Leeds United entered this game as league leaders, courtesy of a decent 2-0 victory over Birmingham at Elland Road in midweek.
Many were expecting it to be a relative walk in the park for the West Yorkshire side, such has been their attacking flair and relative panache in front of goal. Home side Millwall entered the game on a mixed bag of results, with just one win in their opening seven Sky Bet Championship games.
This left Millwall in a rather sorry 19th place in the table, a position that many saw as one ripe for taking by a rampant Leeds United. That wasn’t to be the case, with Lions boss Neil Harris saying before the game that he had a ‘plan’ to deal with the visitors.
Whatever the plan was, it worked as the Londoners easily bossed visitors Leeds in the opening 45 of the game. The half-time statistics told the correct tale of the game at that point in proceedings; home side Millwall were out and running and the visiting Whites were still stuck in the stalls awaiting starter’s orders.
12 attempts to one was bad enough for Leeds fans at the Den to watch, as it was for those watching the beam-back at Elland Road, but the first-half saw the Whites simply outplayed by a better side.
The second-half was much of a sameness, with Leeds a side being constantly forced onto the back foot and having to fight like a counter-punching boxer rather than the front-foot style that they are so used to. In essence, and let’s make no bones about it nor use any euphemisms, Leeds were getting absolutely battered from pillar to post.
And so it continued, with watching Leeds United fans seeing a side take it to their side like they had to many other sides this season. Leeds were creaking, stretched to breaking point and cracks that appeared in the first-half were beginning to stretch – something had to give, indeed it did.
After incessant pressure from the home side, and after 600 minutes without conceding, Leeds United’s luck and resolve finally ran out and Millwall breached their defences. The inevitable goal came via Aiden O’Brien (73′) who turned in past Felix Wiedwald after good work from Fred Onyedinma.
In fairness, it was nothing more than Millwall deserved and their dominance continued after the goal, their tenacity not even giving Leeds United a sniff of a chance. The tall of the tape at the end damned Leeds in that it told no lies, Millwall having 20 shots to Leeds’ single shot on 21 minutes from Samu Saiz.
Click on the next page for the reaction of Leeds United fans to the defeat to bitter rivals Millwall.