Leeds United 1 Birmingham City 1: YEP Jury verdicts

Lewis Cook.
Lewis Cook.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham City

JAMES HARRISON

After 85 minutes on Saturday, I think all Leeds fans in the stadium would have taken a point. The lads showed great character to fight and snatch an equaliser in the dying moments and what a finish it was.

I am delighted to see Luke Murphy putting in good performances and showing us the player he can be. Murphy did brilliantly to keep the ball down for his goal and get so much power behind his strike. He was our best player. He won the ball all game and some of his passes were brilliant.

Sam Byram seemed to gain a lot of confidence in the second half and some of his runs at their defence were mesmerising. He is a joy to watch when he is in that sort of mood.

I was happy to see Redfearn go with 4-4-2 but was unsure with Lewis Cook playing on the left side. Some of his touches and dribbles were first class but he wasn’t in the game as much as we’d like. Billy Sharp changed the game when he came on. He offered us more pace than Antenucci and he holds the ball up a lot better. I think that Morison and Sharp could be a good partnership in this division. Morison won a lot of headers and put them back into dangerous areas but Antenucci didn’t read the knockdowns. If Sharp had been on earlier, I think we could have been a goal or two up.

From first viewing, I thought that their penalty was the correct decision. Liam Cooper dived in when he didn’t have to and looked like he clipped their striker. It was soft but looked like the correct call. However, if the referee gave that then he has to award us a penalty for the foul on Sam Byram late in the second half. Also, I thought we had another blatant penalty for handball ruled out in the dying moments. I thought we started the game pretty well but the penalty killed the game and most importantly us. We stopped playing with tempo and the crowd seemed to be on edge.

The game suited Birmingham, as it was slow and extremely scrappy. They will have been gutted not to go away with all three points but we definitely deserved something. It wasn’t the best performance we have seen all season but we showed some fight and we can be happy with that. The players will have confidence going into tomorrow’s game and will be hopeful of getting all three points.

Man of match: Luke Murphy.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds United grabbed a late equaliser in their important game at Elland Road.

Luke Murphy topped a fine performance with the leveller, Leeds’ first goal in open play for nearly 700 minutes.

Neil Redfearn changed things again, surprisingly with Scott Wootton coming into defence alongside Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper. In midfield Lewis Cook, Murphy and Austin were supported by Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor on the wings. Mirco Antenucci partnered Steve Morison up front.

After a Rudy Austin effort went past the post Birmingham went in front when Paul Caddis scored from the penalty spot.

Morison and Bellusci had efforts saved by Darren Randolph.

Birmingham had chances too but Marco Silvestri was equal to all of them.

Leeds were unlucky to be 1-0 at the break.

Antenucci was clearly displeased at being substituted for Billy Sharp as he took his frustration out on the dugout. Birmingham so nearly doubled their lead when Donaldson’s header came back off a post. Leeds would not give in and, after Byram sent over a cross, the ball found Murphy who rounded off a good performance with the equaliser. Leeds were denied a penalty in injury time after a blatant hand ball.

Man of match: Luke Murphy.

STEPHEN CLARK

Normally a point earned at home when battling against relegation would be seen as a disappointment, but such was the relief that was felt around Elland Road following Luke Murphy’s late equaliser, it felt like a victory.

A point was the least that Leeds deserved from another performance that showed that at least the heart for the fight is still there. Leeds had most of the possession and territory but still lack a real cutting edge, a quality that needs to be found quickly if the Whites are to ease themselves away from the bottom three.

I was delighted for Murphy who capped another decent display with a well taken goal, cancelling out Birmingham’s early penalty. His ability to keep the midfield ticking over saw United on the front foot for most of the game.

A tough game against Bournemouth tomorrow offers little in the way of hope, however if Leeds could nick three points there, they will go into a 10 day break with a bit of breathing space.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

JONATHAN FORD

When you walk out of a ground thinking that we have been robbed and that a win was the least we deserved, that would be how we felt on Saturday. I try not to blame the referee for a draw or loss of points, but he was a disgrace, and has more than cost us 2 points, that said, the performance in the second half was fantastic.

Man of the match: Steve Morison.

MATTHEW EVANS

An insipid first-half performance gave way to a much brighter showing after the break and, in the end, United should have taken three points.

From the Gelderd End it looked like Liam Cooper had won the ball fairly before the referee pointed to the spot in the opening 10 minutes and, later, there looked to be a clear foul on Sam Byram and a handball that could have delivered penalties in our favour. Steve Morison was the forward who most looked like scoring while there were good displays elsewhere from Cook, Austin and Taylor.

But, for the second week in a row, Luke Murphy was my man of the match – all action and topped by the equaliser.

Man of match: Luke Murphy.

GARY NEWBOULD

United secured a point late on with a fine Luke Murphy finish which was the very least they deserved against a poor Birmingham side and a even poorer referee. Although only a point, at least the other results meant United were one point and one place further away from the bottom three.

Man of match: Lewis Cook.

Chris Wood scoresa late in the first half to make reduce the deficit to 3-1 at home to Norwich last season. Picture: Varley.

Haven’t we met before? Previous Elland Road meetings between Leeds United and Norwich City