Sorry for the delayed match report. Been away with work for a few days since the Norwich game and unable to update the site. Plenty of talking points from this game though, despite the lack of chances on goal.

It was, for the most part, a much improved performance from Leeds. A nervy, scrappy battle where both teams struggled to create chances and effectively cancelled one another out. Both teams fought for the ball like their season depended on it and it never really looked like either would score. Unfortunately for Leeds however, a final roll of the dice from the Norwich boss paid off and his late substitute earned him a valuable win which has undoubtedly tied the bow on their title challenge.

The biggest upset of the day for Leeds United was seeing Luciano Becchio being stretchered off after swallowing his tongue. All reports say he’s recovering well, but the incident itself seems to have been largely ignored. How Norwich’s player got away without a red card for that challenge still baffles me. It’s hardly questionable to whether his feet were high and a potential danger when A) he’s hit Luci in the head and B) Luci went off injured.

I won’t moan about the ref too much though because in fairness, he didn’t have a bad game. There was a lot on the line for both teams and passions were running high and he controlled it pretty well overall. His most bewildering act of the game however was sending Tres off after being on the pitch for 20 seconds. I saw very little of what happened, but from the replays it really doesn’t look like Tres does anything?

In all, this was the kind of battle we expected. A scrappy contest with neither team giving the other an inch which would ultimately be decided by one moment of brilliance. In defeat, I was actually quite content. This was never a game we were likely to win, but what we did do was improve massively on recent performances. The players showed fight, desire and hunger which is what we’ve been sadly missing of late. If they can take that kind of play into the Swindon game, we’ll undoubtedly be smiling again on Saturday.

Unfortunately, events off the field totally overshadowed this game. Although I wasn’t in the centre of Norwich prior to kick-off, reports of our fans harrassing innocent passers-by doesn’t really surprise me given some of the stuff I did see around the stadium. I know the actions of these fans has risen from the frustration they’ve been feeling lately, but a lack of Police presence allowed certain individuals to go way too far in venting those frustrations.

This wasn’t football hooligans clashing with other hooligans. Whilst I would never condone that, it’s not something that particularly bothers me either. Hooligans are grown men kicking lumps out of other like-minded grown men. So long as it doesn’t affect the innocent general public, then what they do is none of my concern, but this wasn’t that kind of behaviour. It was a sizable portion of the Leeds United fanbase hurling abuse at anyone in the opposite colours, regardless of age and gender.

It reminded me of the pitch invasion a few years back at Elland Road where a small minority added weight to our terrible reputation. Whilst the majority of Elland Road was busy singing ‘you’re the scum of Elland Road’ to this minority, that isn’t what people remember of that day and those that condemned the Leeds United fans in Norwich won’t be the ones remembered from that day either. Instead, the actions of a few will ensure the ‘Dirty Leeds’ reputation never escapes us.