Leeds United 0-1 Swansea City: Graham Smyth's Verdict - The one thing Whites didn't do is what will make their dream come true

Patrick Bamford was off target with this header in the first half (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)Patrick Bamford was off target with this header in the first half (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)
Patrick Bamford was off target with this header in the first half (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)
It is becoming clear, even at this early stage of the season, that the main thing standing between Leeds United and their promotion dream is Leeds United.

Swansea City might have won the table-top clash at Elland Road 1-0, but they really should not have.

The Whites should have been out of sight by half-time, the fans should have been greeting each second half pass with an olé and Leeds should have gone into the international break top of the Championship.

Instead, they are third and Swansea are top.

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What should have happened, did not. What should not have happen, did.

Leeds failed to take their chances.

Swansea did, in the 90th minute of course, and it was the Welshmen in the 34,935 crowd celebrating wildly at the full-time whistle.

Steve Cooper claimed after the game that they came to Elland Road to win and there's no reason to doubt that statement.

The Swans would undoubtedly have taken to the pitch with three points in mind, to carry on what has been a stellar start to the season.

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They might well have wanted to win but for 90 minutes they did not ever really look like winning.

The lack of urgency in the way they restarted the game from each second half dead ball screamed 'we'll settle for a point thanks very much' - especially when Leeds were in full flight and creating chances, which was often.

Expected goals, that increasingly-quoted metric that measures how likely it is that a team will score a goal, suggested Marcelo Bielsa's men should have celebrated at least two but probably three of them.

Expected goals do not win games.

Creating more chances than your opponent, sending in multiple crosses, dominating possession, completing passes - these things help you to win games, but they are not what determine a victor from a footballing contest.

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Leeds had more of the ball, more opportunities to put it in the net, yet Swansea actually did so and so they went home with three points.

To the Swans' credit, they did go forward when the rare chance arose, they did try to create and when Leeds didn't deal with either the last minute corner or the second ball that came into their box, goalscorer Wayne Routledge and Swansea were clinical, in a scruffy sort of way.

The theme of the game was one that has run throughout the season so far.

Leeds looked to exploit the wide areas of the pitch, delivered the ball into the area and got on the end of those chances.

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When visiting defenders or keeper Freddie Woodman didn't block the path to goal, the woodwork did, or the ball was sent off target.

It just wouldn't go in.

Within 40 seconds Leeds were on the front foot and Swansea looked vulnerable, particularly in the full-back areas.

That was evidenced by two early and unsuccessful Gjanni Alioski efforts from the left hand side of the box, after right-wing crosses.

On the left wing, Jack Harrison made a bright start and having done brilliantly to get a cross in at all, actually found Patrick Bamford with it and his first attempt of the afternoon was blocked.

It wasn't to be Bamford's day.

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He went on to head wide twice from very decent crosses and, later in the game after Liam Cooper had rattled the crossbar with a header, made way for the man challenging for his spot up front - Eddie Nketiah.

Bamford comes in for stick when he doesn't take his chances and Saturday was no different, yet Nketiah's profligacy showed it wasn't a Bamford thing, it was a Leeds thing.

It just wouldn't go in.

They got so much right.

Three men stood on the edge of the Swansea area for Woodman's goal kicks to prevent Swansea playing out and forced them to go long which plainly didn't suit.

They created overloads out wide, played nice football around the edge of the box, found men with cut-backs and created space for late runners into the box.

Defensively, they looked rock solid for the most part.

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Ben White, Kalvin Phillips - who battled an injury for 50 minutes - and Cooper read Swansea so well that they nipped in on numerous occasions to cut out a pass or get in front of a man to keep the Swans penned in.

In Dallas and Alioski, they had energy in abundance.

In Nketiah, they had pace to burn.

That was what brought him the first of two glorious chances; haring onto a loose ball that two defenders looked favourite to reach first, speeding to the edge of the box and shooting high, wide and handsome while off balance.

If Leeds were guilty of anything, other than wastefulness, it was trying to be too good, too pretty.

Hernandez got into a terrific shooting position and tried to dribble past three players.

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He didn't make the same mistake next time, hammering a shot goalward only to watch it miss at the far post.

The moment that summed up the afternoon arrived soon after.

Wing wizardry and dogged determination from substitute Helder Costa gave Dallas time to clip a cross to the back post, Nketiah arriving unmarked to stoop and head in what surely would be the winner.

It just wouldn't go in.

And when it's abundantly clear for everyone to see that it's going to be one of those days, what starts as a nagging doubt at the back of every Leeds fan's mind soon becomes an expectation and on this occasion, a reality.

Swansea finally broke forward, won a 90th minute corner and the rest is recent history, repeated.

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Just like last season, Leeds United are showing the skill and the tactical organisation to create many chances and they are likely to do so against every team they face.

Bielsa-ball and chance-creation will ensure they're up there come the end of the season.

Taking chances will make the dream come true.

It just has to go in.