The YEP’s Leeds United jury look back at the Whites’ 3-0 defeat against Middlesbrough
At the start of this season we all knew we had a defence capable of making the odd error. Well, today we made some very odd ones indeed!
Apart from three defensive disasters of the highest order I thought for periods of the game we were as good as Boro.
In the early part of the second half we showed some real passion and had Boro resorting to some very cynical defending, but by then the damage was done.
Peppe Bellusci will no doubt come in for plenty of criticism for his display and certainly some of his passing was rusty to say the least.
But his own goal for me was probably down to a goalkeeper who just is not learning to dominate his own area.
Did Marco Silvestri give him a shout? How long will we continue to accept this situation?
Captain Sol Bamba was a shining light at the back for much of the game, but he also has an error in him every now and again and I am sure he thinks he is a better footballer than he actually is.
A slip is a slip but it happens to Sol too often.
I am told that the goal we got back at 2-0 should have stood and that call was a big one, just as we were looking confident and just when Jordan Botaka was finding the measure of his defender.
Botaka looks like he may be a real handful once he acclimatizes to this division.
Quite what the logic was in taking him off I am not sure as I felt he could damage Boro.
Without him we lacked a way through a very organised Boro back line.
Quite how good this Boro side is we won’t know til later in the season but I wasn’t that impressed.
Poor as Leeds were, it was just a couple of atrocious mistakes and a referee’s call that meant we didn’t keep that good run of results at the Riverside going. We need to put this out of our minds and focus more on how we played in those early moments of the second half.
Man of the match: Lewis Cook
They say you learn more from your defeats than victories.
Yes Middlesbrough should have been reduced to 10 men before half-time and United should have been back in the game at 2-1.
However, the harsh realities are that if you only keep one clean sheet in 10 games then you will not win football matches.
Defender Guiseppe Bellusci confirmed once again he’s simply not good enough, let’s hope our owner Mr Cellino finally agrees. United trio of midfielders Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook along with winger Stuart Dallas all worked tirelessly.
But until we stop defending like the Keystone Cops we’ll be in big trouble.
Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.
An afternoon of farce at the Riverside Stadium. An easy goal to open proceedings as two United players ducked their defensive duties before one of them, Guiseppe Bellusci, tucked home a great header into his own net for 2-0.
Half-time was punctuated by an announcement asking part of the stadium to evacuate which most Leeds fans wished they had, once Antenucci’s goal was discounted minutes after we’d finished celebrating.
The confused referee also afforded Middlesbrough the luxury of substituting a player who could have been sent off twice over and Sol Bamba iced the cake by gifting them posession for a third goal. There was some good play elsewhere but Leeds beat themselves yesterday – Boro really needn’t have turned up.
MotM: Charlie Taylor.
Three bad errors and three goals, Boro didn’t even need to stretch themselves in order to defeat United yesterday.
Put simply, Leeds beat themselves with Guiseppi’s Bellusci’s own goal and Sol Bamba’s slip a return to the bad defensive ways of recent seasons. Hopefully, Liam Cooper will be back soon.
MotM: Charlie Taylor.
Leeds suffered their second defeat of the season at Middlesbrough yesterday.
The 3-0 defeat was not helped by some indifferent defending by the centre-backs. The performance and score highlight how far we are off to being in a position to challenge for the top six.
To put it bluntly we simply aren’t good enough defensively to be able to do it. Uwe Rosler needs to be very worried about that part of our play. With people still getting in their seats Boro scored, David Nugent beating Giuseppi Bellusci easily for the opening goal with only two minutes played.
Boro increased their lead on thirty two minutes, George Friend’s cross was expertly finished off by the hapless Bellusci, again poor communication resulting in a goal. Two-nil at the break.
Antenucci saw his effort ruled out for offside, after the referee consulted the linesman.
Sol Bamba then slipped and gave Diego Fabbrini the easiest goal he’ll score this season. Embarrassingly bad. Quite simply Rosler changed a centre-back partnership that was developing for one that can’t or won’t. I fear that the next two games will determine if Mr Cellino gets out his ‘sack stick’ and ends the tenure of another manager. I for one can’t guess which way the maverick owner will go.
Man of the match: Berardi and Taylor at least try every week.