We should have seen off Wigan with ease tonight. However, the international break has left us with a hangover, which it looks like we are currently unable to shift, and after going up in the first half, Leeds United gave up easy points to an injury-time goal and left Elland Road with only a single point.
The first half started very slow, the first chance of any worth fell to Nick Powell in the 7th minute but his shot was way off target. Apart from that, the game became a little scrape with both teams unable to get a foothold in the game.
20’ Leeds have not scored in the first 20 minutes all season. Wigan fighting hard off the ball. pic.twitter.com/q6qXW7pSfq— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) October 18, 2016
Wigan pressed Leeds well in the first 25 minutes until, on the half hour mark, Hadi Sacko got away from his man and crossed the ball from the right. Chris Wood controlled it beautifully and then volleyed it hard to the left-hand side of the goal. The goal was an absolute beauty; I love Chris Wood’s ability to peel-off defenders and find space in the box.
I thought the goal had galvanised the players, as straight from the kick-off Roofe was fouled just outside the area. However, the resulting free kick was cleared by Wigan. Then on 34 minutes, Roofe played a decent ball back to Chris Wood, whose shot was poor (but I forgave him because of his volley).
After that, we saw the game change and Wigan found some energy and started to create some chances.
So this will be comfortable now, right? We usually finish these games off and win by 2 or 3, yes? No? pic.twitter.com/BeCxZ3eI2u— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) October 18, 2016
The first real Wigan chance fell to Jacobs just before the 40th-minute mark - after a good pass from Will Grigg - and he should have scored but hit the post for Wigan's best chance of the first half.
Wigan continued to press when Will Grigg was allowed to turn in the box and get a shot away in the 42nd minute. From the resulting corner, Wigan focused a great save from Rob Green and Jansson made an important clearance after the ball broke free.
As the half-time whistle went, a sense of relief was felt as Wigan were pushing hard in the last 10 minutes of the half and could have been 2-1 up. However, they were not and that is all that mattered at the break.
Leeds were unchanged as the teams came back out after half-time. Wigan made one change as, the man who hit the post in the first half, Michael Jacobs was replaced by Yanick Wildsnut.
The second half started much like the first as both teams looked poor. Sacko had a half-chance but Wigan dealt with Sacko well and put the ball out for a corner.
Leeds kept pushing to extend their lead, with decent chances after Ayling stung Bogden’s hands in the Wigan goal and from the resulting corner Jansson had a header cleared off the line.
However, we once again allowed Wigan to start to press us. Wigan made their final two changes of the game in the 63rd minute, when Jake Buxton was replaced by Craig Morgen and Nathan Byrne went off and Jordi Gomez came on.
Three minutes later, Leeds made their first change as Sacko (who for me has really started to struggle over the last few weeks) was replaced by Matt Grimes.
Wood had another chance to double the lead after he met a lovely cross by Ayling, but his looping header was brilliantly saved by Bogden in the Wigan goal.
As we crept towards the last 15 minutes, Leeds made another change as Hernandez was replaced by Mowatt, in the second of Monk’s curious changes.
In the last ten minutes, Leeds looked like they were happy with the 1-0 and encouraged Wigan to press for the equaliser. Wigan were unlucky not to be level on the 82nd minute when Max Power’s lob went just over the bar. That led to another obvious change... at striker. Marcus Antonsson came on for Wood in the 84th minute.
"Monk lost us that game". We didn't play well enough more like. Can't keep scoring 1 goal in games and expecting to win all of the time.— I'd Radebe Leeds (@Radebe_Leeds) October 18, 2016
After that, Power was given another chance, left unmarked in the box and he should have done better. It looked like Leeds had just been handed a get-out-of jail-free card.
However, we didn’t learn our lesson, and we were punished in injury time, when once again we conceded from a corner. Shaun McDonald scored with a lovely finish.
And so we leave with a draw.
Man of the Match
Chris Wood: The big Kiwi took his goal in true striker fashion and was superb all night. I believe he will make the difference for us going forward.
Overall, we didn’t deserve a win. I thought Wigan came with a game and executed it well. I gave a quick response in our Elland Road Reports series after the match, and it’s available here:
Thanks for listening.
If we want reach the top six we are going to need to start improving rapidly. The team need to shake off the cobwebs we have acquired during the international break and get back to business ASAP. MOT.