Leeds United Jury: Whites stick to their principles and earn deserved draw at Lions

0
Have your say

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw at Millwall.

DAVID WATKINS

Samuel Saiz takes on Shaun Williams of Millwall.

Samuel Saiz takes on Shaun Williams of Millwall.

‘Win at home and draw away and you’ll not go far wrong’ is an old football adage, so a point at a place where we traditionally get none cannot be sniffed at.

That we did it without three first team starters in Pablo Hernandez, Gaetano Berardi and Kemar Roofe makes it looks even better.

As we did against Middlesbrough, we again bossed the possession to the tune of 63 per cent but once again without the guile of Pablo we didn’t always use it well; he is the oil that ensures our Bielsa Bentley runs smoothly. Without him we do tend to splutter, a worry with two winnable games looming at Elland Road this week.

Jack Harrison is a useful player to bring in with Pablo missing, as he showed with his fine finish, but he is no Pablo. Similarly, Tyler Roberts grafted all afternoon but at 19-years-old has nowhere near the experience of Kemar Roofe. We need to find a way to recreate the fluency we showed against Stoke, Derby and Norwich but without Pablo the Grand Master.

Leeds United fans celebrate their 1-1 draw against Millwall.

Leeds United fans celebrate their 1-1 draw against Millwall.

Man of the match: Pontus Jansson.

ANDY RHODES

Every club has their bogey grounds and Leeds United are no different. Last year Millwall ended Thomas Christiansen’s excellent start and derailed the Whites’ season.

But this year everyone expected more, even with Leeds’ current injury problems. Tyler Roberts could do with a goal and he was unlucky not to score at the end of the first half.

In truth he could have had a couple, while Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper were unlucky not to find the back of the net in the second half.

The majority of Leeds’ chances came through Samuel Saiz, and although Millwall were well up for it, they gave him plenty of chances to attack.

Millwall’s best chances came from set pieces and it’s still an area that causes concern for us.

But Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa will take that result all day long, especially considering the late onslaught from the home side.

With the record that Leeds have at Millwall you can’t ask for much more than that.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.

KEITH INGHAM

Some things do change, under-strength but still as strong – Leeds continued their unbeaten run with a 1–1 draw at Millwall. The draw keeps them at the top of the Championship by a point, Middlesbrough lost at Norwich City so Leeds are the only unbeaten team left in the Championship.

With the squad under-strength because of injuries to Gaetano Berardi, Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa shuffled his squad and Tyler Roberts was played as the lone striker with Jack Harrison continuing in a wide midfield role. Pontus Jansson partnered Liam Cooper in the centre of defence. Adam Forshaw returned to the substitutes’ bench after his spell out through injury.

Despite the fact that Leeds went behind to a second-half goal by Jed Wallace they fought back to equalise through a superb goal by Jack Harrison with a minute to go. Tom Elliott hit the post for Millwall in injury time but Leeds deserved their share of the spoils.

The mentality that keeps the players going until the last kick is reaping rewards, staying top is the prize for many hours of hard graft. Without doubt previous Leeds teams would have settled for a minimal defeat but this group, despite many being at the club for a few years now have somebody who believes in them and more importantly they believe in themselves.

Preston North End are next up and are the only team thus far to beat Leeds this season in a Carabao Cup tie. Marcelo Bielsa’s team was vastly changed for the cup tie and many who were given the opportunity did not perform very well. Alex Neil’s team lost at the weekend but will battle for every ball. I’d like to see Ryan Edmundson or Jack Clarke be given at least 20 minutes during the game. I expect Leeds to win 2-1.

Man of the match: Jack Harrison.

MIKE GILL

Leeds United might not have won at The Den but they have laid a ghost. In the end a draw was probably a fair result but it felt like a win.

United played their usual game but could not break the Millwall defence down and honours were even at half-time despite Gjanni Alioski and Tyler Roberts coming close to scoring.

Ten minutes into the second half, Jed Wallace put the home side ahead with a scrambled effort.

United kept going but the clock ran down. Just when it seemed that the Whites would have to accept an undeserved defeat, Jack Harrison hit a sweet strike from the edge of the box to equalise.

The goal came as a result of United’s pressing game and was thoroughly deserved.

Six frantic minutes of injury time followed as the home side threw everything at their visitors.

A moral victory for Leeds who remain top of the Championship heading into tomorrow night’s home clash with Preston North End.

Man of the match: Liam Cooper.

MATTHEW EVANS

The good news is that, compared to Millwall away last season, United have improved immeasurably and were at least able to claim they had been in the game once the final whistle blew.

Despite that, it looked inevitable for a long period that Millwall would take all three points yet again with a game of long kicks, long throws and long waits while the ball is retrieved from the crowd (or the dugout).

It’s commendable that we kept going with the game plan we know and the game plan that Bielsa puts so much faith in. Some of our passing and ball retention was excellent and we continued to battle even after going behind. Less promising is how vulnerable we looked dealing with high balls at the back and the fact that missing so many key players clearly has a detrimental effect on how many chances we create.

Snatching a point at the death was about the best we could have hoped for and sets us up nicely, still unbeaten, for a couple of home games that look eminently winnable. Pontus Jansson was only bettered by Samuel Saiz for man of the match.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.

SHAUN SMITH

Leeds United took a point at Millwall but made a bigger point to themselves.

The grit and determination not to lose this game reassures everyone at the club that the carbon copy start to the season will not end in the sorry tale of last time round.

This was not a pretty game. The Lions scrap to exact corners and long throw ins; they niggle to curb more sophisticated opponents from playing.

The terraces ooze derision, scorn and vitriol.

A footballer must eek out any artistry from the hardest of rock for this is indeed stony ground for Leeds, a club who themselves have a reputation for intimidation but demands football that is more modernist than caveman.

Millwall prefer to stand toe to toe and slug it out. Leeds to duck and weave and box clever. It was a draw but Leeds won on points.

The points being that class tells and we are stronger than before.

Man of the match: Samuel Saiz.