Today’s early game between Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers was a game where either side would have profited well from the three points on offer.
A win away from home by Leeds would have seen them temporarily hit top-spot in the Championship, three points from the home side would have seen them in the play-off picture.
As it transpired, it was the hosts who took all three points on offer, moving into 6th place and consigning Leeds to their first away defeat of the season.
An early goal by Rovers’ Danny Graham was cancelled out as the first-half rolled into time added-on by Mateusz Klich’s 5th goal of the season. Leeds dominated the second-half but couldn’t put the game to bed, their profligacy being exposed by Darragh Lenihan’s 70th minute winner.
It is a result that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of many a Leeds United fan, a loss that leaves them looking down below them more that they’d care to.
Reflecting on the result – here’s five take-aways that Leeds United fans might want to consider before Tuesday’s visit of Ipswich Town to Elland Road.
Five take-aways from the Blackburn loss for Leeds United fans
1. Wheel nuts loosened but not yet off. It was a turgid performance in places, the brilliance of Mateusz Klich’s goal aside, where too many passes went awry and too little defending was done. Disappointing as it is though, there’s no need for Leeds United fans to commit seppuku. 13 games in, that’s less than a third of the season done and dusted. A downturn, yes, from the sparkling start to the season, but not in freefall…yet!
2. Stuart Dallas is not a left-back, or a right-back, or a back-up to these. No, Stuart Dallas is a winger, more used to rampaging down the wing and popping balls into the danger areas of the opposition box. Reverse the polarity on that expression, and you’ve got the exact reasons why Dallas isn’t a defender. Fair enough, five minutes to go as a makeshift, nightwatchman of a full-back maybe. But a full-on 90 as a defender – I am not alone in thinking that’s too far a stretch of a limited imagination.
3. Saiz will infuriate Leeds United fans all season long. When he’s good he’s very, very god, but when he’s bad he’s disaffected. Today Leeds United fans saw glimpses of both aspects of this Jekyll and Hyde persona. Dithering on the ball saw him gift possession away to Blackburn, possession that some Leeds fans are saying led to the goals scored from corners. However, that pinged pass to Gaetano Berardi was a thing of beauty.
4. Gjanni Alioski will infuriate Leeds United fans more. This is a given, the Macedonian flyer WILL grind the gears of Whites fans throughout this season. Some weeks he will ingratiate himself with them, his workrate, goals and assists making some see the positives he brings to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Other weeks he will have the same fans spitting feathers at his propensity to be caught offside and inability to ghost past opponents without losing the ball, or passing it to opponent’s feet.
5. Leeds United did the most Leeds thing today. Like a repeat of Only Fools and Horses, the old favourite was back today for the Whites. The defending at corners today brought back deeply repressed memories of the likes of Sol Bamba and Giuseppe Bellusci and their comedy routine at set pieces. In short, it was horrific; at length, well I’d still be writing at midnight.