Leeds United 1 (Harrison 87)
Another game against a bottom 8 side and another three points for the Mighty Whites! What is there to complain about? Well, nothing about the result of course, we have now beaten all six sides who have been in the bottom 8 when we played them and we have two more coming up – against Boro on Saturday and Huddersfield next week. Eight from eight against these struggling sides would be an excellent statement that we are serious promotion contenders doing exactly what is required and if we achieve it we would be certain to still be in the automatic promotion places after 20 games.
And yet… did we once again make this game harder than it should have been? For me we did and it is down to the same shortcomings that all Leeds fans have been aware we’ve suffered from all season…. and most of last season too!
Leeds had 16 goal attempts on Tuesday night…. And only two of them hit the target! Reading also hit the target twice from half the number of attempts. Does it matter? Well, it didn’t on Tuesday because the result is everything and that went the right way. But, against a better team it may have mattered.
Similarly, Leeds won an exceptional 17 corners in this game and yet I can hardly think of a single chance that was created from any of them! By contrast we Leeds fans had our fingers clasped over our eyes each time Reading won a corner – the threat always seemed to be there that they would make something from theirs.
There are some mitigating factors I admit; the weather was horrible on Tuesday, the pitch was wet and the rain poured for much of the game and inevitably that means shooting becomes a lottery. Our passing was pretty poor as well probably for the same reason. The longer the game went on I’m sure there was also the thought in the minds of the Leeds players that the old sucker punch could still feature, I know it was in my mind until that 87th minute goal.
So, to some extent, as long as we keep producing the results, then our failure to hit the target more often and our failure to make something from out set pieces are mere annoyances to be forgotten when we look at the league table. The problem is, if ever we stumble in one of these games when we so demonstrably “deserve” to win then the reason will be staring us in the face. But, as we said after Luton, let’s again enjoy another victory, enjoy the fact we have now opened up a 5 point gap to Fulham in third and that we sit proudly in one of those precious automatic promotion spots. It could be a lot worse than this!
Reading FC Leeds Utd
Possession 33% 67%
Shots 8 16
On Target 2 2
Corners 7 17
Fouls Committed 12 12