Leeds United came into the match looking to go back top of the table after falling into second place last week against Norwich City, while Middlesbrough was looking to gain ground in their own effort to get into the automatic promotion spots or at least consolidate their own position in the playoff spots.
Leeds had the bulk of possession in the match, and while Boro went up early in the second half after a fairly tame first half, Leeds managed to pull out a 101st minute equalizer from Kalvin Phillips. The match had 12 minutes of stoppage time after a long delay due to Jack Clarke needing medical attention on the Leeds bench, and while he seemed to feel better once he was taken into the dressing room, he still went to hospital to be checked out.
The first half wasn’t the greatest, with both teams looking to limit the chances of the other team and try and figure out their opponents. Leeds courted danger and somehow came out unscathed around the 25th minute, as Aden Flint scuffed an open header over the bar and Shotton somehow missed an open goal with a poor shot that never seemed to come off. Both were chances that absolutely should have at least tested Kiko Casilla, if not end up in the back of the Leeds net.
Some good play from Leeds in that half but most of the better chances have fallen to Boro. Fine save from Casilla to deny Saville and Flint should have put away at least one of his headers. Bamford wasted the best opening for Leeds. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 9, 2019
Unfortunately, there just wasn’t very much going on for either team in the first half, with both sides looking quite poor in the final third.
Leeds subbed off Jack Clarke at half-time and brought on Pablo Hernandez, only for Leeds to give away the ball in bad position less than three minutes in and Lewis Wing made Leeds pay as Boro went up 1-0 in the 48th minute.
And, of course, once Boro went up 1-0, the hosts put 10 men behind the ball and looked to snuff out any attack from Leeds. Tyler Roberts came on for Matuesz Klich as Klich looked a like he was limping a tad, and with Roberts coming on, it was a fairly offence-oriented change for Leeds.
Leeds came close with a couple good chances, with Kemar Roofe coming close to scoring in a goal-mouth scramble and Patrick Bamford somehow missed an open goal a few minutes later after a headed chance bounced off the post. You couldn’t have asked for two better chances, especially against a team like Boro who focus so much of their play on the dark arts of defence.
Jamie Shackleton came on for Luke Ayling in the 80th minute, as Ayling once again did not have the best match, although he did have a couple spells of play that looked like the Ayling of old.
someone has been taken down the tunnel on a stretcher. Clearly in a bad way. Boro clear the corner. Will probably have about seven minutes added for that stoppage alone. 1-0 on 89 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 9, 2019
Someone needed medical attention on or near the Leeds bench that caused a significant delay around the 85th minute of play after Leeds lined up to take a corner kick. Whatever happened appeared to be rather serious, with very concerned looking members of the Leeds United technical staff and players looking on while the person received treatment.
Leeds continued to create, and not convert, chances as Roberts fired a chance on goal that went over the goal when he really should have tested the keeper from that distance.
And then Kalvin Phillips pulled out an equalizer in the 101th minute from a corner kick. Liam Cooper made a brilliant header that directed the ball back into the mix, and Phillips’s powerful header literally hit Darren Randolph, the Boro keeper, but it was too strong and the ball went back into the back of the net.
Despite having 69% of the possession, Leeds might consider themselves lucky to escape the Riverside with a point. Leeds had seemed to have over a dozen chances to score but left it extremely late, with a good header that finally beat Randolph that guaranteed Leeds a point and put Leeds top of the league over Norwich City, albeit only by a point and before Norwich’s Old Farm derby against Ipswich on Sunday.
Leeds will next play on Wednesday night against Swansea City, looking to once again get some more points in the quest for promotion.