Leeds United go into the international break having lost two matches in a row after being briefly on top of the league only a little over a week ago. The team looked flat and tired for much of the match, and the 3-0 scoreline actually flattered Leeds as Sheffield Wednesday had a goal wrongfully disallowed for off-sides, missed a couple easy chances in front of net, and also had a sure penalty missed as Pontus Jansson handled the ball in the area while lying on the ground. As good as Leeds have looked this season, they looked absolutely poor this match, with very few positives to be taken from this match.
Clean sheet✅— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 1, 2017
Stop a losing run✅
Beat your Yorkshire rivals✅
A good day for Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds https://t.co/d8SisxugqT #SWFC #LUFC pic.twitter.com/IFrOc9s414
The match started brightly for Leeds, as Samu Saiz seemed intent on making an early impression on the match, running riot over the opposing defenders. Leeds had a number of good chances early on, with Alioski and Phillips both heading wide after getting free in front of the Wednesday goal.
Leeds would rue these missed chances, however, as as good as the team looked in the first 15 minutes, they would look like a Vanarama team during the last half-hour of the match, as Wednesday would find the defence lacking in front of net.
Leeds surrendered the opening goal of the match after former Leeds defender Tom Lees headed the ball back across the frame of goal for Gary Hooper to snatch a goal that Leeds keeper Felix Wiedwald should have done better to get to. The keeper seemed to hesitate too much, allowing Hooper to get into the box and score.
Wednesday then had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offsides after Keiren Lee got in behind the Leeds defence and put the ball into the back of the net, and then Fletcher missed an absolute sitter in front of goal, as he was allowed to get an open header right in front of goal that was easier to score than it was to miss.
Jansson seemed to clear the ball with his hands in the area after more Wednesday pressure from a corner, but no penalty was given. Between this and the goal that was incorrectly disallowed for offsides, Leeds would have felt lucky that the match was not covered by Video Assistant Referee, as the video might have contributed even more to the mauling that was taking place on the pitch.
Open headers seemed to be a theme for the day, as Wednesday put a second goal past Wiedwald as Fletcher was left open to head the ball across the frame of goal from a Palmer cross that Hooper was able to once again head into goal. While it was shocking that two free headers were allowed in the six yard box, it has to be said that Wiedwald probably should have done better to get the ball when it was coming into the box and deal with the crosses rather than allowing them to be contested, especially considering that the Leeds players seemed to forget how to head the ball clear in the first half.
48' So close for Leeds, the ball falls to Lasogga in the Owls area and his effort hits the post! 2-0— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 1, 2017
Lasogga hit the post in the 48th minute after being left open as Leeds started the second half much in the same way that they had started the match by getting a nice attempt at goal, but Wednesday once again found a way to get crosses into the box and Hooper could have had his hat-trick in the 51th minute after attempting a rather spectacular volley in front of the Leeds net.
#lufc double substitution Roofe and Alioski replaced by Hernandez and Sacko— Joe Rawson (@joerawson) October 1, 2017
Hadi Sacko made an appearance after seeming to be forgotten about until his goal against Burnley in the League Cup, but his pace didn’t seem to have as much of an impact as Christiansen would have hoped for.
Wallace headed off the line for Wednesday from a Pontus Jansson header on a corner kick and then Samu Saiz had a shot go wide as Leeds looked to get back into the match.
#LUFC forced to make a change as Pontus Jansson is stretchered off, Stuart Dallas comes on #LeedsUnitedLive— Radio Yorkshire (@Radio_Yorkshire) October 1, 2017
And then Jansson was felled by Kalvin Phillips and it looked like Jansson was in serious pain and he looked absolutely gutted to have to come off, having to be stretchered off. Phillips also went down a few minutes later, but was able to continue. Saiz had a chance to pull a goal back, but wasn’t able to beat the keeper as he went for the near post at a tight angle instead of the wide open back post.
Kieran Lee from 20 yards. O'Kane gave the ball away with a risky pass, Lee smashed it on the volley. Game over if it wasn't already. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 1, 2017
And Wednesday put the match completely out of reach a few minutes later, as a terrible pass from Eunan O’Kane, who had been fairly dependable for much of the season, made a terrible pass that Lee was able to pounce on and drive a quality shot that gave Wiedwald no chance to save, although, let’s be honest, he would haven’t have gotten to it even if he had a decent opportunity to get it.
If you’ve watched that entire game and all you can do is criticise the ‘keeper, you’ve watched a different game to me. Abysmal. #LUFC— Cockney White (@cockney_white) October 1, 2017
The whole team looked poor today, and the defence was especially shocking. Too many free headers and too many uncontested crosses spelled disaster for Leeds against a desperate Sheffield Wednesday team that looked set on putting two bad losses behind them by winning a Yorkshire derby.
A second defeat in a row means that some pressure and questions will be asked of Christiansen going into the international break, and rightfully so, as another poor performance away from Elland Road is a concerning trend. TC needs to find a way to right the ship during the international break if this team is going to seriously consider itself a promotion contender.