Leeds United 0 Preston North End 0
My gut told me this game was a draw waiting to happen and actually, had someone offered it to me before kick-off I’d have said ta very much. But the way the game developed, by full time I have to say we have looked a gift horse in the mouth and we have squandered two vital points. I hope come May we are not two points short of a play-off spot!
There was not much between the two sides for an hour with few clear cut chances. Preston were very physical in a niggly, don’t let em pass at all costs sort of manner while Leeds did their best to spray the ball around and play the football. Then, all in the space of a couple of minutes Leeds brought on Samu Saiz to play with Pablo Hernandez, a move few people saw coming, while Preston were reduced to ten men when Ben Pearson performed another one of those niggly, tug him back fouls to get himself a second yellow and an early bath. It was all set up nicely with the cards now literally stacked in our favour – two playmakers roaming free against ten men! Predictably the chance came as Chris Wood found himself one on one with Maxwell and you’d have put your house on him scoring the winning goal. Sadly, we’ve seen many times before that Woody is much better when he doesn’t have time to think about a chance – like his instinctive header at Bolton. Think back to last season and you will remember many instinctive goals he put away but also quite a few where he was clear on goal but just fluffed his lines.
So a draw it proved to be and that, alongside the win at Bolton is fine; if Leeds can average 4 points from every two games we will be promoted! But, we have to become far more clinical and cannot afford to turn down gifts when offered, so rarely are they given in the Championship. There is not much to choose again between most sides and every game will turn on such moments. Two games down and undefeated – that’s a positive; a clean sheet, that’s a positive; Pontus back – albeit he looked a shadow of his usual domineering self so clearly needs to find his feet again.
Another factor in winning games if for one or two players each game to prove to be game changers just as Samu Saiz was on Wednesday. Today no player really stood out to me other that CBJ who grew in stature out on the left wing as the game went on. I thought he was superb going forward and it was not his fault no one got on the end of the deliveries he was supplying. Let’s not beat ourselves up about this one; an even more tough opponent awaits in the form of Fulham on Tuesday. While we are still settling down and maybe still haven’t discovered our best XI, I’d take another draw in that one if offered!
Leeds Utd Preston
Possession 62% 38%
Shots 12 9
On Target 4 1
Corners 6 4
Fouls 14 14