Norwich make their point in Elland Road thriller TSS February 19, 2011 Match reviews 30 Comments Quite how Norwich City escaped Elland Road today with a point to show for their efforts is a mystery for the ages, such was the overwhelming amount of chances Leeds United had to bury this one. When Leeds weren’t putting attempts narrowly wide of the target, the woodwork and some last ditch blocks came to the aid of the Canaries who were struggling to cope with Leeds’ attacking threats. By the interval, Leeds should have been three up, but Luciano Becchio’s close-range goal was cancelled out by Arsenal youngster Henri Lansbury who made one of Norwich’s small amount of first half chances count as Leeds switched off in stoppage time. The second half saw things level out a bit and Norwich really get into the game. Both teams sensed three points were within their grasp, and both teams had chances to take the lead. But in a game where Leeds should have been three up by half time, failure to make the chances count proved costly. Norwich sent the warning signs by striking Leeds’ upright, and just minutes later Wes Hoolahan put the visitors ahead. Disaster for Leeds, but the heads stayed up and the Whites looked to respond quickly with Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass trying to find a way through. It was saved by the sub stuff again for Grayson as Davide Somma was introduced with 15 minutes to go. The man many thought should have been on the pitch from kick-off rescued Leeds United when he smashed home an outstanding strike with his first touch of the game. 2-2, and this thriller of a Championship game hung in the balance and neither team looked happy with a point. The attacks and chances came, but neither team managed to take full advantage. The final throw of the dice for Simon Grayson was Billy Paynter, who came close at the very depth only to be denied by an excellent Ruddy save. For any other striker, it would have been 3-2, but Lady Luck refuses to hand poor Billy a break and his wait for a first goal continues. 4-4-2 v 4-5-1 (again) The obvious complaint after this one is that Leeds didn’t play two strikers from the off and force their own game on Norwich. I caught a comment from Grayson on the way home and he said that the decision to play 4-5-1 was based on Norwich City’s diamond formation – he was concerned we may get overrun otherwise. Overall, 4-5-1 worked brilliantly. Leeds were simply sensational going forward, and had we benefited from a little bit of luck today we’d probably be celebrating a comfortable victory. But to tactically approach a home game based on what the visitors will do seems very negative. Surely we should be forcing our style of play on them, and letting them worry about what we may do? Of course, there’s no point going into a game without doing your homework and knowing what the opposition may throw at you, but I do feel we give visiting teams far too much respect at times. Whatever happened to the clean sheets? Leeds’ defending at times today was desperate and lacking order. At times, we looked like a deer in the headlights when Norwich came at us and the clearances we did make were often panicked and failed to relieve the pressure. Nevertheless, this was a brilliant game and a great advert for Championship football. Leeds were the better side, but Norwich made their chances pay and left with a point. Both teams always seemed to have one eye on their next attack and that’s what made it so thrilling to watch. For the entertainment both teams provided, a draw is probably fair. But for the chances Leeds had, you have to say it’s two points dropped. What a difference a year makes though!