Leeds United 0 Middlesbrough 0: YEP jury verdict

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Mondays are generally pretty awful, and the prospect of visiting a half-empty Elland Road to watch a struggling Leeds United side against a Middlesbrough team gunning for promotion meant that the start to this week had the potential to be doubly miserable.

However, on a freezing night, the heart was warmed by events both on and off the pitch, as the support took the fight for the club to the owner, and the team showed similar fighting spirit to earn a share of the spoils against the high-flying visitors.

Toumani Diagouraga

Toumani Diagouraga

Hats have to be tipped to the organisers of the protest which illuminated Elland Road throughout the night.

If Massimo Cellino felt threatened by a small poster outside the East Stand last week, one can only wonder about his mental state when he sees the images which were beamed onto the stadium on Monday evening.

If they achieve anything, hopefully they will make Mr Cellino realise that the fans will not lay down and accept, what appear to be, false promises any more.

The worries of those in the pro-Cellino camp that any protest would have an adverse effect on the team were dispelled as the side selected by Steve Evans more than held its own against a Boro side that could have gone top of the Championship with a win.

Hopefully, the majority of fans will now realise that backing the team whilst wanting a change at the top are not mutually exclusive aims.

Once again Leeds looked neat and tidy in the middle of the park, but were without a real threat in front of goal.

Mirco Antenucci was, again, anonymous, and, surely, the time has come for Lee Erwin, who looked much busier in his 10 minutes on the pitch, to be given a chance up front.

Middlesbrough, in comparison, had an embarrassment of riches in the forward areas, but were restricted to sporadic attacks by a tigerish display by the Leeds midfield.

In fact it was the Whites who came closest to scoring (though Boro had one disallowed) with Souleymane Doukara only denied from winning the game by a world-class save by the Boro goalkeeper.

The failure to grab all three points was the only black mark on an uplifting night.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.


Leeds United provided many detractors, myself included, with a much-improved 90-minute performance at Elland Road on a cold Monday evening.

In fact, many of the 20,000-plus fans will believe that all three points should have been Leeds’ after an exciting contest. There was a protest, as expected – a stunt costing a few thousand pounds and paid for by a group of disenchanted Leeds fans.

Alex Mowatt returned to the 18 after his injury absence.

Leeds were impressive in the first half with Toumani Diagouraga in midfield giving both full-backs licence to get forward, which they did at every opportunity.

Boro had chances as did Souleymane Doukara before Ben Gibson r was sent off for a second yellow card following a clumsy challenge on Leeds substitute Lee Erwin. In injury time Doukara brought out the best in goalkeeper Konstantopoulous, so, goalless at full-time.

This was a very good performance by Leeds.

The five-man midfield dominated much of the game with Diagouraga giving a particularly impressive performance.

Leeds have won games playing worse this season; very unfortunate not getting the three points.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.


A much-improved performance from United saw them take a point from promotion-chasing Middlesbrough at Elland Road. On the balance of chances the Whites could even have taken all three points. A very welcome point.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.


Well, what a performance! I fancied a draw in this game and my only proviso was that our soft-hearted defence could, for once, avoid giving away an easy goal or three!

Leeds did more than that and even £9m man Jordan Rhodes – scorer of five in his previous four games against us – couldn’t find a way through. We did need a slice of luck when a Rhodes header was ruled out by a suspect call that the ball had previously gone out of play. But we were due that one after the calamities at the Riverside last September. In the final 15 minutes Leeds laid siege to the Boro goal and it was possibly the best atmosphere in the ground all season. If only we could play with this tempo and passion every week!

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.


The better performances against the top teams continues. We played some great stuff on Monday night and could have won the game, but we don’t create enough chances. Boro didn’t have much of the ball, but a draw was a fair result.

Man of the match: Toumani Diagouraga.


A freezing night, a half-empty Elland Road, a drab atmosphere – and as entertaining a goalless draw as you are ever likely to see!

Leeds United is the shell of the club it used to be and it’s that that has sparked protests like the one seen on Monday.

The fact so many fans were compelled to pay for projections to be cast on the side of the huge East Stand was a further reminder that this is a big club with a big support just waiting for something to get behind. Fortunately the players did their best to live up to that billing and could easily have won a hard-fought game on what felt like an ‘old school’ night of football in more ways than one.

Man of the match: Giuseppe Bellusci.