Leeds United made to pay for missed chances at Burnley

Chris Wood.
Chris Wood.

Two glaring misses by striker Chris Wood proved costly as Leeds United came home empty handed from their midday trip to promotion challengers Burnley.

In the end a first minute strike by Scott Arfield proved enough to give Burnley a win they did not deserve, but could go a long way to earning them a place in the Premiership.

After their shocking start Leeds recovered to play the better football. They forced 11 corners to two to show how much they were on top at times, but were left to pay for some big misses in front of goal and still have some work to do to keep their place in the division.

Steve Evans’ men could not have made a worst possible start as the first attack brought the first goal, straight from a long goal-kick that was flicked on. Andre Gray played in Arfield down the left and his angled low shot squeezed in at the far corner.

But this was to be no Brighton-style collapse as Leeds quickly regrouped with Sol Bamba’s volley forcing a save from home keeper Tom Heaton.

Burnley went close again when Matthew Lowton got forward well from right-back only to see his shot saved by Marco Silvestri.

George Boyd had another decent chance for the hosts, hitting the ball inches wide in a carbon copy move of the goal. But from then on it was Leeds who enjoyed the better of the play and the chances.

Wood hit a 25-yarder over and sent a weak header straight to the keeper from a corner. Gaetano Berardi was wasteful with a long range strike and Wood was off target with another header from a Charlie Taylor corner.

Burnley’s only other effort of the first half was a weak Boyd shot easily saved.

Leeds established further control after the break as Wood shot over after being found in space on the edge of the box then came up with the first of his big misses.

The New Zealand striker seemed certain to score as he rose to meet Mustapha Carayol’s measured cross, but the ball came off his shoulder as it went wide.

Two minutes later Stuart Dallas was in a good position, but took too long to get a shot away and saw it well blocked. He then fired over from 20 yards while at the other end Liam Cooper made a terrific block to deny the hosts.

Mirco Antenucci came on as substitute as United went two up front for the last half-hour and within seconds was in the thick of the action, shooting wide after being blatantly pushed inside the area by Ben Mee.

No penalty was forthcoming, but Burnley could have had a spot-kick soon after when Mee went down under a challenge from Toumani Diagouraga.

Leeds’ big chance to equalise arrived on 69 minutes when Wood was unmarked in the area only to miss a sitter as he headed the ball wide after it looked easier to score.

Cooper did well again to clear a rare dangerous Burnley break before Lewis Cook saw his 25-yard shot saved at the other end.

For all their possession United did not create much in the closing stages and the game fizzled out to end 1-0.

Ashley Barnes missed a great chance in the final minute, but 2-0 would have been even more of an injustice.

Match facts

Burnley 1

(Arfield 1)

Leeds United 0

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 18,229

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Jones (Marney 76), Barton, Arfield, Vokes (Barnes 71), Gray (Taylor 89).

Leeds: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas (Mowatt 87), Diagouraga (Adeyemi 81), Murphy, Cook, Carayol (Antenucci 66), Wood.

Referee: Lee Mason.