It was a game where Leeds United were looking to both bounce back from a first league defeat of the season, suffered against Birmingham City, and open a three-point gap at the head of the Sky Bet Championship table.

In the end, the Whites were only able to part do these things; it was a slight bounce-back in terms of a 1-1 draw and they only opened up a one point advantage over Middlesbrough. The stingy Teessiders, who have only conceded three times this season, are one of two sides (West Brom being the other) who could overtake the Whites at the top of the table.

It was a game where both goals were something a little special, with Sheffield Wednesday’s opener on the stroke of half-time the pick of the brace. Adam Reach fair leathered a volley goalwards that looped over a stranded Bailey Peacock-Farrell and rebounded in off both posts.

Not to be outdone, Leeds United replied early in the second-half with a peach of their own. Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich profited from a perfectly weighted lay back, created his own space and curled a shot around the despairing clawing of Cameron Dawson and into the Wednesday goal.

Aside from the goals, here’s a quartet of takeaways that Leeds United fans can glean from their side’s performance at Hillsborough last night.

1. Start slow…again

It was another game where Leeds United started slow…again, and were unable to establish that early dominance that sets the tone and leaves sides scrambling to adapt. As a result, the early exchanges were a little sloppy from the Whites with far too many misplaced passes and opposition runs that were not picked up early enough. That said, once they hit their stride then they definitely hit their stride. That’s when it all started to come together; that’s when the Whites started to look back to their imperious and commanding selves.

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2. Dominance is ominous and will threaten others

Wipe out Adam Reach’s goal, nothing could have been done about that – it was what some term a ‘worldie’ of an effort. Once Leeds United were at the races after their initial sloppiness, they were so dominant that had this been a boxing match the referee would have stepped in to stop it. The figures from the game tell their own story. Wednesday were starved of possession, limited to around 36% as Leeds just ploughed forward at them. This high-press, high-intensity attack saw them unleash 25 attempts at the Wednesday goal – a Sky Bet Championship high for the season. This dominance will eventually be unleashed on some poor soul of a side, and they will feel the wrath of an unleashed Leeds.

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3. Injured players definitely being missed

There is little doubt that Leeds United are missing some of their injured stars, and I say ‘some’ deliberately. Since the quartet suffered their close, and untimely injuries, there is definitely a sense of something missing. Not with Gaetano Berardi, Pontus Jansson grabbing that opportunity with both hands since the popular defender’s injury. More missed are the injuries that have robbed Leeds United of Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford and Pablo Hernandez. Tyler Roberts is showing flashes of improving acumen up-top, but there’s a sense that Roofe and Bamford would give Leeds United more of an overall threat.

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4. Saiz is important, Saiz matters

Against Wednesday of Friday, Samu Saiz continued that metronomic tick that drives Leeds United forward. He seemed to be at the heart of all that Leeds were doing, always looking to receive the ball in space, turn and get the Whites moving up the pitch. He made 40 pass attempts last night, 24 of these (60%) aimed at the final third of the field. These 24 passing attempts put Leeds United in attacking positions, indeed five of his passes led to chances for fellow Leeds United players – a team-high in the game. The magisterial Spaniard drove Leeds United forward all night, but he did a lot of that on his own. With fellow Spaniard Pablo Hernandez at his side, when the latter returns from injury, then the Whites should be an even more difficult side to contend with.

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.