cardiff City. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Leeds United should have won, at least 3-0. Leeds United should have won comfortably, especially against 10 men. Somehow, Leeds United drew, 3-3.

Keith Ingham

Leeds’ winning run came to an abrupt end when, incredibly, they throw away a three-goal lead to gift Cardiff City their most unbelievable point of the season.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Stuart Dallas put in an eye-catching performance against Cardiff City. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

West Brom climbed above Leeds thanks to their 3-2 win at Birmingham City. Thankfully, these games only happen occasionally because they are pretty hard to explain. Leeds had played some superb football for the first 40 minutes and were two up thanks to two early goals by Helder Costa and Patrick Bamford.

Maybe the goals came too easily and too early because, after them, Leeds, despite having a huge amount of possession, didn’t ‘hurt’ their opponents enough. The half-time score should have been double had some of the fantastic build-up play ended in a shot or a clear-cut chance .

When Pat Bamford made it three from the penalty spot after he had been upended by Etheridge you expected the ‘avalanche’ of goals to continue and Klich was very unfortunate when his superb chip was saved brilliantly by the Cardiff keeper.

Though Leeds still pressed, tired limbs meant that Bamford and Harrison were taken off and the shape of the team changed.

Eddie Nketiah cannot hold the ball up like Bamford does and never will so the ball, when played forward, ended up with it being wasted time after time.

Cardiff sensed they could at least get a goal and did when Casilla flapped at a cross that Tomlin netted.

One became two when Morrison netted with the Leeds defence in disarray.

You’d think that, after Cardiff were down to 10 men, Leeds would run the clock down but, instead of doing that, they left themselves wide open to a counter attack which ended with Glatzel ‘ghosting’ past the Leeds defence to equalise.

The draw felt like a defeat as myself and my mate Shane tried to come to terms with what had just happened to our beloved team.

A drink was definitely needed after that horrendous last 10 minutes of a game we had won but absurdly let slip through our fingers.

It isn’t the end of the world; Leeds still have a healthy 10-point lead over the team in third but lessons need to be learnt and quickly.

Next Saturday’s trip to Fulham starts a tough four-game period over Christmas where, if we aren’t careful, the lead built could be gone – tough games against teams either in the top six or at a ground we seem to struggle to get a result from.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas with special mention for Patrick Bamford.

David Watkins

That feels like a defeat! We all knew the winning streak would come to an end in an unexpected manner and when we least expected it.

But I doubt anyone thought it would be coming today when we were 3-0 up and cruising with half an hour to go.

At three o’clock, had anyone told us we’d draw this game, we’d have shrugged and said: “oh well that’s not too bad, the Bluebirds are a bit of a bogey team and manager Neil Harris has often found a plan to foil us in the past with Millwall”, but crikey, we were cruising here and I can only see this as throwing away two points.

We just have to hope they are not critical come the end of the season.

As long as we can put it to the back of our minds and go on another good run, starting at Fulham next Saturday, then it may be no more than a reality check and a pointer as to where Marcelo needs to focus his work next week.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

Andy Rhodes

To throw away a result like that is hard to take. Leeds were cruising until Cardiff we’re given a look-in and the points seemed won.

Perhaps that was United’s undoing. At the bus stop after the game, someone turned to me and said “I’ve been watching Leeds for 35 years and I’ve never seen such a one-sided game”. He was right.

The first 60 minutes were some of the best you’ll see anywhere in England this season. Helder Costa and Jack Harrison were causing chaos down the wings while Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez we’re controlling the centre.

There’s no doubt that Leeds deserved to be 3-0 up but they got complacent and gave Cardiff the time and space to lump the ball forward.

Once the ball was high in United’s area it became a different contest and the pendulum swung in Cardiff’s favour. Their height was what we all feared beforehand.

Leeds will undoubtedly learn lessons from this but it’s two points dropped.

A win against Fulham next week will be the perfect redemption.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

Shaun Smith

There are some things in life one has to live with. ’Flu in winter, hangovers and Neil Harris, the anti-Bielsa.

We learn.

What else is there to say! Never take anything for granted. Leeds are vulnerable to the traditional and agricultural and we miss a few chances. Two points dropped but a wee reminder to never take the foot off the gas.

Leeds had fewer men behind the ball at 3-0 up.

Bielsa will be furious. Christmas is cancelled and the players will be doing games in their pants.

Kick up the backside. Ten points clear. I hope we never play Cardiff or Millwall more than once in the next hundred years.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

Mike Gill

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times ...

Most people called a close contest but 3-3?

United were completely dominant in the first half after fine goals from Helder Costa and Patrick Bamford.

If you add a perfectly timed third just after half-time when Bamford slotted home a penalty it should have secured an easy win for the rampant Whites.

Leeds cruised along until disaster struck when old enemy Lee Tomlìn scored on the hour.

Shortly afterwards, Sean Morrison added another before being sent off for a foul on Eddie Nketiah.

United’s hearts were broken on 88 minutes when Robert Glatzel headed the equaliser home. How a side with the meanest defence in the Championship threw away a three-goal lead is a mystery.

And, near the end, you hoped that it wouldn’t get any worse than it did.

The only way to rationalise this freak result is to write it off as a complete aberration – which is what it was.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.