Bristol City snatched a draw from the jaws of victory as Leeds United battled back to draw the match level between two well taken goals from Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Kemar Roofe, both supplied by Pablo Hernandez. Bristol City had scored two goals in five minutes from long throws in the first half to send the mood at Elland Road into a poisonous cloud of discontent, but the second half display made Paul Heckingbottom’s first home game finish level after appearing that the whole season was beyond saving. Leeds may still not be able to climb back up in the table to the playoffs, but at they at least showed passion and desire to bring the match back level.
Leeds started off well in Heckingbottom’s first match at home as boss of Leeds, as an early chance for Stuart Dallas was created by a through ball from Caleb Ekuban, who was drafted back into the starting lineup. Dallas’ shot was straight at the Bristol City keeper Fielding, but it showed more intent than had been seen by a Leeds side in weeks.
Long throw from Magnusson, Wiedwald comes to punch but misses it with a crowd of players around him. Diedhiou controls the ball and stabs it into an unprotected net. 0-1 on 12 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 18, 2018
And of course, following that decent start, Leeds immediately surrender a goal. The team doesn’t deal with a long throw well, as Wiedwald came out and missed a punch, allowing the ball to fall at the feet of the Bristol City striker Diedhiou made no mistake.
Magusson in, Flint managed to knock the ball down, driven back into the six yard box and Bobby Reid drives the ball home. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 18, 2018
And to add salt to the wound, the next deep throw from Bristol City went into the back of the net as a quick header put the ball at the feet of Reid who was barely marked by Eunan O’Kane right in front of goal and he slammed the ball home. 2-0 after less than a quarter of the match is done and Leeds fans and players seemed to check out.
The rest of the first half was a swarming mass of blah. Despite the change of formation, Leeds seemed unable to make a sustained push towards equalizing. The few chances that were created by Hernandez were wasted by Caleb Ekuban, as the former Chievo Verona striker watched the ball roll past him in front of net, and he also failed to get to a perfectly weighted ball that Hernandez put into his path.
Beyond those two moments, Leeds looked toothless and shaky at the back. Disgruntled fans let their feelings known at half-time as boos rained down from the stands as the ref whistled for half-time.
Almost a one-on-one for Lasogga but Flint slides in to pinch the ball off his toes inside the box. 0-2 on 52 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 18, 2018
Lasogga made a decent squared ball that Ekuban was unable to convert into a chance, and then Lasogga almost got a chance to go one-on-one with the keeper but Aden Flint made a brilliant tackle to deny the big German a chance on goal. Leeds had another decent chance on goal as Hernandez’s shot was blocked after Vurnon Anita did well to pick him out in a crowd. There were some shouts for handball that were speculative at best, but down 2-0 why not, right?
Hernandez and Lasogga breathed some life back into the match in the 72nd minute as Hernandez’s very well taken cross was turned into goal by Lasogga to get a goal back for Leeds.
Oi oi. Hernandez corner flicked on, Roofe slides in to finish at the back post. Who'd have thought? 2-2 on 80 minutes. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 18, 2018
Leeds United 2, Bristol City 2 - 78’ Roofe Goal pic.twitter.com/J4ztOb7pVd— Marching On Together (@motforum) February 18, 2018
And after Laurens De Bock won Leeds a corner, and Bristol City’s Brownhill was yellow carded for time wasting, Hernandez’s corner kick was turned into the net from Kemar Roofe just wanting to get the ball before his marker. Roofe’s sliding goal drew the teams level in what seemed impossible only a few minutes before.
Leeds had two good chances in stoppage time to win the game, as first Kalvin Phillips headed over from an open header in the six yard box off of a free-kick and less than a minute later the bar saved Lasogga’s header, and despite the earlier advantage, Bristol City will feel good to leave with a single point.
From the depths of despair to some feelings of satisfaction after the near-miss win at the end of the match, Leeds fans ran the gauntlet this afternoon. Leeds really needed a win to get back into the playoff conversation, but at least the players fought back in the second half to pull level. If Leeds play like they did in the second half against Derby County on Wednesday, then the club has a chance, if not, well, then Heckingbottom needs to trot out the kids.