In the dreary grey of a typical West Yorkshire afternoon, Leeds United put in a typical Leeds United display at Elland Road in a 4-1 loss to Cardiff City in today’s encounter.

As unforgiving as the weather was, it met its match in a Cardiff outfit who simply outplayed and outclassed what is becoming an increasingly poor Leeds side who put in yet another poor display. The opening 45 minutes was nothing more than Leeds United fans on the terraces have come to expect, a display that is more than summed up with the ‘Leeds, Leeds are falling apart…again’ cries from the terraces.

Falling apart, fallen apart – you can take your pick of grammatical tenses on that one. The result is still the same, the Whites are as far removed from the scintillating, sparkling side that ripped up the start of the season. Now it seems that it is dirge and dire football that has taken over, sullying the brightness of what gave fans a real sense of hope at the start of the campaign.

First half – story of a poor 45 minutes

You’d have to be a lyrical genus of the level of someone like Jay-Z to spread anything other than a fine veneer on the opening 45 minutes at Elland Road from Leeds’ point of view. Yes they hit the woodwork twice courtesy of Pierre-Michel Lassoga but they were the highlights of a pretty dismal, nay truly dismal opening 45 minutes of football.

From the opening exchanges to the shrill blast of the referee’s whistle at the half, it was a half that belonged to a Cardiff side who looked leagues, rather that positions, above their hosts.

In-between Cardiff’s first goal (Paterson 9′) and second (Hoilett 41′), the Whites also saw talismanic defender Pontus Jansson stretchered off on 26 minutes after tangling with Sol Bamba in the box. That’s it! Leeds United now down to the bare bones of an already threadbare defensive unit.

In a half of ‘in-betweens’, between Cardiff’s second and third goals Gaetano Berardi was sent off for a second yellow card – this making it four red cards in five games for the Whites. Thankfully, for Leeds United fans, the referee’s whistle brought the half to a close.

Second half – poor but not so poor as before

In any language, under any pretences, a scoreline of 3-0 is as bad as anything gets – well apart from your wife walking in on you with her sister…or mother. There was no justifying that, there should be no attempt to. It was a flashback to Millwall the home game before but Leeds’ second-half response that game would have given the 30,000 on the terraces hope.

Hope was abandoned in a first-half of sheer dross but at least the Whites gave it a go in the opening exchanges of the second half – something that journalist Phil Hay mused over on Twitter.

On 54 minutes, there was a chink of light thrown into the darkness of yet another obsidian Leeds United performance.

Even then Leeds United needed to benevolence and charity of former White Sol Bamba to convert a Stuart Dallas cross into his own net. At least it was a foothold back into a game that they didn’t deserve to be in, a goal by any means is valued when down on your luck.

With fans either heading for the doors, or hoping for another goal, Leeds’ game dragged itself on like a wounded animal hoping not to be pounced on by a waiting predator. There was a definite sense that Leeds wouldn’t get anything out of this game, even though the earlier Bamba goal had wobbled Cardiff somewhat.

Hope, like a fart in a wind tunnel, soon dissipated as Cardiff nicked another goal near the game’s death.

The three minutes of added time means nothing, Leeds were not going to get back into the game now. The game ended 4-1 to the Bluebirds as the Whites flagged up a second successive home game where they shipped a quartet of goals to sides wearing blue shirts.

For Leeds United fans, shambolic would just about sum it up.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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