Leeds United v Barnsley: YEP jury verdict

Marcus Tudgay wins the ball from Tom Lees.
Marcus Tudgay wins the ball from Tom Lees.
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The YEP jury have their say on Leeds United’s clash with Barnsley at Elland Road.


A frustrating game finished goalless as Brian McDermott’s side failed to break down a resolute Barnsley defence.

A combination of Danny Wilson’s negative tactics and a terrible refereeing performance meant the game couldn’t flow properly and Leeds had to settle for a second consecutive Elland Road draw.

The chances were there to win it; Matt Smith in particular missed two great chances and came agonisingly close after carving out an opening from a tight angle.

Referee Keith Stroud dished out yellow cards like they were festive greetings. The entire Leeds midfield were booked, including substitute Michael Tonge – for one of the most innocuous fouls you will ever see.

Luke Murphy’s yellow means he now gets Boxing Day off and Leeds will need to replace a key cog in their midfield against Blackpool.

It looked inevitable that a red card would come, but surprisingly, not only did Stroud actually get a decision correct, but it was a Barnsley player who went for an early bath.

Marcus Tudgay, who had earlier got the better of Marius Zaliukas legitimately, only to miss Barnsley’s best chance of the game, went in on the Lithuanian with studs showing.

It was a nasty tackle and for a while it looked like Leeds would also have to finish the game with 10 men, having already made three changes.

Zaliukas returned but Leeds couldn’t make the most of their one-man advantage, even with six minutes of stoppage time.

As disappointing as it was to only take a point against a side who had lost all but two of their away games before Saturday, it’s important to keep a sense of perspective. We’re sitting fifth in the table, we’ve got the best squad of players we’ve had for three years and off the field things are looking more promising than they have in over a decade.

Yes, Saturday’s game highlighted that we still need further improvement.

When we were desperate for a goal with 20 minutes to go, the quality of options on the bench looked rather uninspiring.

But overall, it’s been a progressive 12 months since GFH took over.

Can you imagine the reaction of the fans if the previous regime had walked round the perimeter of the pitch at Elland Road before a game?

With the likes of Cardiff City owner Vincent Tam and Assem Allam of Hull City making the headlines for seemingly hitting the self-destruct buttons at their respective clubs, it’s so refreshing to have owners who seem to be genuinely engaged with the fans.

MAn of the match: Jason Pearce.


In a game not for the memory, Leeds failed to find a way past the inspired Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Butland as the bottom of the league team yet again upped their game to leave Leeds 11 with a point.

Brian McDermott started with the same XI on duty in the Doncaster game, with Danny Pugh passing a late fitness test.

Leeds had the game’s first chance when Jason Pearce put through a quality ball for Matt Smith to control, but he blasted it at Jack Butland. Smith then found himself on the end of a Ross McCormack pass but the shot lacked power and was easily saved. At the other end Bobby Hassell’s effort just cleared the Whites’ bar, while Jim O’Brien then Marcus Tudgay had efforts which didn’t threaten.

McDermott changed things after the break with Sam Byram and Michael Tonge replacing Lee Peltier and Alex Mowatt. Pugh soon brought a great save from Butland as he cut in from the left.

With six minutes remaining the South Yorkshire outfit were reduced to 10 men when a two-footed lunge at Marius Zaliukas earned Tudgay a straight red. A nasty challenge that deserved the punishment. Leeds continued to pressurise the Barnsley goal but could not find a way through.

The point moved United up to fifth. Effort couldn’t be faulted but the finishing could and should have been better.

MAn of the match: Jack Butland (unbeatable).


Well that was a 90 minutes to forget and move on from, but we did move up to fifth place.

Can we put it down to expectation or new manager syndrome? All I know is Matt Smith could have won us the game in the first half. Onwards to Blackpool, I suppose!

MAn of the match: Marius Zaliukas.


If anyone would have said back in August we’d be sitting in fifth place on Christmas Day, I would have snapped their hand off.

It was a game we should have won easily, but with little spark or invention from the midfield the defence resorted to the long ball.

Matt Smith won plenty in the air but he had no support in and around him for the knockdowns.

I must give credit to Barnsley who played well but it was a forgettable afternoon and don’t get me started on the referee.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all Leeds United fans a very Merry Christmas.

See you at Blackpool!

MAn of the match: Marius Zaliukas.


Everything was in place for a huge celebration of a year of GFH ownership at Elland Road.

Unfortunately, the arch party poopers of Barnsley were the guests and they held Leeds 0-0.

Massive away games at Blackpool and Forest, should give a better idea of our promotion hopes.

Man of the match: Marius Zaliukas.


United endured a thoroughly frustrating afternoon at Elland Road as Barnsley held the Whites to a goalless draw in a drab encounter played out in front of more than 31,000.

It could have been so different had Matt Smith taken one of two gilt-edged chances early on. However the visitors now under the stewardship of Danny Wilson, belied their lowly status and came close to breaking the deadlock as the first half wore on. The second period saw slightly more invention following the introduction of Sam Byram and Michael Tongue. However, a game of little quality that was not helped by an overly officious referee, ended with honours even.

MAn of the match: Marius Zaliukas.

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