Leeds United: 3 things learned from Wigan game

For 71 minutes last night at Elland Road, it all went swimmingly for Leeds United who had been buoyed by Chris Wood’s 29th minute opener.

However, as the game entered time added on, the Whites were hit with a later sucker punch by a Wigan equaliser that meant the game ended more as two points lost rather than one point earned by Leeds. After the equaliser, there wasn’t really that much more that Leeds could do, a goal on 90+1 that knocked the stuffing out of the home side and meant that a fourth successive home win was beyond them.

The result saw United nestled in 13th place on 17 points with opponents Wigan gaining a vital point, but still sitting in the last relegation place on just 11 points. Just three points separate Leeds’ 13th position from the last play-off place occupied by Bristol City.

3 things that we learned from the Wigan game

1. Games last longer than 90 minutes

Alongside ‘play to the whistle’ and ‘football’s a game of two halves’ comes the adage that football is also a 90 minutes game. Except it isn’t. Last night at Elland Road proved that. After grittily grabbing a late equaliser against Fulham, courtesy of Chris Wood’s overhead kick, you’d have thought that they’d have known that.

But oh no, they didn’t and Leeds turned in something of a pantomime performance as they tried to stem a Wigan side eagerly looking a vital point as they look to pull away from the mire at the base of the table. Failure to play the game out to its end cost Leeds a vital two points as they looked to stride up the table.

2. 28 into 1 doesn’t really go

Leeds United proved that point with the manner of the subsitutes that they made, starting with that of Hadi Sacko. Sacko left the field in the 66th minute, 28 minutes of the game being played after that with four minutes of time added on complementing the regulation 90. After that, and compounded by the substitution of Pablo Hernández, Leeds United weren’t a threat.

With Sacko and Hernández gone from the field of play, Leeds didn’t have that front foot drive to have Wigan backpeddling. Consequently, Wigan were able to dictate more of the ending of the game. In those closing 28 minutes, Leeds were devoid of attacking prowess and only had one shot at goal, thankfully this was on target. ,But, one chance fashioned over the course of 28 minutes of the game – it’s not an appealing return.

3. Calm down on social media

You’d think that Leeds had decided to rest squad members and turn out with just nine players yesterday evening against Wigan. Honestly, the furore on certain psarts of social media such as Twitter and Facebook would easily and blindly lead you to that conclusion.

Yes it was two points dropped. Yes it was one shot in the last 28 minutes. Yes it was even a case of badly utilised substitutions. But Leeds are not Rotherham stuck in a rut of bad luck and with a record of six losses in their last six games. The Whites sit only three points from the last playoff place currently held by Bristol City, albeit with a worse goal difference than the Robins.

But it’s not the disastrous and calamitous situation that some would have you believe. Far from it, there’s a glimmer of hope left.

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