Nottingham Forest 4 (Colback 5, 69, Murphy 72, Osborn 76)
Leeds United 2 (Clarke 52, Alioski 64)
It wouldn’t be Leeds I suppose if it was all plain sailing but a second defeat on the bounce, even coming after those seven consecutive wins, is still a concern. It’s probably mostly a concern due to the way in which we really brought about our downfall again having dominated the possession and having matched Forest in chances despite playing half the game with ten men.
On Saturday we defended poorly on a couple of occasions and that, combined with a lack of a clinical finish in front of goal was enough to hand all three points to Hull despite our usual domination of the match. Then today a catalogue of individual errors overshadowed another performance that on most days would have been more than enough to see off a very ordinary Forest side.
Today it was a shaky mistimed back pass from Adam Forshaw that got us off on completely the wrong foot after only 5 minutes, just one of many poor touches the midfielder showed throughout the game. Then we had a rush of blood to the head for Kalvin Phillips who no one will deny deserved his red card and then, in the second half, we conceded a goal from a header at a set piece for the umpteenth time this season. We have to address the causes of these errors and sort it out or it could yet prove the undoing of our most promising promotion challenge for years. A defensive frailty was our major problem after Christmas last season and we know what that heralded.
It didn’t help that our recent run of good fortune came to an end rather unceremoniously either. On another day, with a different referee, Jack Robinson may have already seen red and not merely yellow for Forest when he pulled down Jack Harrison when the Leeds man was seemingly through on goal. Or maybe on another day that defensive header from Robinson (who probably shouldn’t even have been on the pitch) would have beaten Pantilimon instead of hitting the post. Or maybe another time that Douglas free kick would have scraped inside the post and not outside it. As always in the Championship games are won and lost by fine margins.
There isn’t much more to be said about this one, we messed up basically. Now we can all have a break from the stress of the Championship and see how we get on at Loftus Road in the FA Cup. It is likely we will see a completely different XI, mainly the regular subs bench and a few more under-23 lads, but, knowing we will now be without Kalvin Phillips for the vital games with Derby and Stoke, maybe Marcelo will use the QPR game to test out a plan B. Phillips has thus far started every game and so games without him could well be problematic.
Nottingham F Leeds Utd
Possession 37% 63%
Shots 13 14
On Target 6 7
Corners 6 8
Fouls 13 13