Burnley A 29th August 2021
Going to a football game after two hours of sleep isn’t a good idea but at least I managed a bit of sleep on the coach. With my stomach churning for hours plus other family things that had me worried (nothing to do with covid), I was looking forward to switching off from everything by watching Leeds. To cap it all off, I went to take my first photo only for the SD card in my camera to be locked. I unlocked it or so I thought and found it was still locked, so tried again moving the white button. I still had the same issue so took the SD card out only to find the button had broken off, so the SD card was unusable. Sorry for that, as it means I had to take photos with my phone instead so limited the amount I have taken.
After a stop in Bury we arrived at the ground 40 minutes before kick-off and were quickly through the turnstiles. I managed to put my flag up at the front of the stand which was good as there haven’t been any chances to do that so far this season. As I was stood there talking, the Leeds players were taking shots at the goal when suddenly the ball hit Nikki in the face who goes to games with her guide dog Annie. Apparently Raphinha went over to apologise according to her son, but he certainly had a hard shot. I didn’t know what to expect from the game and both Firpo and Klich were out due to covid (the latter may or may not have had it when playing for his country earlier this year). The Leeds fans were in full voice at the start of the game, as I headed to my seat.
Team: Meslier, Cooper, Ayling, Struijk, Llorente, Dallas, Harrison, Bamford, Phillips, Raphinha and Rodrigo.
Subs: Shackleton for Llorente (65) and Roberts for Rodrigo (73).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Summerville, Costa, Forshaw, Gelhardt, Cresswell and McCarron.
Leeds drew the game 1-1 with Bamford equalising for Leeds (86).
Attendance: 18,665 with 2,350 Leeds fans.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Booked: Phillips, Struijk, Rodrigo.
It was noticeable in the early stages of the game that Burnley had decided to kick lumps out of the Leeds players. There was one incident to the left of our goal, which should have seen a red card for their player but only a yellow was shown. With some of the fouls being committed, I couldn’t understand why VAR hadn’t recommended they should be seen again. I’m all for letting the game flow more which is better, but some of the decisions were very poor and could have caused serious injury to some of our players. Burnley could actually play some good football without resorting to those tactics, having raised their game to play us.
Meslier made a great save but found himself under extreme pressure at corners. Wood ended up in the back of the net when the Leeds players stood up to his pushing and shoving which served him right. Burnley did end up with the ball in the net, but the whistle had already blown for a foul. Meslier was doing very well commanding his area and his arms looked very long as he caught many a ball. Some of our passing was very poor which Burnley capitalised on, but one of the best moves of the half showed our class and we were very unlucky not to take the lead. The only thing we were guilty of was taking that one step too many when catching them unawares with an early shot, may have worked better.
At half time, to say we were at a Premier League ground and because they only let us have half a stand now, there were only three toilets available for the lasses to use forcing big queues. Is it too much to ask to have decent facilities at football grounds?
The second half saw Burnley get more into the game as a couple of chances went wide before they took the lead. With the ball running in their favour, their header hit the bar only to fall for Wood to stick his foot out to put the ball into the net. As Burnley had a spell of pressure, things quietened for a short while on the terraces from the Leeds fans before there was a great roar as they got behind the team. When it looked like we would never score, the team started piling the pressure on and Raphinha with a touch of magic got round their defence and saw his shot blocked which came out to Shackleton. He hit a shot low and hard which deflected for Bamford at the far post to stick the ball into the net in front of the celebrating Leeds fans. It was a shame there wasn’t long left as Leeds stepped up a gear as they looked for a winner, although Meslier made a save from Burnley as the game ended in a draw. Raphinha made his way over to Nikki at the front of the Leeds fans to hand her his shirt which made up for being hit by the ball before the game. It was a hard point won by Leeds as we go into the international break before our next game against Liverpool in two weeks’ time. See you then, LUFC – Marching on Together!