Leeds United played Sunderland in front of over 30,000 fans and treated their fans to a poor display against one of the worst teams in the division. Leeds had a number of good chances that went off the post and the crossbar and somehow stayed out, but in the end it took a number of very good saves from Bailey Peacock-Farrell to keep the score level. Leeds dropped two points here, and the end of the season can’t come fast enough.
Neither team really seemed like they wanted to grab the match by the scruff of the neck in the first ten minutes, with Leeds winning a corner that was directed over the goal by the outstretched head of Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Sunderland won a free kick and had a few other attempts near goal, but nothing actually troubled Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Big chance for Leeds - Alioski chip runs to Hernandez who tries to volley inside the far post. Camp gets a kneee to it to send it inches wide. 0-0 on 25 mins.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 7, 2018
Ronaldo Vieira hit the post in the 18th minute with a thundering shot. Leeds started to take control of the match in about the 20 minute mark. Lee Camp’s knee denied Pablo Hernandez a goal, and Lasogga made a claim that putting the ball towards the far post for him to knock in might have been a better option.
Aiden McGeady had a shot saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell, and in the 30th minute, Leeds surrendered a series of corners to Sunderland. Most of the attacking from Sunderland seemed to come down their left hand side, seeming to try and exploit McGeady being defended by the make-shift fullback Stuart Dallas.
Sunderland earned another pair of corners and were unlucky to not take the lead after Ashley Fletcher got his head to the ball and hit the post, denying him a goal. Sunderland looked pretty good until Leeds made a few attempts on goal, each of which were close but ultimately were wasted.
Both sides hit the woodwork and Hernandez denied by Lee Camp's save. Leeds good in patches but not great in others. Tight game. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 7, 2018
The first half ended scoreless with neither side really taking their chances well. Leeds might have been the better team during the half, but to be honest, it wasn’t a very resounding performance from either the hosts or the visitors.
And Leeds were punished in the 49th minute as Paddy McNair finished off a good move after the Leeds defenders failed to mark him in the box and he was found by Donald Love. The goal seemed to give Sunderland some good feeling, as they responded by playing brightly and Leeds responded by complaining every time they were touched.
evergreen tweet— Thru It All Together (@ThruItAllLUFC) April 7, 2018
Kemar Roofe came on in the 65th minute for Pablo Hernandez, and Leeds made a change to a 4-4-2, with Roofe joining Lasogga upront, with Saiz and Alioski going out wide and Hernandez being part of a midfield pair with Vieira.
Pablo Hernandez GOAL v Sunderland ⚽ pic.twitter.com/CJJwULqaUE— BreatheLeeds (@breatheleeds) April 7, 2018
Sunderland showed belief in the second half, especially after the goal, but Pablo Hernandez finally equalized for Leeds with a brilliant individual effort on goal. Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a pair of brilliant saves as well to deny Ashley Fletcher an almost certain goal and another wonderful save on McNair from another good shot on net.
Leeds picked up a bit after Hernandez’s goal, with a pair of good chances. First, Alioski put a cross from Hernandez off the underside of the crossbar and later, Saiz tested Camp from a shot that was put out for a corner.
Leeds had yet another chance, with a Samu Saiz free kick that somehow stayed out of the net after it bounced off the inside of the post. Gaetano Berardi was soon sent off for an absolutely idiotic tackle. Berardi left his feet with a two-footed challenge that left the ref no choice but to send the Leeds captain to an early shower.
Peacock-Farrell saved another good shot, and neither team was able to find a winner in a match that was actually quite poor. Leeds had a number of chances that they should have converted, while Sunderland wouldn’t have felt totally undeserved with a win.
Leeds will need to play better than this if they wish to go back up the table, however, and the defenders will need to thank Baily Peacock-Farrell for bailing them out on a number of occasions.