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Match Recap: Leeds United rue missed chances as Sheffield United do enough to win 1-0

A late red card for Kiko Casilla only added to Leeds United’s misery on the day

Queens Park Rangers v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Leeds United came into the match knowing that a win would send them top of the league, a draw would see them stay in the same position, and a loss would see Sheffield United leapfrog them into the automatic promotion spots.

Despite dominating most of the match, Leeds were punished for a lack of finishing touch, and a late red card for Leeds’ Spanish keeper meant that Leeds ended the match with 10 men after giving up a goal late in the second half. Leeds probably felt unlucky to have dropped three points, as the Blades scored on their only shot on target, but Leeds will have to regroup and move on to the next match against Millwall after the international break.

After a few dodgy moments in the first six or seven moments, Leeds settled down and started to dial up the pressure on the visitors. Patrick Bamford had a couple of decent chances, and Jack Harrison had a chance that went over the net. Tyler Roberts had an open header that went just wide in the 24th minute.

Leeds continued to dominate possession for most of the rest of the first half, but still were unable to find the end product that would allow them to take the lead. Leeds, unfortunately, were not doing their best to make the spells of possession count. Sheffield United got on the front foot for the final few minutes of the match, but like Leeds, they were unable to get anything from their possession.

Both teams went into halftime without a goal, and both had a few chances that went begging. Leeds, on the whole, seemed to have a better case to be ahead, but neither team really did their best to grab the match by the scruff of the neck.

Sheffield United started the second half a little better, with a few chances in the first couple minutes, but once again couldn’t find a break through. Harrison was taken off in the 57th minute as Barry Douglas came on to play in the leftback position, pushing Gjanni Alioski up to a position on the wing.

Roberts hit the post in the 59th minute, with a good effort that almost did open the scoring. Roberts had once again gotten free to get an effort on goal, and while it appeared his shot might have gotten past the out stretched hands of Sheffield United keeper, it was not able to beat the post as well.

The match got a little more back-and-forth as the game progressed, but despite all of the good pressure and possession for Leeds, it was Sheffield United who broke the scoreless draw in the 71st minute.

Billy Sharp was able to get past Liam Cooper, and he put the ball into a good spot for Chris Basham to get his boot into the ball and drive it home. Nothing that Kiko Casilla could really have done about the match, as Basham was basically free with no one near him. A harsh moment for Leeds, as they had been by far the better team throughout the match, although they had been extremely wasteful.

Jack Clarke and Stuart Dallas came on for Mateusz Klich and Luke Ayling in the 77th minute as Leeds looked to get back into the match. Clarke made his first appearance in six matches after collapsing on the bench against Middlesbrough, as he took a few weeks to recover from what the club had called a virus.

Pontus Jasson got a knock late on, and while he struggled and hobbled around the pitch, he was switched up top to play as a striker, with Kalvin Phillips slotting in as a central defender. The big Swede almost made it count a few minutes later, but his shot dribbled just wide of the post instead of going in.

Leeds tried to get back into the match, but Sheffield United’s ability to see out the match and get a seventh straight clean sheet was too much as Leeds dropped an important match at home and were unable to recreate the magic from the away match at Aston Villa or home against Blackburn Rovers.

Casilla saw red after he came out to try and deny Sharp a chance on goal after Cooper’s attempted clearance was sliced into the path of the veteran striker. Jansson, who was still struggling a bit, went into goal to see out the rest of the match. Stoppage time was extended for about two minutes, but even then Leeds weren’t able to get a goal despite 17 shots. A poor day for Leeds sees them drop into the playoff positions ahead of the international break.