I couldn’t believe my eyes when I drew back my curtains this morning, to see a damn magpie sat on my lawn mocking me!! I decided to put it to the back of my mind as I tried to work out who we played in our last game as well! When I realised eventually it was town last week I thought, out of sight out of mind! It just shows how I forget about things very quickly when I want to!
We didn’t arrive at Elland Road until 2.15 pm today and Leeds were expecting another 30,000+ crowd with only a small contingent coming from Cardiff. We went to the Peacock for a quick visit then we headed to Billy’s statue as I had arranged to meet Nigel to sign my book. I had met him at town last week and he’d asked if I could sign the book this week and I was happy to oblige. As we stopped at Phil Beeton’s programme cabin in the Peacock car park, we bumped into Nigel there which worked out really well.
As it was cold today many fans came onto the terraces right on kick off but it was good to see a nearly full ground. The team today was Green, Bartley, Cooper, Berardi, Ayling, Bridcutt, Hernandez, Dallas, Wood, Vieira and Pedraza (making his home debut). Subs were Sacko for Dallas, Roofe for Pedraza and Doukara for Vieira. Attendance was 31,516 with approx. 350 Cardiff fans.
Leeds had plenty of the ball in the first half but it didn’t take me long to have that sinking feeling in my stomach. I said that I thought it was going to be a frustrating game today with both Warnock and Sol Bamba returning as the opposition. One thing that caught my attention was the fact that we were passing back to Green all the time and playing passes across the back four lots of times. As my motto is the best form of defence is attack, I wondered why we were playing so deep? Instead of playing to our strengths for some reason we had reverted to type from earlier in the season. Cardiff themselves weren’t very good but they did manage to get a few good runs past Ayling and whenever they crossed the ball we had to battle to keep them out which we did really well. We have Berardi to thank for getting in the way of a great shot from Bartley which unfortunately was heading straight into our goal! We didn’t really put Cardiff under pressure despite all the possession we had and although we did have some good passing, never really looked like scoring. The ref went off to a round of boos at half time as he started making some bad decisions, one when we had got a throw in. He kept moving us back and then gave the throw in to Cardiff with Bridcutt getting booked for protesting.
We started the second half on the attack and I was hoping for better things this half. We weren’t able to take advantage of this though. Cardiff won a free kick and when the ball went into our penalty area there were two Cardiff players with no one marking them and one of them put the ball into the net to give them the lead. To be honest either of them was going to score. It really felt that we weren’t going to get back into the game as any shot we had at goal was very tame. Bartley saved one on the line at the other end before they got a second goal and it felt like normal service had resumed at Elland Road sadly. Bridcutt then got himself sent off for a second bookable offence in what I thought was a harsh decision. Looking at it from the Kop, the Cardiff lad ran past Bridcutt but then left his leg out behind him which he had no need to do. Bridcutt caught this leg hence the second booking. That was it then game over and disappointment that despite all the possession we didn’t really play well. I felt really sorry for the fans who had travelled miles to get here for this game including 400 from Norway and some from Cornwall.
We have to pick ourselves up as we have another home game on Tuesday against Bristol City. It is imperative that we sort ourselves out, play to our strengths and not change our style to suit Bristol. See you on Tuesday – LUFC – Marching on Together!