Leeds drew 2-2 with Swansea City, a fair result that probably left both sets of fans and players without much complaint. Both clubs ended the day in the top six, both undefeated, and both with a well-fought point.
Leeds United got some bad news before the game when Liam Cooper, the captain, pulled up with a hamstring injury, meaning that Leeds would end up not starting the same lineup four league games in a row to start the season.
Cooper was replaced in the starting lineup by Jamie Shackleton, with Luke Ayling shifting over to play in central defence while Shackleton slotted in at right back.
Swansea put Leeds on under some early pressure, with an attempt from a free kick in the first 15 minutes the most threatening movement that was faced by Leeds.
Leeds, however, were made to pay in the 24th minute as Leeds-born lad Oli McBurnie rolled a shot past Bailey Peacock-Farrell for the opening goal. The goal had been coming for Swansea, as Leeds had looked a little slow out of the blocks and had turned the ball over more than a few times in the middle of the park, leading to chances and good possession for Swansea.
Leeds sub: Baker on, Phillips off. Can only be tactical - Phillips had picked up a yellow card and lost the ball in the passage leading to the goal. Problems here. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 21, 2018
Kalvin Phillips was subbed off by Bielsa in the 25th minute as Phillips, on his 100th appearance for Leeds, was having a nightmare of a match. His passing looked poor and a number of chances for Swansea were generated by a turnover or a bad decision from the midfielder.
Lewis Baker came on and shifted into the more attacking role that Mateusz Klich had occupied for the first three league matches, while Klich started playing the defensive midfield role that Phillips had played so well during the first few matches.
Hardly had a sniff in this half but from nowhere, Shackleton bursts down the right and sends over a perfect low ball which takes out Mulder. Roofe can't miss from points blank range. 1-1 on 41 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 21, 2018
And then, pretty much out of nowhere, Jamie Shackleton broke down his defender on the dribble and got a good low cross into the box that was tapped in by Kemar Roofe. The whole goal was created by Shackleton, as the young fullback blasted into the box and made his defender look silly before putting a cross into a dangerous position that Roofe did well to get to.
The score was level at half-time, with Leeds feeling a bit fortunate to still be in the match, as Swansea had looked like the better side for much of the first half.
GOAL: 2-1 Swansea, McBurnie again with a classy but unmarked header. 51st minute. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 21, 2018
The lack of a centre back in the lineup was exposed in the 51st minute as McBurie again made his boyhood club pay, as he got up to for a free header that he slammed into the net. Leeds started off the half almost as they started it, looking poor in the air and vulnerable to crosses and set pieces.
However, Leeds managed to battle back and looked much better in the second half while chasing the game. Unlike in matches of from the past few years, Leeds did not crumble under pressure, but rather turned up the pressure themselves.
Against his old club. Brilliant from Bamford, spinning van der Hoorn wide on the left and breaking downfield before finding Hernandez with a low cut-back. Hernandez meets it first time, low and true. 2-2 on 80 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 21, 2018
Leeds were rewarded in the 80th minute as Pablo Hernandez did well to score a goal against his former club Swansea, after some good work from Patrick Bamford to get free and pick Hernandez out for the goal.
First time since November 2012, that we’ve come from behind twice and not lost, that was at Brighton when we were 1-0 and 2-1 down.— stats (@lufcstats) August 21, 2018
While it wasn’t a win, despite some good chances in the final minutes, not to mention a good save by Peacock-Farrell to atone for his earlier mistake on the first goal, it was a valuable point away to a good team that also leaves the match undefeated.
Leeds now travel to Norwich City on Saturday, still undefeated.