Leeds United 1 (Dallas 48)
Leicester City 4 (Barnes 2, Tielemans 21, 90+1 pen, Vardy 76)
Folk will inevitably say after this one that it was another reality check in the same way we spoke of the Wolves game. But actually we will have learned nothing from this one that we didn’t already know, nothing that football folk have not known for as long as the game has been played; mistakes cost games.
Leeds made mistake after mistake tonight, all over the pitch, in attack and in defence and in midfield. Up front we paid the price for missing chances and, ironically as Marcelo predicted would happen a few weeks ago, our early season clinical finishing deserted us. Just 4 of our 10 attempts hit the Leicester target while they got 8 of their ten in the right place – although theirs were often a lot easier as Leeds put them on a silver platter! But it was more than that, the first two minutes showed what is important in any game; Bamford missed a big chance with a weak header straight at Schmeichel and then Robin Koch under-hits a back pass and we’re a goal down in the blink of an eye. We all know that for Leeds, perhaps more than other sides, scoring the first goal is vital.
The mistakes continued though throughout the first half; the conditions were poor but even so the likes of Jamie Shackleton and Pablo Hernandez were far too loose with their passes while our crossing of the ball from both flanks again left a lot to be desired and, as noted, our sharpness in front of goal wasn’t there; perhaps Paddy Bamford used up all his sharpness against Villa. That first header was probably still playing on his mind as he missed another big chance later in the first half – a chance that you feel he’d have scored had it come in that Villa game!
Having said all that, Leeds did gradually start to get a grip on the game and even at 2 – 0 down at half-time we all remembered a similar scenario against Millwall earlier this year when we grabbed an early second half goal and our belief was inspired and we went onto win a vital game 3 – 2.
The script was there to be followed as a Dallas cross beat everyone to nestle in the net within three minutes of the restart and maybe, just maybe the football gods didn’t want us to win this one as a superb piece of skill from Pablo then saw the ball strike woodwork and not net. You have to think we’d have gone on to win had that gone in. But chasing the game then left the scene set perfectly for Leicester to do what they do best, catch you on the counter and finish clinically. They don’t have much ball, they don’t make many chances but boy are they clinical.
So, nothing really went for us tonight and whether it was the wet conditions or whether our old issues of finishing caused the problems, I don’t think we need to write us off just yet! Games are won and lost on moments and tonight we failed to capitalise on those that went our way while Leicester pounced on every error and punished us for them. We are better than the score line suggests and we don’t usually make so many errors so let’s just move on!
Leeds Utd Leicester City
Possession 67% 33%
Shots 10 10
On Target 4 8
Corners 10 3
Fouls Committed 9 5