Leeds United 2 (Jansson 20, Harrison 34)
Swansea City 1 (McBurnie 87 pen)
We wanted a big performance to just reaffirm that we were OK and our season wasn’t really stalling and of course the three points was vital because, much as playing well and not winning is OK for a while, it becomes a worry if it goes on too long.
For eighty minutes we got the big performance and the only thing missing was a couple more goals, goals that really ought to have been scored such was our dominance in the game. That we had two, at least looked like it would be plenty as we entered those final ten minutes. The match stats were uncannily similar to those from the Riverside on Saturday and indeed from most of our games this season but we are still just not quite able to turn total dominance of games into big results; I had a quid riding on 4 – 0 tonight, convinced that sometime soon we were going to batter someone; perhaps next time!
Those extra goals didn’t come of course and instead we did that thing that we are very good at; we made a defensive error. This time it was a rash challenge from Luke Ayling, a pity as he’d had a much better game this evening I thought, but it just reminded us that all of our defenders are capable of making an error or two and that’s why we really need to bury a bigger percentage of our goal attempts. As it happens, the two was enough this time…just! The other thing we are still not very good at is managing games to a conclusion and once again tonight once Swansea got the merest scent of a point it was like the Alamo for the final few minutes.
Overall though we ought to be pleased that this was as strong a performance as we have seen for those eighty minutes and it should give us all confidence that against most sides, if we can continue to be so full of running as this then that ought to see off most sides, always remembering that on occasions our defensive frailty will still cost us. Our pressing and hounding of the Swans tonight was as good as we have seen and they hardly had a sniff all night until that late barrage.
Apart from the poor finishing – Bamford will be kicking himself for another huge miss with that first half header – other familiar traits are also still there. Alioski seems incapable of delivering a decent cross more than once a game and Pablo’s range has not been great lately either but it seems almost churlish to mention those failings when we all know we battered Swansea in every way other than on the score board!
We now have ten days off and it’s a chance for Pablo to rest those weary legs and for him to come back stronger for the final push! Maybe once the forwards have had their four days rest they can have a day or two on the shooting range too.
Leeds Utd Swansea City
Possession 69% 31%
Shots 19 9
On Target 7 4
Corners 6 4
Fouls 12 5