Leeds were frustrated and Pablo Hernandez’s missed penalty meant that Reading FC were able to snatch an unlikely 1-0 victory at Elland Road. Leeds looked poor for much of the match, but still felt unlucky to surrender a goal after it appeared that Pablo Hernandez was fouled in the build up to the Reading goal. And while Leeds were given a chance to grab an equalizer after Samu Saiz was fouled in the box in stoppage time, Hernandez’s extremely poorly taken penalty was easily saved and Leeds were left second best for the third straight match. After a bright start to the season, Leeds has had trouble in the past few matches, and Christiansen needs to adjust as the Championship is a punishing league with where poor play is almost always penalized. Leeds travel to Bristol City next Saturday, hoping to beat a team that has had an unlikely run to the top half of the table.
Leeds United’s decision to drop Felix Wiedwald for Andy Lonergan didn’t seem to pay off in terms of offensive pressure, as Leeds looked slightly off the pace early on.
Reading and Beerens making ground on Leeds' right-hand side at the moment. They've had the better start, such as it is. 0-0 on 16 mins.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 14, 2017
While their were a few moments of good attacking play by Leeds, most of the first half seemed to be dominated by Reading, who seemed to hold possession without much attacking threat.
Nice play from O'Kane and Saiz and Lasogga is almost away but van den Berg shrugs him off the ball and Reading clear. 0-0 on 29 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 14, 2017
Lasogga had a header that went straight to the keeper after Hernandez had sent a good cross into the box. Saiz provided some magic with a great ball towards Lasogga, but he was beaten to the ball by a Reading defender.
37' Bodvarsson lays the ball of to Sone Aluko to strike and Lonergan makes another fine save low to his right 0-0— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 14, 2017
Lonergan earned his pay-packet during the first half as he made a couple of very good saves to deny Reading a sure goal. Any Wiedwald haters in your life would surely state that at least one of those shots would have been goals by Reading, but Lonergan did very well nonetheless.
Leeds piled a good amount of pressure on the Reading end near the end of the half, but were unable to break down the Reading defence. Lasogga couldn’t quite get to a few balls sent into the box, despite some good attacking intent.
As usual, the Leeds attack flowed through Samu Saiz, with the Spaniard making a number of really good passes into dangerous areas and had a few good runs that asked questions of the Reading defence.
Leeds had some more attacking intent in the second half, but still had trouble breaking down the Reading defence. Leeds had some decent pressure in the Reading box in the 59th minute, but the team was unable to find the final ball, a theme through out the entire match.
Leeds sub: Kemar Roofe off, Hadi Sacko on. 67th minute. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 14, 2017
Hadi Sacko did well to earn a corner with his first touch of the match, doing well to inject a bit of pace down the right hand side.
O'Kane drops the shoulder and sprints away from Bodvarsson but his shot from 25 yards slices off target. 0-0 on 75 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 14, 2017
Leeds often seemed reduced to attempting long, speculative shots from distance that were often never a real threat. The three central defenders at Reading did their best to isolate and frustrate Lasogga for much of the match.
Chance! Grot with his first touch is denied by a oncoming Reading defender #lufc— We All Love Leeds (@weallloveleedsu) October 14, 2017
Lasogga was taken off in the 77th minute for Jay-Roy Grot and the young Dutch forward was rewarded with a good chance that Bacuna saved with a brilliant tackle. Leeds started to heap pressure on the Reading box, with a pair of good attempts from corners that were close to scoring, with a Saiz header that was headed into the bottom corner of the net saved by Reading keeper Mannone.
Leeds protesting angrily about a foul on Hernandez but ven den Berg's pass finds Barrow in behind, and he slots the ball home. 0-1 on 85 min— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 14, 2017
And because Leeds fans can’t have nice things, Mo Barrow, who was absolutely dire when playing for Leeds last season, scored a goal for Reading. Another foul had gone uncalled and Barrow beat Luke Ayling to the ball and scored an extremely unlikely goal.
Stuart Dallas came on in the final few minutes to try and get something from this match, but it was always going to be too little, too late.
Misses. Awful pen— RightInTheGaryKellys (@RITGK) October 14, 2017
Samu Saiz won a penalty in stoppage time, but Pablo Hernandez took perhaps the worst penalty ever in recorded history and it was easily saved by the Reading keeper.
With three straight losses after a wonderful August and September, Leeds United seems to be in crisis mode. With a few exceptions, the team seemed lost and unable to finish in the box, even with the presence of the big German striker. Some questions need to be asked of the tactics, as Reading packed the box and once again Lasogga was too easily isolated by the opposing team.
Anyway, plenty of time to ask questions in the upcoming days.