Leeds United vs Bradford City; Debrief
Leeds United came out victors after a fiercely contested Yorkshire derby at Elland Road. In Bradford City, our opponents were young, enthusiastic, lively and possibly deserved more than the 3-2 defeat they received. The victory just overshadows what was a poor evening for Simon Grayson's men.
Again, the defensive issues remained persistent. After a few Bradford chances were carved out through sloppy defending, the goal came. Undoubtedly, it was deserved. Leeds failed to close down the runner, allowing Mark Stewart to pull the ball back from the by-line for the unmarked Jack Compton to slot the Bantams into a surprise lead. But just how surprising was it?
Regardless of Bradford's League Two status, they outfought Leeds for most of the night. In the first half, they were practically faultless; maybe being guilty of not scoring again. Solid at the back and energetic throughout the midfield, they were well worthy of their half time lead. Throughout the second half, Leeds started to regain control of the match and killed the game once 3-2 up. However, there are no doubts that we should have been more in control, regardless of how well Bradford went about their work.
The problems at Elland Road still remain unsolved. Issues are plainly obvious to all, but the solutions aren't coming. For most of the game we were lethargic and uninterested, finishing second in just about every battle, from strength and speed, to desire and motivation. These problems need solving fast; playing like that in the Championship would result in weekly defeats. Money is seemingly something that Grayson won't get to see, so maybe he should start looking at the youth at his disposal. Young Tom Lees performed excellently once brought on, showing composure and delivering a fantastic cross for the second goal. Aside from Lees and Adam Clayton, the team lacked creativity and composure, giving the ball away far too easily. Ramon Nunez was on hand to score twice, but sometimes went missing for periods of the game.
The atmosphere was good, but only because of Bradford's noisy away following, who were unbelievable all night. Regardless of whether it was a local derby or not, they still deserve credit for turning out in such numbers and making the atmosphere a special one. Leeds fans, for once, seemed lost for words, an indication of the negative feeling around the club at the moment.
Ultimately, a win is a win. But the result means very little for me. I wanted a confident and solid performance. I saw neither and remain partial to our chances of a win against Middlesbrough on Saturday.