Many, many fans hoped that Leeds United would be knocked out of the FA Cup on Sunday so the club could focus on winning the Championship and earning promotion to the Premier League. Those fans got their wish, as Sutton won 1-0 on a questionable call in the box, but really, Leeds didn’t come to play today all around.
Sutton United came out guns blazing to start the cup tie. The London-based National League side were almost up 1-0 when Roarie Deacon placed the ball in the back of the net in the seventh minute, but he was called offside. Sutton kept the pressure on, limiting Leeds to only a handful of chances all throughout the first half.
Marco Silvestri made the most of his start, being called into action a few more times then he'd like, but making fine saves in the process. Stuart Dallas looked good for the boys in white all throughout the first half, while the rest of the squad looked like they were just happy to be playing.
Something I noticed throughout the first half was a lack of communication between players, and that finally came to bite us in the rear in the 53rd minute. On the attack, Sutton played through a ball that got behind Lewie Coyle but was a bit ahead of Silvestri. Both of the players went for the ball, taking out (who else) Roarie Deacon in the box as well. One had to wonder why Silvestri came so far forward; he'd been playing a decent game, but his propensity to make silly errors cost him yet again. Coyle most likely could have taken care of the threat himself.
Sutton's captain Jamie Collins converted from the spot, sending Silvestri in the wrong direction. Hadi Sacko, Mallik Wilks, and Kemar Roofe all came in as substitutes to try to get some life into the team, but the changes were to no avail. To top it off, captain Liam Cooper was sent off in the 82nd minute after his second yellow of the game. That was that.
Leeds didn't show much passion in this game, and ended up playing the giant killed by the little guy, as Sutton United took Leeds United down by the final score of 1-0.
That being said, I'm among those not disappointed with the loss. This was a fully rotated squad and while losing to a non-league side is disappointing, Leeds United can now fully focus on getting promoted.
Marcus Antonsson didn't have his greatest game, no one really did for Leeds, but I think that if anything positive, this game shows that we need a better striker up top if Chris Wood goes down. There's two days to go in the transfer window, and I'd be more disappointed if we didn't bring someone in than I am at today's loss. You have to wonder if Garry Monk’s team selection wasn’t partially to show Cellino and Radrizzani that we lack depth... several debuts in the starting XI, and quality, passion, and communication just weren’t there.
Hats off to Sutton though. Now let's regroup and focus on Blackburn with the normal first team. Moving on together, right? MOT.