A sizable contingent of traveling Leeds United fans saw the Whites drop a 2-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, as Leeds suffered their only second defeat of the season, and first on the road, as Blackburn was able to get two headed goals from corner kicks.
Leeds started poorly as Blackburn got the opening goal from a corner kick taken within the first three minutes. Blackburn had earned a corner kick from their first attack on goal, and after Kemar Roofe had headed the ball behind for another corner, no Leeds player had managed to mark Danny Graham on the second corner kick and he headed the ball home after making a simple run to the near post. Not a lot Bailey Peacock-Farrell could have done about it in the end, and Leeds were down after only a few minutes.
The opening 25 minutes or so were really end-to-end stuff, with both teams putting the ball on the floor and looking to grab a goal. Leeds were in search of an equalizer, with Samu Saiz forcing the Blackburn keeper Raya into a good save with a shot from just outside the penalty box, but otherwise Leeds didn’t get very many clean chances on goal.
Berardi and Dallas have now swapped positions, which makes sense. Dallas been having a hard time at right-back. He's at left-back now. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 20, 2018
Blackburn were searching for a second goal, and were roasting Leeds on the right-hand side, with Stuart Dallas having a rather poor first quarter-hour, as it seemed that every single Blackburn attack was focused straight at the converted fullback. Switching him to left-back seemed the logical decision, because at least on that side of the pitch he’d have some assistance from Gjanni Alioski who does yeoman’s work tracking back in almost every single match, even when he’s not playing great on the attacking end.
The rest of the second half seemed to slow down considerably, as after an initial burst, both teams seemed to settle down a little bit. Bailey Peacock-Farrell did some brilliant work to keep a second goal from being scored, but otherwise neither team really looked likely to score, even though Blackburn’s Armstrong hit a shot that looked threatening, only for it to land on top of the net.
Mateusz Klich scored a great goal to pull Leeds level right before half-time. Saiz played a brilliant ball into the six-yard box and Berardi squared a pass right to Klich who made no mistake and buried his chance. Leeds went into the break perhaps a bit undeservedly, but it was still an otherworldly pass by Saiz that created the chance.
The second half started much as the first hand ended, with neither team looking especially threatening, despite moving the ball up and down the pitch. Both clubs looked a tad rusty, but at least the amount of mistakes from Leeds were reduced, albeit with no real attempts on goal from either side.
Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell was subbed on in about the 60th minute for Blackburn. It was a tad confusing to see him come on, as many had assumed he had retired or assumed another identity and was living abroad and certainly not playing football anymore.
Leeds United’s official twitter account had made a joke earlier this month about if a team needed to sell some tickets to just have Leeds visit, and while the Blackburn account got all testy about the joke, the point remains that the number of Leeds fans who traveled, during a rail strike, was around 37% of the ground’s total attendance.
70' Goal Blackburn. Darragh Lenihan gives Rovers the lead again— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 20, 2018
2-1 | #BLALEE
Blackburn got another goal from a corner kick after some dodgy marking in the penalty box undid Leeds once again. Leeds had been the better of the two sides in the second half, but once again were undid by some poor efforts at a corner kick.
Pablo Hernandez came on for Kemar Roofe in the 71st minute and Jack Clarke came on the 76th minute as Leeds searched for a equalizer. Roofe had been yellow-carded for a foul borne of frustration, as he was guilty of losing possession and instead of focusing on what he was supposed to do, he merely tracked back and committed a bad foul on Bradley Dack.
Jamie Shackleton replaced Gaetano Berardi in the final few minutes as Leeds looked to try and get something out of the match as Leeds started to lay siege on the Blackburn goal. Leeds came close on a few corner kicks, but otherwise couldn’t really get much going. A few hopeful shouts for a penalty kick after it appeared that Alioski was fouled in the box and a potential hand-ball as well, but as usual, the appeals were waved away without a second thought.
Leeds falls to their second defeat of the season in a match that perhaps they should have at least gotten a draw from. In the end, Blackburn did well to capitalize on defensive errors from Leeds on corner kicks while Leeds weren’t able to unlocked the Blackburn defence more than once, and that even took a remarkable effort from Klich. Leeds stay in fourth place in the table, while Blackburn sneak into 5th place after this result.