Elland RoadFor the third time this season, Leeds conceded first in a game before fighting back to rescue a result.

A typical Yorkshire derby match, tightly contested, played at a relatively high-tempo throughout and littered with questionable refereeing decisions. The referee, in fairness, also called a lot of things correctly, but Dom Poleon must feel that a kick to the testicles wouldn’t have resulted in a free-kick given his way.

From a Leeds United perspective, the first half was notable only for the ease at which Dominic Poleon continuously glided by Lewis Buxton and the lazy, abject defending that led to Wednesday’s goal.

Poleon, making only his second start for Leeds, is somewhat reminiscent of Max Gradel – quick, nimble and loves to run at players, but like Max Gradel, you also feel he’ll be somewhat hit and miss.

There’s a tendency to look back through nostalgic eyes at Gradel’s Leeds United career, but it was only his final season at the club when Max developed any kind of consistency. Even then, he could be incredibly frustrating at times, choosing to keep the ball when someone was in acres of space and the crowd are screaming for him to pass.

It’s questionable decision making, basically. But it’s one of those things almost every ‘flair player’ can be accused of. The trouble is, the crowd yells “pass” every time they run with the ball by more than one player, neglecting to mention that fact when the player goes on to beat several more players before slamming the ball into the back of the net. Conversely, when the player loses the ball by trying to do too much, we’re quick to criticise.

Ultimately, greed is an acceptable trade-off with players like Gradel and Poleon – some days their greed and individual brilliance will change the game, other days it’ll drive you insane. You just have to hope there are more of the former – as there undoubtedly was with Gradel.

Today, Poleon’s individual display was somewhere between the two extremes, but he was also the victim of some dreadful referee decisions after continually beating Buxton and having his shirt pulled back – which, for some reason, seems to be acceptable in modern football. But only when the defenders do it.

Few real chances had been created by either team when Wednesday won a corner 35 minutes in. Leeds failed to deal with Wednesday’s aerial advantage by getting the right side of players, leaving a header back across the box totally uncontested. The centre-back Zayatte faced little competition as he met the returned header with a header of his own, guiding the ball beyond the reach of Paddy Kenny. Awful defending from Leeds, but an excellent headed goal from the visitors.

Half-time and both sides had struggled to create openings during a tight first half, but the better chances had fallen to Wednesday and their lead was a deserved one, if only for their absolute dominance at set-plays. Leeds simply couldn’t defend them. It’s easy to point to height as the key factor – and it definitely made a difference – but there was no organisation. We positioned ourselves badly and failed to block runs. We lack height, organisation and experience in the centre of defence and desperately need to sign someone who can control these situations.

Individually, you could make arguments that every defender put in some good tackles and worked hard. But as a unit, they lack cohesion and make basic mistakes caused by a lack of organisation.

The second half saw the introduction of Michael Tonge in place of Paul Green, who has struggled to impress since his move from defensive midfield to facilitate the return of Rodolph Austin.

It took a while for the second half to get going, a skied effort from Luke Murphy the only notable incident before Ross McCormack brought Leeds level.

A great bit of play from Leeds worked the ball to McCormack just inside Wednesday’s half. McCormack took control of the ball, played the ball beyond Sheffield Wednesday’s goalscorer Zayatte before beating him for pace to recollect the ball one-on-one with Kirkland, who Ross beat with an excellent strike. 1-1.

At this point, it felt like Leeds were in control and another goal would quickly follow. But while the tempo increased and the game started to stretch, neither team was having much success at creating clear-cut chances.

With 15 minutes remaining, the best chance to win the game fell to Antonio who capitalised on some astonishingly bad defending to force an excellent save from Paddy Kenny.

FT Leeds United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Ups and downs v Sheffield Wednesday

On balance, 1-1 is a fair yet nonetheless disappointing result. This was a tightly contested Yorkshire derby match where both teams struggled to create many chances.

Our weakest point is still the defence. Individually, every player could be praised for their efforts, but as a unit, it just doesn’t work. We make silly mistakes and position ourselves badly. The only reason we’re not conceding more is because of last minute desperation tackles and Paddy Kenny. A well-organised defence rarely relies on six yard box heroics, but that’s quickly becoming Leeds United’s default setting.

Dom Poleon I covered above. You could question his decision-making at times, but he looked the most likely to create something in the first half and I think his individual brilliance will pay-off for us over the course of the season.

Hoofing. Old habits are dying hard for some players and this was the worst possible game to be trying such tactics. Sheffield Wednesday had a 12 inch height advantage on McCormack and Poleon, yet hoofs forward are still being resorted to by some players.

Ross McCormack and Luke Murphy. Easy to overlook them both at times, but when the ball is on the deck and being passed about, these two look much more dangerous. It goes back to my previous point about hoofing (which neither of these two were guilty of) – when we revert back to last seasons tactics, we’re mitigating our own threat.

Paul Green – Without wishing to sound like Neil Warnock, you can’t fault the lads’ effort. But – and it’s a big BUT – his strength is defensive midfield. With Rudy Austin taking over at DM, Green has been shifted forward and doesn’t look half the player he was v Brighton. If Austin is playing DM, we have to start with Tonge or Diouf in place of Green.