Leeds United traveled to Reading FC today and drew 2-2 in a match that featured six changes to the lineup that lost 3-0 at home to Wolverhampton on Wednesday. Leeds will likely feel as if they dropped two points, but given the dire run of form that Leeds have been on, a point is nothing to take for granted.
Leeds played well at times, but the defence was shambolic at times, and the efforts of young keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept Leeds in the first half, as he made three terrific saves to keep the Leeds in the match. And while Pontus Jansson drew the team level before half-time and Pablo Hernandez put Leeds in front in the second half, the team could not hold a lead yet again, as Eunan O’Kane had a Leandro Bacuna shot bounce off of him and into the back of the net for an own goal.
Leeds tried to find a equalizer, but couldn’t unlock the Reading defence in the second half, and so will make the long journey back to Yorkshire feeling as if two points were dropped.
Barrow giving Berardi a bit of a hard time so far. Leeds causing problems for Reading too though. Lively start. 0-0 on 11 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 10, 2018
Reading earned a quick corner to start the match as former White Mo Barrow streaked past Gaetano Berardi, but otherwise the first few minutes was somewhat back-and-forth. Leeds had a corner in the 9th minute after some good work in the box by Gjanni Alioski to get a shot on frame.
Bodvarsson was able to “unlock” the Leeds defence as Laurens De Bock (not Pennington, blame the shit stream for Jack seeing MP) was about 4 miles behind everyone else and played the Reading player onside and it was easy enough for Bodvarsson to slot it home. Peacock-Farrell had no chance.
Leeds were opened up again, as Berardi was beaten (again) by Barrow, and despite the ball being played into an area for a certain goal, Peacock-Farrell did well to get a mitt to the ball and Matthew Pennington cleared the ball off the line and did well to prevent another goal from Bodvarsson. Honestly, it looked easier to score from that position, full credit to Pennington and Peacock-Farrell to clear the ball.
SAVE: Superb from Peacock-Farrell again, fingertip top to turn Evans' 20-yard shot over. Corner. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 10, 2018
BPF again did well to stop a remarkable shot from distance by Evans. The ball looked certain for the top corner from a brilliant shot, as the Reading midfielder wasn’t closed down AT ALL by the Leeds defence, allowing him to tee up the ball and get a good shot away.
After Hernandez had gone close and hit the bar, Leeds finally scored a goal. After a corner kick had gone somewhat awry, Jansson was able to sick the ball into the back of the net. As dire as the Leeds defence had been in the past three matches, and as useless as the team has been offensively, it was great to finally get a goal.
Leeds picked it up in the last few minutes of the second half, as Alioski created a scoring match out of almost nothing, but otherwise it was somewhat fair for both sides to going into half-time level.
Leeds had a few chances in the first half of the second half, but the final ball seemed to betray the Leeds players until Saiz was able to pick out Hernandez and the Spanish connection at the club paid off and Hernandez’s shot went into the back of the net.
59' Goal Reading, the home side level, Bacunca strikes a powerful effort from the edge of the box and it deflects off Eunan O'Kane and in 2-2— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 10, 2018
And then, because Leeds fans can’t have nice things, three minutes later, Eunan O’Kane put the ball into his own net after Leandro Bacuna got free and put a shot towards the Leeds net that was dealt with extremely poorly and the ball went into the net off of the Republic of Ireland international.
Leeds pressed forward, earning a few chances after the Reading goal, but the pressure all lead to corners that were dealt with by the hosts. Leeds had a few chances from the corners, but the headers were all quite poor and all went wide.
Alioski had another decent shot on net in the 81st minute and Leeds continued to press for a winning goal. Leeds had put continued pressure, but were consistently unlucky, as the final ball seemed to elude the Leeds attackers.
CLOSE: You have to be kidding - Jaakkola kicks a clearance against Lasogga, bounces behind him against the inside of the post and stops on the line for him to claim. Centimetres in that. 2-2 on 87 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 10, 2018
Pierre-Michel Lasogga was introducted a little bit earlier, and he almost put the ball into the net after the Reading keeper somehow punted the ball off of him and the spinning ball bounced off the post and then Jaakkola was able to collect the ball.
Ahhhh, Saiz with a chance to feed a free Dallas out wide but goes himself, loses the ball and Reading break forward to win a corner. 90+2. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 10, 2018
Leeds tried hard to push forward for the winner, but was unable to find it as Reading collapsed for the draw and the point that will do wonders in their effort to reach safety. Much like Saiz, Leeds were unable to figure out the final product the whole match with a few notable exceptions.
The draw was probably fair, given the start of the match for Reading, but Leeds fans will feel hard done by after the number of chances in the second half and the way that the equalizing goal was scored by Reading.