Jesus said to them, “Take off the clothes he was buried in and let him go.” With those words Lazarus of Bethany was returned from the dead and gifted back to the land of the living.

In a football sense, that is what needed to happen at Elland Road, a place that Leeds United fans simply call ‘Church’. It is here that they worship in their many thousands, it is here that they seek sanctuary against the bitter hatred of the outside world.

However, after today’s first half display, there were likely more than a few blasphemers amongst the 28,000 strong crowd after abject defending and poor decision-making gifted the Robins two very simple goals from Famara Diedhiou (11′) and Bobby Reid (16′). Long throws and calamity were Leeds United’s undoing in the opening 45 minutes, but one man was their salvation in the closing 45 minutes.

Not Jesus of Nazareth.

But Pablo of Hernandez.

Like Lazarus of Bethany, Leeds United were born again in a second half that definitely resounded with this fan.

It was that clichéd ‘game of two halves’ though as the dominant Bristol City of the first 45 minutes were made to cower under the White wave that swept over them in the second 45 minutes. Leeds didn’t have it all their own way, far from it, but in the second half there was only one team that were really going to win it – and it wasn’t the Robins.

It all started with Pierre-Michel Lasogga in the 72nd minute.

Whilst Bristol City fans were still shaking their heads and wondering whether they were morphing into a first half Leeds and muttering, “Back post, FFS back post,” up popped Kemar Roofe on 80 minutes.

Nothing special, ball floated in, Leeds players make a ploy of attacking flight of ball, ball drops into vacated space, Roofe sneaks in and toe-pokes in Leeds’ equaliser.

Bristol City fans looking at each other muttering, “Back post FFS back post! We’ve turned in to Leeds United.”

Lasogga and Roofe may well have been the instruments who were blowing the tune, but there was only one conductor – Pablo of Hernandez. Lasogga’s goal, his ninth of the campaign, and Roofe’s goal, also his ninth of the season gave Spaniard Hernandez his fifth and sixth assists of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Late on, after both of those goals, Leeds could easily have gone on to take all three points on offer. Lasogga had a powerful header that cannoned back off the bar and another ball in and flick on left Kalvin Phillips stretching to connect with the ball, his header going just over the bar.

One of these days, Leeds United are going to start playing in the first half of games as well, like they did at the start of the season. Then fans will see something biblical in another sense.


About Author

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.