Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s controversial 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
It has often been said that If Leeds didn’t have bad luck we’d have no luck at all and our game at Hillsborough did nothing to dispel that reasoning. Neither did it dispel many fans’ belief that the world and its brother are ranged in concert against us!
Not that luck was the defining aspect of the game; it wasn’t luck, it was yet more appalling defending and this time from our recently vastly improved goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri. In the 46th minute he misjudged a long shot and needlessly gave away a corner.
When the corner came over to the back post, Leeds proceeded to do their Keystone Kops thing and rather than launching the ball into row Z, instead they allowed goal poacher extraordinaire Gary Hooper to force the ball over the line.
Three minutes later, another long range shot from Forestieri was fumbled by Silvestri and again Hooper nipped in to score. Game over.
Well, not quite game over, we still had to live through that moment of incredible bad luck.
Anthony Taylor, a Premier League referee, failed to realise that Forestieri had not yet left the pitch to complete his substitution and instead whistled for Alex Mowatt to take a right wing free-kick.
Liam Cooper chested the ball home and for a second we thought we were back in the game. Not so of course, because Taylor eventually realised his error and ruled “no goal”. It was a terrible mistake on the part of the referee and just typical of the sort of luck we’ve suffered for years.
For much of the first half, Leeds matched Wednesday and, had we been a bit more clinical in front of goal (how many times have we heard that this season?), we could have gone in at half-time a couple of goals to the good.
Lewis Cook has more swings and misses than I do in an average round of golf.
The season is now over for Leeds other than to ensure we don’t get dragged towards the relegation zone; it shouldn’t happen but we will need at least a fair share of luck.
Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.
Leeds’ week got worse at Hillsborough, despite creating three good opportunities in the first half, two early second-half goals from Gary Hooper gave Wednesday the bragging rights in this West versus South Yorkshire match up.
Sam Byram was absent from the squad that travelled to South Yorkshire, he now looks certain to move away from the club in the next few days.
Steve Evans made two changes to the team. In came Stuart Dallas and Luke Murphy for Byram and Alex Mowatt.
Two early chances could and should have been converted by Leeds, falling to Cook/Carayol then Doukara. At the other end Bellusci was lucky not to give a penalty away for a challenge in the penalty area.
Wednesday though were two up inside of five second half minutes, both goals coming from Gary Hooper on loan from Norwich City. Leeds were not helped in their quest to get back in the game by some bad refereeing decisions, the worst being a goal that was firstly allowed then disallowed by the incompetent referee.
With Bristol City claiming a unlikely win versus Middlesbrough at the lower end of the Championship, safety is not guaranteed and more results like the ones this week and relegation, never mind promotion could be on the agenda.
Man of the match: Anthony Taylor – shocking decision.
The manager’s view of this game differed significantly from my own. Even if the first half could be considered a gallant effort it in no way excused the capitulation just after half-time.
We missed Sam Byram and it looks like we’ll have to go on missing him permanently and, as a result of that and the disappointing end to Tuesday night at Ipswich, there was a flat resignation both in the body language of the players and the atmosphere in the United end. We didn’t take our chances and we handed Wednesday the points on a plate. To add insult to injury we had to watch the unprecdented shambles of a referee ruling out a goal he had given from a free-kick he had consented to.
Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.
I wasn’t expecting a result at Sheffield but I don’t think we deserved to get beaten comfortably. We played well in the first half but the two sloppy goals straight after half-time killed the game. Bristol City is now a must-win game. Man of the match: Giuseppe Bellusci.
Leeds United have as much chance of making the play-offs as I have of becoming Sports Editor of this newspaper, after falling to defeat in a game the manager called a “must-win” fixture.
It wasn’t the first time we have seen an eccentric refereeing display from Anthony Taylor, but that shouldn’t detract from another toothless display. Once we had squandered two clear-cut chances in the opening stages it was a case of spells of meandering possession and misplaced passes.
Wednesday were not a great side and both goals were handed to them on a plate. Marco Silvestri has been improving of late, but Saturday was another horror show and he has cost us as many points as he has saved this season.
However his place looks safe as despite the swathes of money being exchanged for our talented players, there isn’t much in the way of real quality being brought in to replace them.
We are standing still and maybe even going backwards with Massimo Cellino in charge of our club. Loyal players are leaving and even loyal fans are turning their back on the club. We are at a real crisis point once again, one that can only be solved by real and tangible investment in the team.
Man of the Match: Luke Murphy.
Let’s get one thing straight, Leeds United did not lose a game that they could have won because of the incompetence of the officials.
The Whites lost this game because of their goalkeeper’s incompetence which has been evident for all to see (except Massimo Cellino) for significant period of time.
Please can someone tell me why we still have not signed a proper back up keeper two months after the Ross Turnbull broke his ankle?
Man of the Match: Lewis Cook.