Leeds United looked to continue their unbeaten run in the league while Birmingham City looked for their first win of the season. Despite the differences in form leading into this match, Leeds were not able to overcome their opponents, who capitalized on a few early goals to ride out the match and despite eight minutes of stoppage time, Leeds were not able to get an equalizer and suffered their first league defeat of the season, 2-1 to former manager Garry Monk’s struggling Birmingham team, who are rumoured to be looking at a significant point reduction for a breach of rules.
8 - GOALLLLLL Blues! Che Adams turns on the edge of the box and sends a low strike past Peacock-Farrell and into the bottom corner. Clean, precise and powerful. 0-1 #BCFC— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) September 22, 2018
Leeds got a poor start to the match after giving up a goal within the first 10 minutes of the match. Che Adams got the ball on the edge of the box, turned and got a shot into the back of the net that wrong-footed Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Not a great goal for the young Northern Ireland keeper to give up, but you sometimes the luck breaks the other way.
Leeds started to enjoy a little better spell of possession, but then Leeds surrendered a second goal as Barry Douglas failed to get a tackle on Adams, who once again sent Peacock-Farrell the wrong way, and the ball dribbled past the keeper into the back of the net.
We've got Bielsa's fabled 3-3-1-3. Ayling's dropped into the backline, Dallas wide right, Douglas wide left. Saiz is the 1. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 22, 2018
Leeds, much like in the Swansea City match, made an earlier change, as Kalvin Phillips was taken off for Stuart Dallas. Luke Ayling appeared to slot into a back three with Dallas going to right wingback, but the positions are always fluid in a Marcelo Bielsa team anyway.
Leeds had a decent half-chance at the end of the first half, but Roberts couldn’t stretch enough to get his head to the ball.
Today's the most I've seen Bielsa get at the referee and the fourth official. Evident frustration. Birmingham have a free-kick on the left wing. 54th minute. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 22, 2018
Leeds started the half with a little more possession, but still couldn’t get any real good attempts on goal as Birmingham looked to slow the match down and control the match, with various attempts at time-wasting and with Samu Saiz getting a card for attempting to
CHANCE: Cooper pass into Saiz's feet inside the box, tries to turn and get a shot away but Birmingham are there in numbers to block it. 0-2 on 66 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 22, 2018
Forshaw was introduced and Mateusz Klich was taken off while Birmingham City contined to look to take the venom out of the match by ridiculous time-wasting every time a player in yellow was so much as touched.
Leeds searched for a final ball, but the second half was largely frustrating, as the amount of time-wasting resulted in a few cards for Birmingham City while the frustration boiled over on the Leeds sideline, as Bielsa (or one of the staff) was yellow carded for voicing some objection to how the referee was handling the match.
From nothing, Alioski (whose had a terrible day) brings down a high ball into the box, and sweeps it left-footed past Camp. Classy finish. Right then. 1-2 with four minutes of normal time to play. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 22, 2018
And then, from a fairly harmless ball found Alioski in some space and his shot found the bottom corner of the net and all of a sudden, Leeds were back in the match with a few minutes left in normal time. Ryan Edmondson had come into the match for Barry Douglas late in the match as well as Leeds went in search of a point.
The time-wasting and “injury” delays meant that Leeds were given eight minutes to try and find an equalizer. Dallas had a great chance to equalize, but Lee Camp did enough to keep the ball out and Leeds couldn’t get the ball past him another time and Leeds was finally defeated in the league.
Negative: we were awful— TheSouthStandAssassin (@TSSA_LUFC) September 22, 2018
Positive: we’re top of the league
Onto the next game, don’t stop backing this team, we’re going places #lufc
However, with Middlesbrough only able to get a draw against Swansea City, Leeds remain top of the table despite the defeat. And while this match was slightly obnoxious, with the time-wasting by Birmingham and some poor play from a few Leeds players, as long as performances like these don’t become a pattern, games like this will happen and can be overcome.