Leeds United and Hull City played an awful match of football, where Leeds looked like the team that just had played a match over the weekend instead of having a week off in Spain. And while Adam Forshaw, the new signing from Middlesbrough, had a decent match, along with Laurens De Bock, the team as a whole played extremely poorly.
That is the worst match I’ve seen this season. Wiedwald, Forshaw & Jansson aside there was no one out there who had an any quality. Diabolical team performance. You’ve gotta win that if your wanting play-offs. What the hell did we do over in Spain for a week? Awful. #LUFC— Matt James (@MattJLufc) January 30, 2018
The match started off rather poorly for Leeds after Conor Shaughnessy, who was a surprise starter in place of Matthew Pennington after the Everton loanee was injured during lineups, was injured and had to be stretchered off after six minutes on the pitch.
The injury seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the match, as both clubs seemed more interested in putting in ball in the air and lumping it up the pitch rather than putting the ball on the floor and passing it around. Hull certainly got the script to playing Leeds, as they were more than willing to stick their feet in and disrupt the other team.
Hull had a decent chance from a free kick in a fairly good position in the 16th minute, but Seb Larsson’s free kick fell harmlessly. Leeds, however, despite being in a decent position to break, could not break out and get a decent chance going forward.
Hull's game so far and Wiedwald keeps Leeds level at the break. But as a spectacle, a pretty horrible half of football, helped by a whistle-happy referee. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 30, 2018
Felix Wiedwald made a number of good saves in the first half to keep Leeds in the match. Leeds rarely looked threatening, even from set pieces, which is something that the club had allegedly spent money on a new coach to assist with those routines.
The best chance for Leeds in the first half came on when Pontus Jansson had a free header off of a dead-ball situation which he headed back near the spot, but no Leeds player was anywhere near the ball and Hull were able to easily clear the ball out of the danger area. Wiedwald made another good save to deny a goal-scoring opportunity, and Leeds would feel lucky going into the break with the score level.
Leeds try to orchestrate a pre-planned move but Hernandez overhits the free-kick, out for a goal kick. 0-0 on 52 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 30, 2018
Gjanni Alioski, in what was a theme for the match, had a decent chance on the ball, but instead of taking the ball and driving towards goal, tried to play in a stationary Pablo Hernandez and the ball rolled harmlessly out for a goal kick. Absolutely shocking display of attack in this match, compounded by the fact that every set piece went no where and every shot seemed to come nowhere near the net.
CHANCE: What a miss. Grosicki cross finds Dicko a couple of yards out, Skies the ball up and over the bar from a position where it seemed impossible to do that. 0-0 on 54 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 30, 2018
Hull had by far their best chance of the match in the 53rd minute, as Wiedwald’s punch fell directly to Nouha Dicko who sent the ball flying over the net and somehow the ball stayed out of the net, where literally any other touch of the ball would have scored a well-deserved goal for Hull. Wiedwald made a number of other good saves as Leeds continued to avoid claiming possession, instead looking to constantly turn the ball over in the middle of the park.
CHANCE: Leeds free-kick, Berardi heads it down to Alioski unmarked in the box but he swipes at it. A waste. 0-0 on 80 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 30, 2018
Gjanni Alioski had the worst miss for Leeds in the match in the 79th minute, as the ball fell to his feet in the Hull box, and with the defenders on the back foot and the keeper stranded, Alioski tripped over his own feet and sliced his shot. An absolutely horrible miss that would have put the match on its head, and unforgivable given his poor play for the entire match.
90' Hull go so close, Bowen plays the ball across goal, but Wiedwald denies Campbell with a fantastic stop 0-0— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 30, 2018
Leeds wasted a few more chances, and Hull almost won it in stoppage time as Felix Wiedwald make a brilliant kicked save to deny a sure Hull goal. Pawel Cibicki was brought on in stoppage time, and he combined with Hadi Sacko, who had come on earlier for Alioski, and Pablo Hernandez in a breakout, but despite having superior pace, Hadi Sacko chose to pass the ball to Hernandez, who then wasn’t able to pick out a pass in what ended up being the final chance for Leeds.
Adam Forsaw had himself a decent game in midfield too. Good debut as bad as that match was #lufc— LUFC Worldwide (@LUFC_WorldWide) January 30, 2018
A very disappointing match of football, absolutely a low-light of the season. As poor as a few of the matches have been this season, and there have been a few, this one seems one of the bleakest because Leeds now slump to 10th place, four points out of the playoff places and with a difficult stretch coming up. This was an absolute must-win match if Leeds were going to the playoffs, and instead of coming up big, the players simply folded.
Leeds were missing a number of players through injury and suspension, and so while Christiansen has to shoulder some of the blame, with the late substitutions in a match that cried out for some pace and energy in the second half, the players that got themselves sent off for dodgy reason also have to look themselves in the mirror. Hopefully Matthew Pennington’s injury isn’t too bad, or Leeds will find themselves scrambling for a central defender with the transfer window due to shut tomorrow. Right now the club has only Pontus Jansson fit, and while Leeds have signed about a million youth players, the club is still quite thin at first-team defenders.
So Leeds host Cardiff City on Saturday, and if Leeds are to get the faith of the fans back, the team will need to go out and put on a good display and get all three points. If they don’t, all of the good-will that has been extended to the club by the fans will quickly dry up in a sea of negativity.