LUFC Leeds United Fan View v Preston North End
I made the trip to Elland Road on Saturday for Leeds first home Championship game of the season.
Leeds had to settle for a point against a very well organised Preston North End side and I give my own view of the performance following the goalless draw against a Preston side who played the final 30 minutes with ten-men.
He had little to do but he is still struggling to fill me with any confidence. I felt the defenders were afraid to pass the ball back to him in the first half and they kept playing themselves into trouble by trying to take the ball out of defence.
A typical Ayling performance. He was very strong in the first half in a tough battle down the Leeds right. He tried to give Leeds an attacking outlet at every opportunity in the second half following the sending off.
He looked a yard off the pace having not featured in the opening two games. He got very lucky on a couple of occasions with poor decisions.
Another strong defensive performance from Cooper. Some of his distribution was poor though and he got very lucky on one occasion with one poor ball out of defence.
Borthwick-Jackson 7 Star Man
I thought he had a very good game both defensively and in the attack. He put in two or three excellent crosses that deserved to have someone on the end of them.
He struggled to get a grip on the game in midfield but he kept battling hard.
Like his central midfield partner, he struggled to get a grip of the midfield battle and we were second best until the sending off.
He struggled to make any impression on the game until the sending off.
He was starved of the ball for most of the game and he was eventually replaced. I was not sure why they switched him and Alioski halfway through the first half.
He had a great chance to win the game for Leeds but the Preston keeper thwarted him. One of those afternoons where he was just missing getting on the end of some good crosses.
He was our bright spark in the first half and he had one good run that saw him drag a shot wide. He was frustrating towards the end of the game when he tried to go down the line when he would have been better cutting in on his left foot.
He made a big difference after coming on and it would have been interesting to see how he had done against Pearson.
He was heavily involved after coming on and he was at the heart of most things Leeds did. He had one great chance with a header late on but could only make a weak contact. I would start him in midweek.
He came on for the final ten-minutes and he offered an outlet down the left. He came close to scoring when Maxwell denied his headed effort.
A frustrating afternoon for Leeds. Preston look very organised under Alex Neil and they will be a hard team to beat this season. Ben Pearson dictated the game in the Preston midfield until his sending off. He could quite easily have had three yellow cards and a straight red before eventually being sent off. He was the main architect in frustrating Leeds.
His sending off was a major turning point. Leeds really should have gone on to win the game following his dismissal. Preston keeper Chris Maxwell made a number of good saves and as the game wore on, we became guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net. Preston took every opportunity to wind down the clock. They were bad enough before the sending off. They came with a plan and it worked well. Teams are going to come to Elland Road this season to frustrate us so we have to work a way of breaking them down. They snapped into every challenge whilst we had no pace and no invention to work a way of breaking them down.
I would have taken four points from two games in the first week of the season. We are a team in progress so will only get better during the season. Next two games are going to be a real stern test against Fulham and Sunderland. I think it will actually help us because both teams will want to attack us and not sit back.
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