Leeds Utd 1 (Harrison 29)
Southampton 1 (Ward-Prowse 49)
I’ve written about the predictable unpredictability of Leeds United results before I know, but this was another one that threw many of us a curved ball. On the back of two wins, albeit wins that were hard-earned and needed a helping hand at times from Lady Luck, this did look like a game in which Leeds could well break that duck of not having strung three consecutive wins together so far this season. We old Leeds campaigners should have known better though, indeed some of us did; we’ve seen this scenario play out before, the big opportunities are often squandered by the men in white.
Southampton had recently lost three games on the trot including home defeats to both Watford and Newcastle but we all knew that the Saints have also had good runs of results this season so they would be no easy pickings. We also knew they had Ward-Prowse too, who is pretty good at free kicks! Quite why we felt the need to allow a Southampton player to run rings around us and then bring him down within Ward-Prowse range instead of bringing him down earlier… well, who knows why?
Leeds looked OK in the first half, pacey, aggressive and the 29th minute Harrison goal was well worked and deserved on the balance of play following a couple of decent Leeds chances. Llorente ought to have at least hit the target with a back-post header from the corner and Dan James was unlucky his shot, saved by Forster didn’t then drop to a white shirt. If we could only be a bit more clinical our worries this season would have long been over.
That’s not to say the Saints didn’t have chances too, Elyounoussi should have done better when he scuffed a shot straight at Meslier and Che Adams should probably have buried his effort too that was saved by Meslier and then further rescued by a clever piece of footwork by Stuart Dallas on our own line.
The second half was hardly underway though by the time Ward-Prowse did his thing – I know the bloke is good, but knowing what he does surely there must be a way to set up a wall and be ready for it? Apparently not.
If it was a boxing match then the second half was probably won on points by the visitors. That 49th-minute equaliser took the wind out of our sails both on and off the pitch and I think just reminded everybody that this relegation fight is not done yet. Saints had our defence in panic mode a few times. That astonishing Brentford result at Chelsea was also a blow and we as fans certainly knew how that game was going throughout our game.
Had we of won this game then I think we would have felt like the Bees do this morning, fairly confident that the job was almost done and boosted by a result that suggests more than enough points can be garnered in the remaining games.
As it is Leeds must battle on with the uncertainty knowing that seven points from three games is a solid return but knowing that each of those games could have ended very differently and leaving us maybe with only a point or two such that we don’t really know whether we’re equipped to get enough points in the remaining seven games.
All eyes turn to Vicarage Road next Saturday for the latest in this run of must-win games and before that, we will watch closely on Sunday afternoon as Everton and Newcastle face tricky away games that might make us feel a little better. Similarly, on Wednesday, the Burnley v Everton game looks important as might the Toon v Wolves on Friday if they fail at Spurs on Sunday. Lots of twists and turns to come no doubt.
Possession 56% 44%
Shots 12 14
On Target 3 6
Corners 4 7
Fouls 14 7