Leeds United twice came from behind to add a well-deserved point to the tally against a West Ham United side who will feel two missed penalty decisions cost them the game. 

In truth, both teams will have reason to feel they should have won this one. Max Gradel missed a first half penalty for The Whites and Aidy White also had what appeared to be a clear-cut penalty decision rejected by the referee.

As for the Hammers’ two calls; the first was undeniable – Patrick Kisnorbo seemed to be attempting to take the shirt from West Ham’s striker. The second however was much harder to call, and I think which ever way it went, one set of fans would have been complaining.

The questionable penalty decisions aside, Leeds will still feel they did enough to win this one, and perhaps would have had it not been for a sensational volley from Patrick Kisnorbo into his own net. Not the kind of error he makes regularly, so certainly forgiveable, but he’ll no doubt feel he cost his side two points with that blunder.

That goal came just minutes after Ross McCormack finished an excellent piece of passing play involving Robert Snodgrass and the back-heel of Andy Keogh. Snoddy had the opportunity to shoot himself, and I dare say most of our team would have, but he kept his head up and saw McCormack perfectly placed in the centre of the box and selflessly set him up for an easier finish.

The passing play from Leeds United, as demonstrated perfectly with McCormack’s equalising goal, was at times incredible to watch. You really had to slap yourself round the face a couple of times as you struggled to believe this was the same team that surrendered to Southampton on opening day.

But we hadn’t slipped off into some beautiful dream where Leeds United looked like a team capable of doing well this season. Over the last three games, things have really started to come together and if we can play like we did against West Ham and Hull City for the next 42 games, we won’t be too far off come May.

But I digress. Had it not been for a well-struck stoppage time goal from Adam Clayton (his first for the club) we’d all still be talking about positive signs and potential, as opposed to positive results and a little bad fortune.

The fact both teams feel disappointed that they didn’t take all three points makes the draw seem somewhat justified. Neither Leeds or West Ham were playing for one point, both attacked from the first kick of the game and neither side deserved to lose.

Aside from the dubious penalty decisions, you have to credit the ref for allowing the game to flow. He reached into his pocket only once throughout the entire game to book Darren O’Dea and James Tomkins for an off-the-ball incident that started a game of handbags between the two sides. A game Leeds did well to walk away from before John Carew started eating people.

At this point I’d generally pick out the players who impressed most, but I don’t think that would be fair on this occasion. It was a team performance and not one where you can single out individuals for a game-changing contribution. Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass for example were uncontainable on the wings, but was their contribution more worthy of mention than Andy Lonergan’s fine saves or the box-to-box performances of Jonny Howson and Adam Clayton?

Each and every player has good reason to pat themselves on the back after this one.

As ever, the travelling support were fantastic too. Our truly disgusting new away shirt prompted the chant “we’re Leeds United, we glow in the dark” whilst Carlton Cole was branded “a **** Tresor Kandol” and his replacement, John Carew was subsequently branded “a **** Carlton Cole”.

There was also the slightly tasteless chant of “you should be out robbing tellies” in reference to the recent London Riots. Made me laugh, but the bloke alongside us was not amused.

Four points from the last two leaves plenty to smile about as we head to an out-of-sorts Ipswich Town next week who will be without two first team regulars and could struggle to pick up the pieces in time after a humiliating 7-1 defeat to newly promoted Peterborough. On and on…

Simon Grayson post-match interview

Courtesy of @MojoLUAFC

  • craig

    A very accurate synopsis of the game, wholeheartedly agree with every comment, commendable reporting!

    • We have an imposter!

      Agree with the comment though!

  • Daniel

    Keogh deserves a mention, i thought he was brilliant today, put himself about and linked up very well with McCormack, only blemish was the one on one he missed but credit to green with that one. Giving McCormack a strike partner has definately helped him. Agree that every player was brilliant today, the challenge will be now to keep that level of play up for the rest of the season.

  • Colin

    "A game Leeds did well to walk away from before John Carew started eating people." :D

    Like Dickens, but but better.

    • TSS

      Have you seen the size of him? I genuinely feared for Paddy's life.

  • “We’re Leeds United, we glow in the dark” whilst Carlton Cole was branded “a **** Tresor Kandol” and his replacement, John Carew was subsequently branded “a **** Carlton Cole” – These had me crying with laughter! I've rarely heard any other teams chanting witter banter!

    Great game today lads, also, a game not over shadowed by Papa Bates! RESULT!
    MOT!

  • First class performance today from players and fans alike.

    McCormack growing in confidence more and more and having Keogh alongside really helps.

    Shocking penalty from Max, worthy of the great man Tresor himself.

    And what can you say about Adam Clayton ? Other than fuck off Bates we aren't selling him

  • Irving08

    A very, very good team is in the making at Elland Road. I would be very disappointed if we finished below
    WHU them this season; they did not impress me. Shame that Bradly Johnson still isn't with us: with Clayton and Howson we'd have a formidable central three to perm from, or play toghether when necessary. Still, our first 11 is as exciting as anything I've seen since the Prem…..they looked like they had been playing together for half a season, not just a couple of matches.

    • Would you drop Clayton for Johnson? Never in a million years!

      • Irving08

        No I wouldn't, but there are times when we may need to play other than 4-4-2 and it is a long season ! BJ's merits became obvious, I think, to everyone as last season wore on, not least of which was his height and left foot.

  • gigsinparis

    Do you think there's anything to the Henri Lansbury story in The Times? Duncan Castles seems to know his stuff normally. But 1 million? Is Bates actually going to put that up for someone who might struggle to get into our first team week in week out (especially if Clayton/Howson work like they did today). Also, I know Lansbury has potential and is a quality player but don't we need experienced heads rather than more youngsters? Can't help but feel another Derry would serve us well around now.

    • Lansbury is a great player – did well for Norwich last year – but unless we choose a 3-6-1 formation where would we play him?

  • Chareose

    Larry baffles me……hes obsessed with midfeilders. Its our strikeforce and defence that need bolstering not the midfeild. I suspected that we had a midfeild to compete with Westham before this game but this match proved it. But if wed had somma and Bechio up front I think wed have comfortably won that game….

  • Matthew

    Personally I gave my thoughts on the other post before this but simply put, we played like Champions, showed the world we are a superior team to West Ham, proved we're Super Leeds, and proved we're going up.

    Enough said.

    Also the equaliser goal, effing awesome.

    These lads were playing with Spirit, they didnt want to lose, they proved this, the game was never over and if they played like this against Southampton and Middlesbrough, we would of won both games.

    All in all, well done.

    Predicting.

    Leeds beating Doncaster on Tuesday soundly anything over 4-0
    Leeds beating Ipswich on Saturday, soundly winning 9-1

    And lastly a top 6 finish this season.

    • TSS

      No clean sheet against Ipswich then? Pessimist.

      • Matthew

        We don't do cleansheets at Leeds, we either hammer you, or score one or two more than you lol

        Either way, this month will end on a high note and we'l all be celebrating hopefully an eventual matchup with Scum, of whom we will soundly put a few past.

  • mersey whites

    The Howson-Clayton Combo was the foundation for a very good team performance against top end
    championship quality. They both played Nolan and Parker, into the ground, in fact they where so on top of their
    game , that the 3 midfield player Noble was substituted.
    Sometime fate works for you, and the fact that Bowyer did not return to ER has given the opportunity to Clayton to express himself, and every Leeds fan should be grateful that Clayton has grab his chance with both hands.

  • Chareose

    Also I think if we are buying Lansbury it means we are selling Gradel which for me is a really bad move. Gradel would be worth far more than 8 million if keeping him got us promoted

    • TSS

      I've got a post on that scheduled for morning. Was reluctant to mention the possibility that Lansbury could be a replacement, but the thought did cross my mind.

      Upwards of £5m+ for Gradel, Lansbury for circa £1m and I think that's excellent business personally. If Gradel doesn't want to be here, there's no point making him stay. He'll only leave next year anyway, so may as well cash in and get a quality replacement – which Lansbury definitely is.

      • Matthew

        I was hoping if Gradel goes that Grayson gives Nunez more a chance, he's a diamond. I loved that shot he did not long before he came on. Saved only by Greens experience as a Keeper, against a lesser team that would of been a goal.

        • Matthew

          *Before = After

          Sorry, making stupid errors at 1am proves im knackered lol

  • Gryff723

    If Gradel goes then we're not getting promoted this season. So it would be pointless to spend on a replacement when we could plug the gap and farm the extra wages for a year. Seriously, the lad makes everybody he plays against (including Arsenal) look like schoolboys.

    Keogh did a great job today IMO. Virtually every opening we create now comes from Keogh dragging defenders away or getting into the perfect position to mop-up squandered play. Our first goal being a perfect example with Snoddy losing the ball the first time.

    • Gryff723

      Seriously, TSS, you're blocking Aresnal in the filters now?! :)

      How about Arsene Wenger?

      • TSS

        LOL! I turned on the profanity filter after some racist comments the other day. That must already be in there.

    • Colin

      Problem is Gryff is that football owners look at football clubs as businesses and players as assets.

      If someone comes in with an offer of £5m for Gradel, then it's a tough call. Completely agree that without Max, we won't get promoted, but if you turn an offer down and Gradel gets injured (a la Somma), then he's out for the season, you can't play Gradel for the season and you've lost £5m and you're paying him wages while he recuperates.

      If I was wearing a Ken Bates hat (i don't want to) I could argue that we had a similar debate over Fabian Delph. We got good money, he went to Villa, got injured straight away and was out for a season. Now he's playing again, but is he the same player that he was when we sold him? It was a sound business decision, and the team didn't fall apart and it gave Howson an opportunity to shine.

      It's a difficult one – for me, I think he's staying at Leeds this season – it's his best option – he stands out in a team where he's either equal or better than the other LUFC gems – Howson, Snodgrass (and coming up fast Clayton). If Leeds get promoted, then Gradel gets his big PL payday with Leeds. If Leeds don't get promoted, then he'll get his big pay day and get a job in the PL anyway (a la Beckford).

      Signing for West Ham, does not guarantee him a PL place next season. Staying with Leeds this season, does guarantee him a PL place next season, either with Leeds or on a free to a PL club.

  • trueyorxman

    Great performance but please, please, please get rid of that horrible f**king kit

    • don_weston

      Yeah, I'm wondering how white clashes with claret and blue

  • Chareose

    TSS, sorry mate i dont agree that bringing in Lansbury for Gradel is good business. Gradel is here now and is settled and to be honest is one of the most potent players in this division. The midfeild we have currently could potentially get us promoted, it is seconf to none in this division and could be the difference, especially with Somma and Bechio coming back at some point………… Grayson and Bates should focus their efforts on signing up Gradel , Snodgrass, Nunez and Clayton to longer contracts

    • The sentence began "If Gradel does not want to be here…". I agree with you that we shouldn't be shipping out Gradel for a windfall but if he's set his heart on leaving I think we should cash in and that Lansbury would be an ideal replacement. We also have Nunez who provides something a little different in a similar position.

      • mikelufc

        How do we recognise craig from craig?

    • Mark__R

      Agree with that Chareose. Gradel can be frustrating at times but he has a proven goal return at Championship level & is a real handful for defenders. Snodgrass also back to his best yesterday.
      A very very good performance only blighted by 2 defensive errors to gift WHU goals, & our missed penalty. As someone earlier in the post said – if we finish beloe WH I'll also be disappointed. There was only team showing good passing moves and dominating the match – oursleves. > resulting in McCormack's goal – truely outstanding – Premiership class !

      A bit more composure in defence and we will be a real force. Otherwise the side that turned out yesterday is I think currently our best side . I'm especially pleased for the young lads – White, Lees, Howson, Clayton etc. up against England Internationals of WH – we made them look ordinary.
      I'm sure we'll improve from the WHmatch as well – thinks are really looking up.

      MOT

  • henry_v

    The shirts are dreadful!!
    TSS – " Snoddy had the opportunity to shoot himself, and I dare say most of our team would have,…….."
    A bit harsh! I thought he played great!!!:D

    Aidy and Tom were excellent!!
    We have a good young team just now!!

  • pabs1983

    I've just read the match report on the BBC, apparantly Parker was the best player on the park…

    they must have meant in the park afterwards, as from the match i saw, Gradel made him look a mug several times and clayton had him in his pocket for most of the game. Either that or the BBC believe Adam Clayton is Scott Parker…

  • kev

    played very well and thought we deserved all 3 points realy,lack of height in the centre backs is abit of a worry but then we will not be playing against monsters like cole and carew every week,just think we're abit vunerable at corners and set plays,starting to defend better as a team though,clayton makes all the difference

    • Irving08

      Lack of height could be our achilles heel for lots of teams can exploit it (all they need is a tall central half and to get lucky at a corner). Personally I think recruiting such a player should be our number one priority. For all his undoubted merits (anticipation and decisiveness in the tackle), Kisnorbo's lack of height and worrying slowness on the turn, is worrying. (It would not matter so much if h ehad the right partner.)

    • TSS

      Carew is 6" 5' – You don't come across monsters like that every week. He made us all look like midgets.

      • Irving08

        It doesn't need a Carew, just anyone a bit over 6 foot.

  • number1inyorkshire

    only seen small news highlights (as apoosed to longer highlights) but we deserved something from this looked like they played well enough to win
    mccormack is playing like he did before for Cardiff
    seems like in the end a draw was a good result in a good game .

  • sim

    Outstanding performances from all!! I must be the only one who loves the new away kit!!

  • Peter Evans

    how the hell can the bbc say parker was the best player? gradel made him look like a league 2 player. good reort, think we should of won but ill take a point, were leeds united, we glow in the dark is a class chant lol

  • mattbb1

    I havent seen as much fight in a leeds united team since George Graham was boss. Perhpas the missing element last season wasnt a holding midfielder, but a sort of siege mentality. If we hold on to that we will get into the play offs. We still need to acknowledge though tha an injury to Howson or Clayton would leave us badly exposed, same case for either Kisnorbo or White. We still need those new faces.

  • GMcG

    My default position would be to not sell any of our key players – regardless of current contract situation.

    It's all very well saying Gradel/Snodgrass/whoever could get injured and we lose a fee while they run down their contract on the treatment table – but that's a big prediction which could be well wide of the mark. In reality the way Bates has conducted business over the past few years we wouldn't see any of the transfer fee anyway so I would much rather HE lost out on fees and we at least gave it a shot on the pitch.

    I've been very pessimistic about this season but Sunday's performance was a revelation. After conceding the obligatory dopey goal we took the game to West Ham and made them look like the away side for the rest of the match.

    As someone else has posted elsewhere on the site this was the most committed performance I've seen from us in a long time, probably since Old Trafford in the FA Cup. Obviously we need decent players and management but I can't help thinking that the spirit and will-to-win shown on Sunday was the missing ingredient at some of our bitterest disappointments in recent years, the pathetic play off defeats being prime examples.

    • Irving08

      Listening to Simon tonight on radio, I sense he agrees – I don't recall ever hearing him speak with such conviction and belief about his team.He saw what we saw and is obviously, like us, excited: this is a side he will fight to keep together, I think.