Leeds United’s 7,800-strong legion of fans had taken up residence at Blackburn’s Ewood Park, yet they had to watch their side suffer an early goal conceded to a Danny Graham header.
It was all too very Leeds was the goal. Corner in, forward gets the run on Leeds defenders, glanced header, ball nestled in net, 1-0 down, players looking confused and shell-shocked.
That’s a recipe from years gone by, and it was a dish served up again this afternoon just after the 12p.m. kick-off. In fairness, where heads might have dropped in previous iterations of Leeds United sides, the Whites did at least show some cojones and come back fighting.
Yes, at times they rode their luck and, yes, at times Blackburn edged closer to what could’ve been a defining second goal, but United kept plugging away. Gaps started opening up in what was a free-flowing game that was always glinting with menace that it wouldn’t stay at 1-0.
Leeds began to press more, and more, getting half- and near-chances to pull the game back level. As the game neared the half-time whistle, it appeared that Leeds United would have to settle for a concerted second-half effort to pull the result back out of the fire.
Until this happened:
In a classic piece of BielsaBall, Leeds United played the ball out from the back. They dragged Blackburn around with their passing, quickly working the ball forwards. 10 passes later the ball ends up at Samu Saiz’s feet, his pass, the 11th, was a pearler of a ball lifted to the back post for the ever-threatening Gaetano Berardi.
The returning full-back had the wherewithal to look up and square the ball to an onrushing, unmarked Mateusz Klich who side-footed in to the gaping goal. that brought Leeds United level, also lifting the born-again Polish international to the top of the scoring charts at Elland Road with his fifth goal in thirteen appearances.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 20, 2018
The way the game is opening up, there is every chance that this is one match that isn’t going to end up all square and with points shared. Leeds United are looking sharper at the start of the second period, stretching Blackburn more and able to dictate the game under their own steam.