Leeds United 1 (Roofe 82)
Nottingham F 1 (Robinson 11)
Before this game I convinced myself that a draw would be the most likely result; Forest were on a decent run, looking strong, we had a few of our big guns back in Hernandez and Roofe but we were giving sloppy set piece goals away and we were still failing to capitalise on our usual superiority in games largely due to our lack of clinical finishing. And, we are Leeds and we seldom are successful when a big crowd comes to Elland Road!
Well, I guess you could say that I was pretty much spot on with my pre-match thoughts and yet, and yet, this was, in the end, another disappointing result and you have to admit that, with just a little bit more quality in the last third and in our own box we could have avoided wasting another vital 2 points..
A look at the match statistics will tell you that the game panned out pretty much exactly the same as our dominant 2 – 0 win over Ipswich in the week. We again had 18 attempts at goal with Forest producing just three, just as Ipswich did. Ipswich actually got two of theirs on target whereas Forest only managed one… albeit they scored from it! Against Ipswich, we amassed 15 corners to none from them and against Forest we had twice as many as they did, 6 to 3. And we actually had way more of the ball than we did against the Tractor Boys – 71% against Forest, 65% against Ipswich. So it was a pretty overwhelming performance and we ought to have won.
That we didn’t is purely down, yet again, to our inability to defend a well delivered corner. Once again Forest, early in the game, managed to get the ball to a player who was not being marked by Pontus Jansson or Liam Cooper, our two specialist headers against such balls. Instead we had Robinson managing to get away from Stuart Dallas, not a full back let alone not a defender, to direct a fairly non-descript header past Peacock-Farrell. It is an Achilles Heel that held us back last season as well and we have to find a way of dealing with it.
A goal up after just 11 minutes it was then a case of attack versus defence and Forest put 11 men behind the ball and tried to hang on – and they almost did, except, for once, lady lucky gave us a helping hand…or an arm. There is no doubt we were lucky to get away with Kemar Roofe’s improvisation when he got himself in a tangle trying to reach Klich’s cross and ended up brushing it in with his arm – but hey, I think we can say we deserved it looking at those match stats and in the overall context of the season when we have actually had very little luck so far. Maybe this is a turning point…we may get that penalty soon perhaps?
So, in summary this was another decent performance but one mistake has cost us 2 points and with the division being so tight this year, we can’t afford to keep making errors at the back. We have enough talent to usually score more than the opposition does so that sometimes the odd mistake doesn’t matter but, at the moment, we are not very proficient n turning chances into goals so we need to address that too. It’s only fine tuning but it’s needed if we are to reach our ultimate goal this season. I personally am now convinced that we need to be more positive and try to keep the opposition on the back foot and basically wear them down and so I’d start up at Wigan with Jack Clarke in there – he’s different, positive and he’s going to worry teams and he might just be the key to unlocking some of these many chances we are creating.
Leeds Utd Nottingham F
Possession 71% 29%
Shots 18 3
On Target 3 1
Corners 6 3
Fouls 11 17