[L1] Leeds 2-2 Norwich (19-10-2009)

Leeds 2 – 2
1 – 1
Norwich
  • Beckford (36)
  • Campbell (76)
  • Johansson (34)
  • Askou (90)

League 1
19th October 2009

Pre-Match

We’re coming into this match on the back of a 3 match winning run, but still sitting in 12th place. To be fair, we’ll be 3 points off top and clear in 2nd if we win our two games in hand. Unfortunately, the first of these is against Norwich and the second is Millwall so it won’t be a walk in the park.¬†Norwich, for their part, are only a position above us, level points and a game more, so it’s fair to say that, even at this early stage of the season, this is a high pressure match for both promotion favourites.

I’ve attempted to capitalise on our recent run by praising some of the players who have been playing well, namely Merino, Howson (delighted), Kisnorbo, Rodri (pleased), Babayaro and Angel (acceptable). In addition, I told the press Campbell had what it takes to go into management, given that’s his future plans. All players seem appreciative and

We’ve got home advantage today so I’m pretty confident we can turn in another result here, but Norwich are coming in from a 4-0 victory and are an attacking side anyway, so Campbell’s return is a real bonus for us. Losing Omozusi and Becchio is less encouraging.

As we’re at home and facing a team likely to line-up 4-4-2, I’ve reverted to the 4-4-2 we’ve employed most of the season. Apparently Norwich struggle against 4-4-2 with a high defensive line and a normal tempo and width, which suits us fine. As such, Snodgrass is brought back on the left with Howson holding his position on the right following his recent form. Beckford gets a start following Becchio’s injury and I’ll be interested to see how the little-little partnership works with Angel. Beckford will start as the advanced forward and Angel as trequartista, linking up with Merino’s advanced playmaker.

First Half

  • 6″ Beckford breaks into the area and it takes a good save to deny him ending his 750 minute goal drought.
  • 12″ Norwich have had 65% of the possession, we’ve had the better chances.
  • 13″ Angel is agonisingly wide with a 20 yard drive following some fluid passing.
  • 16″ Norwich cross completion: 0%. Welcome back, Sol.
  • 22″ Beckford through one-on-one with the keeper. Takes too long and is tackled. The guy needs a goal to settle the nerves.
  • 24″ Beckford offside. It’s not like he’s not getting into the positions, he just can’t stick it into the onion bag.
  • 27″ Norwich are up to 67% possession. Shouting to pass to feet and hassle more.
  • 29″ Beckford muscled off Snodgrass’ cross.
  • 33″ Johansson gets the wrong side of Campbell to nod in Russel’s cross. We switch attacking for the last 10 minutes of the half
  • 36″ It’s there! Beckford breaks the drought from 6 yards after some great link up play with Howson and Merino. We switch to control in an effort to get some possession

Half Time

Well, it could have been worse. I’m more than a little concerned by the amount of possession we’re giving Norwich, and Glynn has said the same. To counter this, I’m switching to shorter passing and more pressing. I’ve also moved to a standard strategy as Norwich are apparently most dangerous straight after the break.

Angel is having something of a poor game so I’m trying to mix it up a little up front, setting Angel to a poacher and sitting Beckford to a supporting deep-lying forward. I’ve also set target man supply to feet. Off we go again.

Second Half

  • 50″ With our possession raising from 32% to 40%, I’m switching to Control. This may backfire…
  • 52″ Angel can’t quite control a 50 yard long ball and the keeper clears up
  • 57″ Johannson leaves us flat-flooted. Thankfully, Crowe has enough pace to make ¬†a desperate cover tackle.
  • 59″ Going attacking for a while
  • 61″ The ball hits our crossbar. It was a cross or something so why Walker ignored it, I don’t know.
  • 63″ Getting some decent attacks but they’re looking for the pass and taking too long so removing b”Pass to feet” shout.
  • 66″ Replacing the underperforming Snodgrass with Leandro, given a winger’s role and told a performance is expected.
  • 68″ Twice in a minute we pass to no-one and concede a throw-in. Gah.
  • 70″ Exploiting the flanks
  • 73″ Leandro puts the ball on Beckford’s head in the 6 yard box. Beckford misses.
  • 75″ I love Sol Campbell and I am not ashamed to say it. Beckford wins a corner on the right, Merino delivers, Campbell powers it past Theoklitos.
    We drop to Counter and add retain possession to the shouts. I’m expecting pressure in the last 15 minutes and given their possession rate, we could be exposed if we don’t tighten up. Conversely, things may open up a little as Norwich chase the game so, with Angel, Merino, Leandro, Howson and Beckford still on the pitch, we should be in a good position to exploit that.
  • 77″ Holt shoots straight at Walker
  • 78″ We are too short up front.
  • 81″ Beckford is too slow in reacting to Leandro and Angel’s link up play.
  • 82″ Holt bursts behind the defence, Kisnorbo manages to get back to hassle and Walker makes a great save. Corner. Comes to nothing.
  • 85″ Attempting to park the bus, Angel and Howson are replaced by Doyle and Hughes. Doyle drops into the centre of the park, with Rodri moving to the anchorman role. We switch to contain.
  • 86″ Merino puts Beckford through. Beckford takes it wide instead of attacking the keeper. We lose possession.
  • 87″ Deja vu (see last). This is why you don’t score, Jermaine.
  • 89″ Kisnorbo is wrong-footed and Askou’s 18 yard drive through a crowded penalty area following a corner beats everyone and Norwich are level. Beckford’s lack of cutting edge is going to hurt us.
    Switched to attacking and pump ball into box looking for an immediate response.

Full Time

I’d like to say we were robbed, but to be fair, with that little possession at home and the unreliability of our front line, a draw is more than we deserved

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