No excuses as Leeds United fail to see off relegation-haunted Black Cats - YEP jury

Bailey Peacock-Farrell takes a cross during Leeds United's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell takes a cross during Leeds United's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

DAVID WATKINS

I can’t remember a time when it has been so difficult for Leeds to get three points against poor sides. I was confident that against relegation-threatened Sunderland we would finally bag a few goals having created so many gilt-edged chances in recent games without converting them.

But once again the finest of margins saw good efforts either saved well by Sunderland keeper Lee Camp or find woodwork.

Not that Leeds probably deserved all three points; Sunderland were also denied by the woodwork twice and by several fine saves from Bailey Peacock-Farrell; a draw was a fair result on the basis of totting up the chances. A well-worked goal from either side settling the outcome.

The positives for Leeds were, in no particular order: another solid display in goal by BPF, another typically busy and creative performance from Pablo Hernandez and a very confident debut for young Paudie O’Connor alongside Pontus Jansson. The rest of the Leeds players were probably not effective enough to merit a mention and Gaetano Berardi’s late red card will cause more headaches as Paul Heckingbottom considers who he has available to take to Preston.

Pablo Hernandez scores Leeds United's equaliser against Sunderland.

Pablo Hernandez scores Leeds United's equaliser against Sunderland.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

MATTHEW EVANS

There was no excuse for failing to beat Sunderland. We created chances, we looked the better side (at least in spells) and another crowd greater than 30,000 turned up to support the side and see us go through the motions of yet another meaningless fixture.

Sunderland could easily have got the win themselves if it wasn’t for the excellent Bailey Peacock-Farrell in goal. He and our debutant, Paudie O’Connor, were two of our better players which is another damning indictment of our recruitment policy. The fact that our very best player, Pablo Hernandez, is out of the contract at the season’s end within a squad full of players on three to four-year contracts is just plain silly.

Gaetano Berardi made sure that his season ended in glorious failure with a terrible tackle that earned him a deserved red card. There’s not a lot to say about the rest of our season. If we won our remaining five games at a canter (we won’t) I still wouldn’t have much positive to say about this squad or about Paul Heckingbottom. Some tough decisions need to be made.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds and Sunderland drew 1-1 at Elland Road in a game that could have ended 3-3 with the chances created by both sides. The woodwork denied Leeds and Bailey Peacock-Farrell producing two incredible saves to keep out the ‘Mackems’.

Leeds were quick ‘out of the blocks’ and Pierre-Michel Lasogga should have given the home side an early lead but the German’s effort flew over the bar, Ronaldo Vieira was closer but his shot bounced off the woodwork. Sunderland went ahead through Paddy McNair taking advantage of casual defending by Leeds. Pablo Hernandez, who is in excellent form (sign him up!) levelled matters with less than 20 minutes left. Peacock-Farrell then brilliantly denied Ashley Fletcher with a point-blank save and soon after goalscorer McNair wasted a great chance to put Sunderland back in the lead. Gjanni Alioski and Samuel Saiz hit the woodwork before Gaetano Berardi was sent off for a reckless challenge.

Leeds will think this was another three points they should have acquired, but Sunderland will think they did enough to win.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

MIKE GILL

After a bright start, Leeds United seemed to falter as Sunderland turned out to be much stiffer opposition than anybody expected.

A few missed chances occurred and half-time came around far too soon. In the second half United huffed and puffed until Sunderland went ahead through Paddy McNair. This seemed to concentrate the Leeds players’ minds and they then laid siege to the Wearsiders’ goal.

They were rewarded by a Pablo Hernandez goal which he conjured up from nowhere. A plethora of near misses followed including a Samuel Saiz free-kick which hit the woodwork and an Gjanni Alioski header which suffered a similar fate. Then it was Sunderland’s turn to test the Leeds defence and only the heroics of Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept the score at 1-1.

Gaetano Berardi collected his third red card of the season to round off a frustrating afternoon.

Full marks to Paudie O’Connor for an impressive debut.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

SHAUN SMITH

Leeds United play in patches and at some point they need sewing together.

However, right now the present season needs to be packed off to bed with a smacked bottom because there’s a restless tetchiness at Elland Road that’s going to end in tears. Sergio Garcia must have felt like throwing a tantrum this week as he disintegrated at The Masters but his brother-in-law, Pablo Hernandez kept Leeds out of deep water in this game with the air of a man who had decided enough was enough. Pablo awaits the birth of his second child and he looks every inch the father figure, with the authority to impose himself decisively. He is a man amongst boys at times and at least Bailey Peacock-Farell is growing up fast in the Leeds United goal. Man of the match, perhaps he’ll grow into the goalkeeper’s shirt next season. Debutant Paudie O’Connor did enough to suggest one fewer centre-back may need to be recruited. Leeds should be careful not to ditch honest players in the summer cull. Players making mistakes in the present atmosphere attract more critisicism than players who do little or nothing at all. Hernandez, who is beyond such finger-pointing, needs to be holding a new contract by the time he gets to hold the new baby.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Marcelo Bielsa.

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