Wednesday proved to be a horrendous day to be a Leeds United supporter, didn’t it?
After beating Derby County 1-0 in the first-leg of their play-off semi-final last Saturday, the Whites would have been supremely confident of prevailing in the return fixture at Elland Road.
Yet with expectations to deliver at an all-time high for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, they produced a disastrous defensive display which resulted in the Rams securing a 4-2 victory.
Whereas the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Stuart Dallas delivered impressive individual performances, the same cannot be said for Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi.
Tasked with trying to keep the likes of Jack Marriott, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson quiet, the central defenders were utterly dreadful throughout the clash.
With Cooper directly at fault for two of the goals and Berardi receiving a ridiculous red card in the second-half, Marcelo Bielsa must have been cursing the fact that Pontus Jansson wasn’t fit enough to start in the clash.
A regular for the Whites during the 2018/19 campaign, the £5.4m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) had returned to training ahead of the second-leg yet he had to settle for a place on the substitute’s bench.
Given Jansson’s outstanding form this year, it could be argued that if Bielsa had taken the risk on Wednesday to play him, Leeds may very well have been preparing for a visit to Wembley Stadium in 10 days time as he would have been a considerable upgrade on Berardi.
Yet by taking the safe option, the Argentine ultimately created the foundations for disaster at Elland Road which has ultimately culminated in the Whites facing the prospect of yet another year in the Championship.
What do you think Leeds fans? How big of a miss was Jansson’s absence during mid-week? Would you have been able to defeat Derby if he was fit enough to start? Let us know below.
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