Editor’s note: Leeds United were defeated by Huddersfield Town 2-1 on Sunday in a tumultuous derby: read how it went down with our quick recap and check back tomorrow for more analysis in our three points. MOT.
Ah, derby matches. Amazing if you win, gut-wrenching if you lose. Especially painful if you lose in the dying moments. Unfortunately, our boys in the yellow and blue were on the wrong side today, losing 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion.
First half - this Yorkshire Derby didn’t start off bad at all. From the first whistle, Leeds were pressing and dominating. For the first twenty minutes, things were going quite well for United.
In the 25th minute, Chelsea loanee Kasey Palmer went down with an injury, making way for Izzy White, another product of Stamford Bridge. Not two minutes later, Gaetano Berardi’s blunder allowed Huddersfield’s Tom Smith to play in White, who took advantage and put the ball in the back of the net. Just like that, it was 1-0 Huddersfield.
The Terriers suddenly had momentum, but our boys kept their heads up and fought back almost immediately. A Pablo Hernandez free kick set up Chris Wood, who dribbled around Danny Ward and tapped it in to bring the scores level.
WOOOOOOOD #LUFC @WALMOT33 pic.twitter.com/RiZpqqoO2e— Adam Floyd Thomas (@adzng5) February 5, 2017
While Leeds were still getting back into their spots for kickoff, Huddersfield blitzed down the pitch in an attempt to catch United napping, and it nearly worked. Berardi saved the day, using his body to block a shot headed on goal and help achieve some redemption for his earlier blunder. Huddersfield kept the pressure on, but Robert Green made a couple key saves to keep the scores level going into halftime.
Half-time: Leeds United 1-1 Huddersfield Town
From my view, Leeds were seriously lucky to not be down 3-1 at the half. Berardi played great after his blunder and made up for it in a big way, and Green played out of his mind early on.
Breathe, Leeds always turn it on in the second 45. We got this.
Second half - someone forgot to tell Huddersfield that we like to dominate the second half. The Terriers picked up right where they left off, spending a big chunk of their time in our zone. But our back line stood strong, Green looked like the West Ham version of Robert Green, parrying shot after shot. You just had to sit there and pray that something changed, or it would only be a matter of time.
In the 62nd minute, it was debut time! Alfonzo Pedraza made his first appearance for Leeds, coming on for Souleymane Doukara.
Pedraza took no time to introduce himself, unleashing a wicked shot that was ultimately saved by Danny Ward. Leeds stayed pinned down in their defensive end for a long time after Pedraza’s shot, which ultimately led to Garry Monk giving Modou Barrow his Leeds debut, coming on for Stuart Dallas in the 76th minute.
The Swansea loanee could not help too much; no matter what he tried, Huddersfield kept coming back and attacking.
As the clock crept closer and closer to 90, you could start getting excited about earning a point from this derby. Wishing up a quick counter to win it would be wonderful, but at this rate, getting out with a draw wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Then heartbreak struck.
In the 89th minute, a long range effort from Aaron Moory was deflected and in the most antagonising of fashions, the football rolled across the pitch and landed right in front of Michael Hefele. A simple finish was all that Hefele needed to secure three points for Huddersfield.
HUGE GOAL: Wagner couldn't resist celebrating! Hefele scores. Huddersfield 2-1 Leeds. Brought to you by @Screwfix. https://t.co/MPplakIYjx— Sky Sports EFL ⚽️ (@SkySportsEFL) February 5, 2017
Managers behaving badly - after the goal, Huddersfield manager David Wagner sprinted onto the pitch to celebrate the goal with his team. On his way back, Wagner and Monk get into it, which ignited the bench, which ignited the 22 players on the pitch. Mayhem everywhere.
Best 25 second clip I've ever seen. We're leeds. We stick together. #lufc pic.twitter.com/jh070gaRqF— Harry Knowles (@ArcadeOfHoney) February 5, 2017
Depending on which side of Yorkshire you support, Wagner purposefully ran into Monk or Garry Monk elbowed Wagner on the way back to bring his ego down to earth after celebrating with his team. (Editor’s note - it sure looked like a certain Mr. Wagner instigated the incident whilst his opponent maintained his cool)
Class interview from @GarryMonk said what every Leeds fan was thinking #MOT pic.twitter.com/kNY1hKJZnl— Viking Flagship (@Stoss66) February 5, 2017
Either way, both managers got ejected from the ground and referee Simon Hooper started handing out yellows in a truly Oprah-esque fashion. The game was in shambles as the final whistle blew.
Full-time score: Leeds United 1-2 Huddersfield Town
Full-time Thoughts - It was a rough game for Leeds. Outside of Wood’s goal, we couldn’t do much on offense. Green held the wall together for as long as he could, but it broke in the end. I’ll sure as hell be excited for a rematch in the playoffs. But for now, we have to regroup and focus on our next opponents, Cardiff City. We’re still pretty damn good at home and 15th place Cardiff will hopefully not pose too much of a challenge. MOT