Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 0
A trip to the bottom side in the Championship was never going to be a formality for Leeds; for years now we have managed to find a discarded banana skin in the unlikeliest of places. Not that St Andrews was an unlikely place really, nowhere in the Championship is and as we see every week, anyone can beat anyone else on any given day.
And it’s not as if Leeds have been playing that well recently – getting results yes, but playing well, definitely not. We struggled to impose ourselves for long periods at Burton just a few days ago but we had a couple of magic moments and that proved enough. Hull outplayed us if you judge a game by the statistics alone and yet they made an error and Pablo pounced and the three points were ours and Norwich City also had way more ball than us and more shots at goal and yet once again a moment of magic, that time from Pontus Jansson, saw us home.
The Birmingham game was similar to all of those battles but this time the significant moment went against us when Felix palmed the ball out to Maghoma and he pounced to rifle the ball home. We had our moments that could have turned it in our favour but this time the opposition held firm and truth be told, they probably deserved all three points for the overall way they went about the game. We are probably a better side than the Blues, just as we are a better team than Hull and Burton and if we played Birmingham again tomorrow I’d guess our general superiority would tell in a narrow win for us.
The problem is, we are just a bit short of a top quality side, a side than can generally swat poor teams aside without too much trouble in the way that Wolves usually do. We have to work hard in every game, even against the poor sides, to get any reward and sometimes fate will offset our limited superiority.
At the moment logic tells us that we are border line to make those play-offs in May and I think most fans would agree that to give us a more certain chance we really do need to add some quality in the upcoming January transfer window to move us closer to being a really decent side. Without that, the expectation has to be that more often than not we’ll beat the bottom placed sides as we have done in every case bar Birmingham today but we will probably struggle to get too many points in the return fixtures with Wolves, Derby, Sheffield United, Bristol, Fulham, Boro, Preston, Brentford etc etc. Overall that should, other things being equal, mean that we are either just in, or just out of the play –off places come the end of the season. A win against Forest at Elland Road on Monday is the minimum we need to confirm our current status as no more than likely lads.
Birmingham C Leeds
Possession 52% 48%
Shots 12 9
On Target 3 2
Corners 8 3
Fouls 12 12