Leeds United recovered from a comedically bad start to draw 2-2 with Eruopa League winners Villarreal.
A Robin Koch own goal after nine seconds gave the visitors the lead, but goals from mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford put Leeds in front before half-time. The second half was fairly even but substitute Dani Raba got the goal to square things up in Leeds’ final friendly.
Leeds went 1-0 down after about 10 seconds, possibly fewer. A ball was played over the top for Alberto Moreno, he drove it across and the ball deflected in via Robin Koch. It was the latest in a series of poor starts to games in pre-season and the sloppiness is a worry.
Er, right. We're nine seconds in and it's 1-0 Villarreal. Cross from Alberto Moreno deflects in off Koch. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) August 7, 2021
Leeds did recover quickly from the shambolic start, and equalised after nine minutes. A Raphinha corner was headed out to Mateusz Klich on the edge of the box and he finished excellently with his left-foot.
Leeds almost handed the lead back two minutes later. Stuart Dallas made a mess of a bouncing ball and allowed Yeremi Pino in behind him, but his shot was well saved by Illan Meslier.
The chances quietened down for about 10 minutes until Patrick Bamford glanced a header just wide from an excellent Jack Harrison cross. Bamford then clipped the top of the crossbar from about 25 yards out about 30 seconds later.
Bamford was again involved in the next major incident. A low cross came in to Patrick Bamford, he flicked it around the defender Jorge Cuenca and was clearly fouled, but the referee gave nothing.
Hahaha that’s definitely a penalty— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) August 7, 2021
Leeds took the lead in the 39th minute. Stuart Dallas swung in a very good corner which was met by Liam Cooper. Cooper’s header smashed off the crossbar and Bamford reacted quickest to tuck home the rebound.
Leeds nearly extended the lead just before half-time. Great pressing from Patrick Bamford won the ball high up the pitch, the ball came to Raphinha who fired a pass into Rodrigo. The Spain international’s touch was outstanding to beat the defender but his low shot was saved by Sergio Asenjo.
For the second half, Kalvin Phillips and Tyler Roberts replaced Robin Koch and Rodrigo, with Phillips lining up on the right of the back three. The game was competitive but low on chances until the 69th minute. Patrick Bamford was played in behind by Jack Harrison, Bamford clipped it over Asenjo but his shot was cleared off the line.
Boulaye Dia forced a good save from Meslier for Villarreal and Helder Costa had a couple of half chances for Leeds, before Villareal levelled the scores at 2-2. A low cross beat everyone and found Yeremi at the far post, he pulled the ball back to Dani Raba who slid the ball into the far corner.
Villarreal had a great chance to win it in the 88th minute. A looping cross came to an unmarked Dia at the back post but Meslier made an excellent save.