Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s goalless draw with Preston North End.
If anyone would have offered me the draw before the game I’d have taken it – I felt Preston showed just as much quality in beating Sheffield Wednesday than we did in beating a poor Bolton side so a draw was the obvious conclusion.
But seeing Preston go down to 10 men on the hour and being able to bring on Samuel Saiz to play with Pablo Hernandez ought to have been enough of a boost to get us all three points. We even created the one big chance in the game but Chris Wood found the goalkeeper’s hand and not the net.
It was a shame as the opportunity was right there for us and in this league you really have to take the thin pickings offered.
Other observations were that Pontus Jansson started slowly following his two-game suspension, perhaps that was to be expected, and although no-one had a stinker, the only Leeds player to really shine was Cameron Borthwick-Jackson with his constant threat down the left wing.
Man of the match: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
The two things everybody was predicting before the game were a Leeds United win and a match with plenty of goals so, of course, we played out a goalless draw.
If head coach Thomas Christiansen or any of our new recruits were unsure about what life in the Championship was like then Preston were kind enough to put on an early season masterclass to leave them in no doubt.
North End’s entire game plan involved stopping United.
They fought, harried and time wasted their way to a well-earned point and frustrated a Leeds United team that is only just beginning to gel and an expectant crowd that provided nothing from the stands to remotely ease the nerves.
This wasn’t a disaster by any means but Christiansen will need to find ways to sharpen and toughen his squad and find the plan B required to break down the type of spoiling tactics that Preston brought to Elland Road on Saturday.
Man of the match: Liam Cooper.
Leeds were denied by a resolute Preston team, despite the visitors being down to 10 men and time wasting whenever they had the opportunity. The inconsistent refereeing didn’t help the game flow, but Leeds were well short of their recent performances.
Leeds were bright early on but found a Preston team in a resolute mood. Ezgjan Alioski had Leeds’ best early chance but his effort went wide, Alan Browne had Preston’s best chance but Luke Ayling blocked his effort.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Ben Pearson saw his second card of the afternoon, Leeds introduced Ronaldo Vieira and Samuel Siaz to seize on their numerical advantage. Chris Wood then had Leeds’ best chance of the afternoon but in a one-on-one situation with Chris Maxwell it was the Preston keeper who came out on top. Stuart Dallas was also denied by Maxwell and the post, before Hernandez also went close.
Four points out of six isn’t the worse start to the campaign, Leeds will have to be better against Fulham tomorrow.
Man of the match: Liam Cooper.
Lovely weather, the refurbished Elland Road sparkling in the sunshine, a near capacity crowd following on from a 4-1 midweek victory. What could possibly go wrong?
Nobody told Preston! The visitors clearly set themselves up to frustrate and they succeeded. Days like these exemplify the ugly and frustrating side of the Championship.
There were few chances for either side in the first half. The shots from both sides were few and far between. Preston having slightly better chances.
On the hour Ronaldo Vieira and Samuel Saiz replaced Kalvin Phillips and Kemar Roofe but the deadlock continued.
Even after Ben Pearson was sent off for a second bootable offence, United could not break through. Chris Wood came closest, being denied by a fine save from Maxwell. That was before Josh Harrop almost scored – Felix Wiedwald pushing his effort onto the bar.
Had he scored, it would have been a travesty of justice but games like this remind us what a long, hard slog this season is going to be.
Man of the match: Luke Ayling.
A frustrating afternoon ensued at a packed Elland Road as United were held to a draw against 10-man Preston.
The early exchanges saw the visitors have more than their fair share of possession and it was apparent that new coach Alex Neil had instilled a definite foundation of aggression in the team that the Whites achieved the double over last season.
United struggled to get into the game and a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes from Pontus Jansson were lucky not to be punished before half-time.
Coach Thomas Christiansen appeared to have had some words at the half-time break as United emerged much better for the second 45 minutes.
The visitors’ aggressive approach was very much spearheaded by Ben Pearson who belatedly received his marching orders on the hour mark.
United’s best chance fell to Chris Wood who just failed to beat Chris Maxwell in a one-on-one situation, although the visitors nearly stole the three points at the end when only the crossbar denied them.
Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.