Sheffield United 2 Leeds United 1: Another case of new coach, same old story - YEP jury

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson sees his first half header saved by Sheffield United's Jamal Blackman.
Leeds United's Pontus Jansson sees his first half header saved by Sheffield United's Jamal Blackman.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United.


Pierre-Michel Lasogga celebrates his goal at Bramall Lane.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga celebrates his goal at Bramall Lane.

Paul Heckingbottom’s tenure began with a defeat at Bramall Lane but that doesn’t really mean anything, we always lose at Bramall Lane.

If Sheffield United could summon the energy used in the two fixtures against Leeds this season on a more consistent basis, they would be top of the league.

Similarly, Billy Sharp is another like Steve Morison who seems to be able to find far more motivation in playing against Leeds than he ever did for us. Even allowing for all that, we could and perhaps should, have got something out of our meetings with Sheffield United this season.

Saturday was a more even game than the Elland Road match in October and nobody could have complained about a draw. Leeds United’s inability to get going in the first half, a great save from Jamal Blackman and a moment of stupidity from Eunan O’Kane were our undoing. On the positive side, Heckingbottom’s substitutions and tactics late in the game were far more attacking and, we went down fighting. Pablo Hernandez’s introduction changed our game for the better and he must start next week.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.


Paul Heckingbottom’s first game as head coach ended in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, it will take more than a few days training to turn the situation around at Leeds, even Yorkshire magician ‘Dynamo’ would struggle to put things right on the field right now!

Leeds didn’t do themselves any favours and went behind again to an incredible ‘scissor kick’ by ex-Leeds striker Billy Sharp (I knew he’d score!).

Leeds were level within two minutes of the restart, Pablo Hernandez got around the Blades defence and his cross was superbly headed past Jamal Blackman by Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The winner came from the penalty spot, Eunan O’Kane tried to pull out of a challenge on John Fleck in the penalty area but the Sheffield man went sprawling. Sharp netted the resultant penalty.

Like a lot of games, Leeds only got going when behind and although the second half was better Heckingbottom must get them to put in a 90-minute performance before too long or Leeds’ slide down the Championship will continue.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.


Going Behind in less than two minutes thanks to a fine goal from their nemesis, Billy Sharp, Leeds seemed to be back in the old routine.

Although shellshocked for the first quarter, the Whites edged their way back into this game. Pontus Jansson’s diving header was denied by a fine save from Jamal Blackman.

Kemar Roofe, who had struggled to make a contribution had to leave the field after a knock on the head. He was replaced by Pablo Hernandez who added some much-needed craft and invention.

The second half saw a fight back from the Whites. Pierre-Michel Lasogga equalised with a powerful header after a great cross from Hernandez and it was game on. Leeds continued to press but couldn’t find the back of the net. Tragedy struck when Eunan O’Kane conceded a penalty.

He was unable to pull out of a challenge on John Fleck. Sharp, of course, did the honours.

New coach, same old story. It looks like Paul Heckingbottom is going to have his work cut out.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.


Three of the jury went for a draw this week and I have to say, even though I wasn’t one of them, they’ve been thwarted by a very questionable penalty call by referee Andy Madley.

In real time it looked a penalty but having seen replays it was another case of a very clever piece of feigning as John Fleck threw himself to the ground. VAR would have helped us with this one but it’s hard to blame the referee who only had one look. Maybe Eunan O’Kane could have done better in the incident.

As they say, it’s gone, it’s history and sadly, although we’ve changed the coach we clearly haven’t changed our luck yet. Leeds were outplayed in the first half but with the arrival of Pablo Hernandez to replace the lacklustre Kemar Roofe we finally got started and a point each would have been a fair result.

Paul Heckingbottom must be the only man in Yorkshire who didn’t know it is pointless playing Roofe out wide but I reckon he’s got the message. There did seem to be more spirit about the side and we might still surprise some of these top half sides we are yet to play but forget the play-offs.

Man of the match: Pierre-Michel Lasogga.