Leeds United yet again let a late goal ruin the party at Elland Road this season after a 1-1 draw with Derby County. The Whites dominated the game and should have sealed all three points when before Mateusz Klich trickled his second-half penalty wide.
They were punished in the 90th minute. Chris Martin, Derby’s forgotten man, placed home an equaliser to Max Lowe’s first-half own goal to leave Leeds frustrated yet again.
Derby boss Phillip Cocu explained to the press, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, after the game that he had informed his players that Leeds would tire due to their style of play, and a late goal was always a possibility.
“The energy was out of Leeds and we still had possibilities to play.
“That’s why I said to the players (beforehand) stay in the game.
“The way they play, which is very good, players comfortable on the ball under pressure, but they’re spending a lot of energy – to keep this 90 minutes at the same level is extremely difficult.”
Considering Leeds’ most disappointing results so far this season it is hard to argue with Cocu on this point.
The Whites have conceded late goals against Nottingham Forest and Swansea City at home this season, all in all costing the club five points. Based on performance levels, Marcelo Bielsa will feel that Leeds United should currently be on 22 points, not the 17 they currently share with second-placed Swansea City.
It is also unexpected from Leeds, considering the work they do on fitness in pre-season and some of their late heroics from last term.
The real issue is not killing games off by taking the chances when they come. If Patrick Bamford had his shooting boots on, this game would have been comfortable. If Klich scores his penalty, Leeds win.
Bielsa must make his team more ruthless or results like this will end up costing them in the promotion battle.