Coming off a tightly contested derby match last weekend, Leeds United were looking to bounce back against Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon. The club had some familiar faces amongst their number: Sol Bamba and Neil Warnock were making their return to Elland Road, and the Whites were confident we’d spoil their homecoming. It was not to be.
In typical Leeds style, we started off strong. Right out of the gates we had a Pablo Hernandez free kick on the top of the box. His kick bounced off the top of the wall, but it really seemed like it was going to be a big day for the Whites throughout the course of the first half. Leeds United continued their defence-first performance that led to over 600 minutes without conceding a goal at Elland Road, and the club dominated with 70% possession. We had seven shots on goal in the first half, but only one was on target.
Leeds kicked off the second half with quicker tempo and more purpose, but in the 53rd minute it was Cardiff that opened the bank. Craig Noone's free kick was met by Sean Morrison's head, and ended up in the back of the net: 1-0 Cardiff.
Leeds kept trying to break the last line but were having tough luck even getting a shot on target. Substitute Hadi Sacko played well down the wing, having some key dribbles and passes and was a part of some beautiful passing to set Chris Wood up with the best chance of the day at the near post. However, Ronaldo Vieira was robbed of the ball which set up Aaron Gunnarson who played it to Kenneth Zahore who put it away 2-0.
Kemar Roofe was healthy once again, coming on as a sub late for Pedraza. As the game winded down, Liam Bridcutt was sent off after receiving a second yellow on a foul on Matthew Connolly. Liam's challenge certainly didn't warrant a red but since he picked up a yellow earlier on in the match, he had to go.
This game was one of those games that didn't show us justice. Leeds were dominating. We finished the game with 71% possession and 16 shots. There were just two quick lapses which Cardiff took advantage of, and never let us get anything back.
2-0 looks bad, but there are positives to be taken from this game. We're just in a bad bit of form, and we’ll hope to snap out of it soon.
We've lost three of five, but we're still in the playoff positions at day’s end.
Bristol City is a weaker side than Cardiff City, we can bounce back against them. MOT.