Leeds United hosted Bolton Wanderers today in a match that Leeds desperately needed to win to stay in the automatic promotion places while Bolton need results and plenty of help in order to stay in the Championship.
Leeds ended up getting all three points, despite a scrappy effort from a Bolton team at the wrong end of the table. Bolton boss Phil Parkinson saw red after a scuffle on the touchline, but after Patrick Bamford scored a penalty and Gjanni Alioski’s bizarre goal overcame another set piece goal given up by Leeds and all three points were in the bag for Leeds.
Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. Leeds was awarded a penalty in the 15th minute. Yes, really, an honest-to-god penalty was awarded to Leeds after Tyler Roberts was hacked down in the area.
Patrick Bamford took the penalty after there was some arguments between the players as to who would get the chance, and it was the correct decision in the end as the ball ended up in the back of the net.
However, this wouldn’t be a Leeds game without some daft play, as Bolton equalized after Leeds did really, really poorly to clear a corner-kick. Jack Harrison cleared off the line, but the ball wasn’t properly dealt with and after some poor defending, Mark Beevers put the ball into the back of the net.
Leeds continued to dominate the match, with Pablo Hernandez having another magnificent match, picking out passes and creating chances. However, despite all of the chances, Leeds just couldn’t find another goal as Bolton dug in to protect their goalkeeper.
Half ends with a volley from Alioski deflecting behind. All a bit laboured and too much of the play in front of Bolton's defence. Lacking pace to get in behind them often enough. Bolton have had their chances. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 23, 2019
Not a great half, and a little worrying that Leeds once again gave up a goal from a set-piece and while Leeds scored, it was from penalty kick, which Leeds never seem to get these days. A goal from open play would have gone a long way towards getting the team on the bounce.
Leeds continued to dominate possession and also dominated the chances, but found the final product hard to come by, with a number of decent chances were wasted in the box as Leeds looked for a winner.
And in typical Leeds fashion, how does the team equalize? A great goal from one of the creative players on the pitch? Nope. Gjanni Alioski tried to send in a cross, but it was deflected and the Bolton keeper, who had been having a pretty good game up until this point, made a mess of it and the ball went into the back of the net.
Leeds and Bolton will likely be hearing from the FA after a dispute arose on the touchline. Alioski was down injured after a dirty foul from Josh Magennis, and after Bolton’s Joe Williams tried to haul Alioski up off the floor, all hell broke loose, and after it looked like a few fights would break out, cooler heads prevailed.
The Bolton manager flipping Pontus the bird as he is escorted from the pitch after receiving a red card is my everything.— Poseur (@ATVSPoseur) February 23, 2019
Parkinson was shown red for his efforts in the melee, after he had squared up to Pontus Jansson, and he made an obscene gesture towards the Sweden international as he was escorted by stewards off the pitch. One would imagine that Parkinson would likely not have done that had the two of them been alone, but hey, whatever helps him sleep at night.
Stuart Dallas came on for Tyler Roberts and Leeds saw the rest of the match out without too much difficulty, and despite the process being a bit dodgy at times, and a couple audacious attempts from Bolton that went wide of the post, Leeds were able to pick up all three points and climb up the table.
Luke Ayling was taken off in stoppage time, replaced by young Jamie Shackleton, and despite a late corner for Bolton, Leeds got all three points in another home match. Queens Park Rangers up next in the midweek for Leeds.