Leeds 1-1 Luton: Championship leaders stumble again

30 June 2020 0 By Total Football News

Leeds 1-1 Luton: Championship leaders stumble again as Harry Cornick's stunner puts basement boys ahead before Stuart Dallas' equaliser - meaning gap to third place is just six points

  • Leeds United came from behind to draw with relegation-threatened Luton
  • Cornick gave the visitors a shock lead with a superb strike on the counter
  • Winger Dallas placed his shot low into the net to equalise in the 63rd minute

The Amazon documentary makers returned to Elland Road and with it came a suspicion of stage fright among Marcelo Bielsa's Championship leaders.

Indeed, two of their players - Patrick Bamford and Helder Costa - even blamed the bright lights for failing to convert a pair of late chances, albeit bemoaning the glare of the floodlights as opposed to the camera crew.

Bamford looked certain to score when a cross was floated towards his unmarked brow just six yards from goal, only for the striker to drop to the ground without even attempting to connect.

Leeds United came from behind to draw with relegation-threatened Luton on Tuesday night

Leeds United came from behind to draw with relegation-threatened Luton on Tuesday night

MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, White, Cooper (Berardi 12), Dallas (Shackleton 90), Phillips, Helder Costa, Klich (Hernandez 61), Roberts, Harrison, Bamford, Berardi (Alioski 46).

Subs Not Used: Douglas, Poveda-Ocampo, Miazek, Struijk, Gotts.

Goals: Dallas 63.

Luton: Sluga, Bree, Pearson, Carter-Vickers, Bradley, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Cranie (Collins 64), Mpanzu, Hylton (Bolton 64), McManaman (Cornick 46).

Subs Not Used: Lee, Shinnie, Moncur, Brown, Butterfield, Shea.

Booked: McManaman, Carter-Vickers, Cornick, Potts, Collins.

Goals: Cornick 50.

Ref: John Brooks (Leicestershire).

Season at a glance

  • Championship
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

 

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When he finally climbed to his feet and pointed high towards the stand, you assumed he was looking for a sniper, not criticising the lighting arrangement.

Costa, too, was blinded when miscuing a header from close range and Bielsa admitted the misses were 'strange'.

At least it's back to a daytime start at Blackburn on Saturday, where Leeds will have to be far better than this to allay fears of another end-of-season wobble.

Stuart Dallas controlled the ball inside a crowded box and place low into the net to equalise

Stuart Dallas controlled the ball inside a crowded box and place low into the net to equalise

Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga make several good saves but he could not keep out Dallas

Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga make several good saves but he could not keep out Dallas 

It was at the same juncture last season, with seven games remaining and a 1-0 defeat at Birmingham, that the Amazon cameras captured the onset of a collapse that would see them win just twice more and lose in a play-off semi-final to Derby.

The resulting television series - Take Us Home - felt a little too 'in house' and did not climax with the promotion for which the club and its production team had hoped. Plans for a second season were shelved.

But the cameras are back and what they witnessed would have felt entirely familiar, an unconvincing performance at the business end of the campaign.

Stay At Home would perhaps be an apt title this time given the empty stands, not that supporters would have enjoyed this, save for the sight of Stuart Dallas rescuing the point that keeps them six clear of third.

Sub Harry Cornick gave the visitors a shock second-half lead with a superb curling finish

Sub Harry Cornick gave the visitors a shock second-half lead with a superb curling finish

'It is a pity because we have dropped five points (since the restart) that were not difficult to win,' said Bielsa.

The matchday programme carried a front cover of former captain Gordon Strachan lifting the First Division title 28 years ago. But the remainder of this season is not about lifting trophies for Leeds, it's simply about elevation back to the top flight after 16 years away.

Perhaps that explains the nerves and a first half that was low on incident and even lower on quality.

For all they see of the ball - 72 per cent possession after 45 minutes - Leeds really can have spells where they do little with it. Defender Luke Ayling's commentary was informative, his frustration with the lack of movement in front of him audible to all. Insert your own joke about Leeds' frontline and the cardboard cutouts in the stand behind the goal.

Cornick finished off a swift counter attack with a stunning strike in the 50th minute

Cornick finished off a swift counter attack with a stunning strike in the 50th minute

Luton substitute Harry Cornick, on at half-time, showed no such lethargy when sent clear on 50 minutes before digging out a right-footed curler that arched beyond the fingertips of Illan Meslier and into the far corner.

At least that goal served as a livener for the home side, who were only denied an equaliser when Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga produced a fine double save to palm clear a Kalvin Phillips free-kick before blocking Ezgjan Alioski's follow-up.

Dallas did find a way through on 63 minutes, sweeping home from an Alioski pass, before the lights intervened to cast a shadow over the evening.

Leeds, though, must rediscover their brightness in the coming weeks if the prospect of a second Amazon series is to avoid feeling like a re-run.

It was far from a vintage performance from Marcelo Bielsa's side on Tuesday night

It was far from a vintage performance from Marcelo Bielsa's side on Tuesday night

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