Lewis Grabban’s late equaliser denies United all three points.
Leeds United’s first game at Elland Road ended in disappointment despite a dominant performance against visitors Nottingham Forest. The game bore striking similarities to last season when an inability to finish teams off came back to bite them.
Bielsa himself when speaking to the YEP concluded:
“With the performance of the team today we deserved a clear win,”
“We made 10 chances to have the same as the opponent, one goal.
“Two corners allowed them to score one goal.
“In the previous game we made the same chances as the opponent, but we scored (three) goals and they only scored one.
There was a sense of injustice not only as to how the game played out but also the performance of the referee. Several appeals for penalties were waved away, with the challenge on Stuart Dallas in the second half, about as clear penalty as you will see. Equally in the build up to Forest’s equaliser, goalscorer Grabban, had pushed Liam Cooper to the ground. Whilst fans understandably voiced their concerns at the final whistle, the discontent was aimed firmly in the direction of the match officials and not at Bielsa’s men.
For almost the entire game United were at their pulsating best. Assured at the back with Cooper and White snuffing out any hint of danger and Kiko almost redundant between the sticks. The visitors hadn’t registered an effort on or off target in the first half. Jack Harrison had arguably one of his best games and in truth Leeds missed him when he was replaced in the second half for Alioski. On another day Bamford would have walked away with the match ball. A miss hit acrobatic effort could only find the woodwork and followed by a one on one that squirmed wide of the post with the keeper in no mans land. To Bamford’s credit, he worked tirelessly and found his way into great areas but lacked that bit of quality which hopefully develops the longer the season goes on. Bamford was involved in Leeds’ only goal as his link up play helped to forge an opening for the evergreen Pablo Hernandez. The Spaniard capped off a neat move by chipping the on-rushing Muric in the Forest goal. That’s two in two for Hernandez who outlines his importance to Leeds’ promotion hopes this season.
Leeds 1-1 Nott’m Forest:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 10, 2019
Successful Passes: 468-167
Final Third Passes: 116-22
Pass Acc: 81%-62%
Chances Created: 11-3
Big Chances Created: 3-1
Tackles Won: 21-15
Interceptions: 8-10 pic.twitter.com/L2Jqo9EuJy
The longer the game went at 1-0 the more tense the atmosphere became. There was a sense of inevitability about the equaliser. It’s easy to lay the blame at Bamford’s door for missing chances, however his team mates could go a long way to lightening the load. You feel that in Harrison, Hernandez and Costa, once he’s in the first eleven, that they will contribute this season. Add to that the odd goal from Klich and the arrival of Eddie Nketiah, games like this should he few and far between. Forest will know they got away with one at the weekend but perhaps after Kemar Roofe’s handball goal in the same fixture last season will feel it’s levelled things out.
On to the next one.
Next up is a trip to Salford City in the Carabao Cup, followed by a visit to Wigan who have suffered two straight defeats so far to Cardiff and Preston respectively.