Two or three weeks ago, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s fans’ jury was pretty confident that Leeds United would secure automatic promotion.
In the last couple of weeks, they’d come to terms with reaching the Premier League via the play-offs. After Sunday’s result and performance at already-relegated Ipswich Town, however, some are concerned that Championship football will still be on the agenda come the end of May.
Take a look at their concerns, and see if you agree.
Well, the wheels are well and truly off Bielsa’s bandwagon and relegated Ipswich’s calamitous winner in the 3-2 defeat summed up the wretched form Leeds have slopped up recently.
The team is a distant shadow of the one that took the Championship by storm in the first part of the season. I’ve been trying really hard to find any positives in recent games (Villa apart) and, to be honest, I’m struggling to find anything. The defence seem like strangers, midfield inept and the attack is as toothless as an old moggy on its last legs!
Three penalties awarded, three missed paints another sorry picture. I’ll not go on; somewhere, somebody has to find something inside themselves within the squad to turn sinners into saints because, if they don’t Leeds haven’t a hope in hell in getting through their semi-final against Derby County, never mind win a final against West Brom or Villa at Wembley.
Simply not good enough and I’m fed up to the back teeth of losing such a fantastic opportunity to get out of the Championship.
The 13 reasons why we aren’t celebrating promotion now and probably won’t this season.
Leeds 1–2 B’ham
Blackburn 2–1 Leeds
WBA 4-1 Leeds
Leeds 0–2 Hull
Nott’m Forest 4–2 Leeds
Stoke 2-1 Leeds
Leeds 1-3 Norwich
QPR 1-0 Leeds
Leeds 0-1 Sheff U
B’ham 1-0 Leeds
Leeds 1-2 Wigan
Brentford 2-0 Leeds
Ipswich 3-2 Leeds
If you want to go up at least 60 per cent of them you’d expect to take a point from, maybe three, especially the games against Stoke who were winless before playing Leeds, as were QPR, Birmingham and Ipswich, and Wigan had won one away game before their visit to the ‘Theatre of Broken Dreams’.
Man of the match: Not applicable.
There are two Leeds Uniteds. There’s the one that strides imperiously around the pitch, exclusive possession, admirable swagger.
Then there is the one that stutters. As if doubtful of their own quality, finding new ways not to score, contriving calamities to concede. United are a ridiculously good side for the Championship. Over 300 chances to score four goals. As Ipswich’s goal appeared to have a pane of glass shielding it, Leeds’ defence shattered. It’s not quite enough for Leeds to turn up and win. There has to be artistry. There has to be drama. There has to be tragedy.
Ipswich was a meaningless game which Leeds fans will bestow with all kinds of meaning. The fates are against us, some will say. Some will start to draw lines through players’ names they consider not good enough, Bielsa burnout will crop up. Bottlers. Scapegoats.
In all probability, Leeds will play the play-offs like they have the whole season. They will be the better team. They will dominate. They will weave a certain magic. But, there are no guarantees.
Bielsa will continue to risk to reap rewards. It is likely to be much of the same. But Leeds will dominate. They will be the better team. The games will be decided on which side scores the most goals and in that regard Bielsa is absolutely right. No style is superior to the other.
Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.
Once again Leeds United continued their trend of losing to supposedly inferior teams – going down 3-2 at already-relegated Ipswich Town yesterday afternoon.
It’s a wonder that there aren’t more players on the injured list judging by the number of banana skins we have slipped up on this season.
And, as for the penalty curse – we complained enough about not being awarded any then miss three in a row.
At least Kemar Roofe literally slipped!
The good news is that the match result turned out to be an irrelevance and, as long as the Whites can pick themselves up in the way they have done many times this season, then all is still very well in the camp at Elland Road.
Crazy game and crazy goals. This was the first time that you could blame Kiko Casilla but he must shoulder the responsibility for Ipswich’s first and third goals.
For the record, Downes, Dozzell and Chambers scored for Ipswich while Klich and Syuart Dallas netted for Leeds.
Man of the match: Mateusz Klich.
It was another game where United had much more possession and many more chances than the opposition but walked away with no points – from relegated Ipswich Town.
There is no getting away from the fact of our terrible form, just one point from a possible 12 from the last four Championship games.
We never looked quite as dominant on Sunday afternoon as we have in previous weeks.
And there was a real end-of-season vibe at Portman Road.
Our marquee goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla, conceded every shot that Ipswich had on his goal and looked culpable for the end result.
Still, Mateusz Klich scored with a well-taken goal and played well overall while Kalvin Phillips had another good game in the heart of midfield.
If we are to find our way through the play-offs we will need Casilla and the luckless Kemar Roofe to find some form at either end of the field.
And we now know who we face in the play-offs – ‘Frank Lampard’s Derby County’ who we’ve already beaten twice.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.
Well, that wasn’t the result we neither wanted nor expected. In fact, it was almost the worst-case scenario.
Leeds were largely flat, uninspired and, not least, a shambles at the back and Colin Quaner’s winner was embarrassing.
The mix-up between players as experienced as Kiko Casilla and Luke Ayling simply shouldn’t have happened and it summed up a disjointed performance.
Preparing for the play-offs was the order of the day, but instead, questions will be asked regarding Leeds’ form, defensive discipline and attacking cohesion, as has been the case in recent weeks.
Leeds will now face a Derby side which has lost just one of its previous 12 games. Other sides in the play-offs may have form on their side but United have proven their doubters wrong time and time again this season including against Derby in January.
Navigating through the play-offs will be no easy task but it’s often said that Leeds play better against good footballing sides. Let’s hope it’s true this time!
Man of the match: Mateusz Klich.
This is getting silly now! I thought there was a chance Ipswich could get something from this game – it is impossible for players not to have at least one eye on the big prize and the big prize for Leeds depends on two games against Derby County.
Never in a million years did I think we could contrive to lose this game though. We seem to come up with ever more ingenious ways to throw this season away with each passing game.
Once again that toxic combination of a fragile, nervous looking defence and an absolute inability to hit the target with even the simplest of chances at the other end has done for us. That excuse for a penalty kick was bad but it was not the only mishit and mis-kick we managed each time we had a sight of goal.
You’d think someday it will all come right and we will score a boat-load against somebody but we are running out of opportunities to test that theory.
Twenty-seven attempts this time, with only seven on target and only two goals. Quite why we have not been able to address this failing is beyond me.
The season now depends on those two games with Derby.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.