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Leeds United at Huddersfield Town: Three takeaways from a damning derby defeat

It was another unhappy Yorkshire derby day for Leeds United, as Huddersfield Town strike late to take all three points.

Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship
Aaron Mooy ran the midfield, and thus ran the match, yesterday at John Smith’s.
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

What is it about fellow Yorkshire sides? A close-to-home derby just doesn't seem to suit Leeds United; it never has.

A 2-1 victory for Huddersfield Town over Garry Monk's side ensured that the Terriers took maximum points from this season's meetings.

An abject performance, a highly undesirable result... here's three main points to talk about (if you have to) today as we start a long week of disappointment.

Talking point 1: Derby day atmosphere brought too many sub-par performances

Leeds seem to have two teams that turn up at the moment: the one that has fans raving about every player from number 1 to 11, or the one that has fans raging about every player from 1 to 11. There's no middle-ground.

Typically, Leeds aren't losing games that they maybe should've won or at least got a point. We either dominate teams completely, or just have too many players deciding to have a bad game.

A case could of course be made for everyone on Sunday, but too many key players in key areas weren't to be seen.

Pontus Jansson arguably had the worst game of his career thus far at Leeds; irrational, disorganised and way too eager to win the ball back. His passion and desire is admirable, but he has a frustrating tendency to fly into tackles. The yellow card count is mounting for our magic man.

Gaetano Berardi had a shocker in at left-back on Sunday as well, and Elias Kachunga ran him ragged all afternoon. While not only committing a sinful error that allowed Huddersfield to score the first goal, Berardi's backside was sent to the turf too many times for my liking; given the run-around.

Another usually reliant member of this season's march to the promised land, Pablo Hernandez also decided to have a rather subdued outing. A lack of creativity, precision and drive from midfield gave Leeds an incredibly blunt attack... when they had the ball at all.

While I'm on the subject, can someone please explain to me how Souleymane Doukara is getting selected every game? I'd take a +50% pass completion rate from him for once over a one-in-a-million Yeboah-esque strike any day of the week. Leave him at home, Garry, for goodness sake.

Talking point 2: Midfield well and truly overrun

If the 89th minute winner celebrations were anything to go by (more on that below), the Town players enjoyed themselves today.

Aaron Mooy, however, had a huge part to play in said emotions. The Aussie was pulling every single one of the Terriers' strings on Sunday, and with great effect.

Despite a bright, hungry and determined first period, Ronaldo Vieira appeared to tire and show signs of sloppiness as the game went on, allowing Mooy the freedom of the middle third.

The holding midfield debate is an intriguing one. It seems to me that Monk assigns the roles dependent on the opposition. Knowing the midfield battle would be key to the outcome on Sunday, I can understand the combination.

Vieira - and Liam Bridcutt - provide more bite and aggression than O'Kane, but the Irishman should have been introduced earlier as Vieira started to slow and lose control.

The loss of the midfield battle meant United found it increasingly difficult to launch any attacks of their own, especially in the second half. I don't think I have seen Chris Wood so isolated all season, there was nothing for him to feed on whatsoever.

The introduction of Modou Barrow and Alfonso Pedraza was more out of hope than anything else I think. Doukara aside, I don't think it would have mattered too much who was occupying the flanks - that ultimately wasn't where the match was won and lost; it turned out to be a game that wasn't suited for a pacey winger or two.

Talking point 3: Wins for other teams show just how far Leeds have come

There's absolutely no denying that on the day, Huddersfield ran out very deserved winners. Leeds, I think, were lucky not to lose by more, as Rob Green had a day in goal. I have to disagree with the majority of Monk's post-match comments - I didn't think we were in the game at all.

Not at any point during that second half did United look like scoring, whatsoever.

On the flip side, it's not often we've said that this season.

You could argue that both of the home side's goals came from a little bit of fortune, but had the roles had been reversed, Leeds fans would have been pulling their hair out, wondering how they hadn't won the game.

The reaction to the late winner from the Huddersfield players and staff shows how far Leeds have come this season; the Town players know the win was huge for them. It meant more to them than it would have to us. 100%.

David Wagner's poor-natured behaviour at the end of the game massively highlights this fact.

Sure, I've seen Jose Mourinho do it... but at Chelsea... after a tie-winning goal was scored... in a Champions League quarter-final. Not halfway through a Championship season in Huddersfield. The guy needs to get a bit of perspective. We all know what happened next... shocking behaviour, and the EFL need to act.

Even so, it just underlines the whole thing. Yes Leeds were massively off-colour today, but teams know how hard we are to beat, hence the scenes.

If sides in and around us in the league are celebrating like that, then good. Let them. A slight blip, that's all.

We love a 3 o'clock kick-off, and we love playing at Elland Road. Back at it on the weekend, still comfortably in play off position. We'll see you Saturday, Neil.