Wood on target as Leeds United hit back to draw again

Gaetano Berardi and Vicent Sasso close in on a loose ball in Leeds United's game against Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Gaetano Berardi and Vicent Sasso close in on a loose ball in Leeds United's game against Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Leeds United came from behind against Sheffield Wednesday to continue their run of draws to start the season.

The Whites have now drawn all four of their league games as Chris Wood’s first goal at Elland Road earned them a 1-1 draw after they had been trailing to a spectacular Marco Matias goal at half-time.

Leeds made two changes from the side that drew at Bristol City with Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper both returning to the defence in place of Guiseppe Bellusci and Scott Wootton.

They started a bit sluggish as Wednesday played the kind of high pressing game that United boss Uwe Rosler likes to play and Matias flashed an early warning with a long range strike was easily saved by Marco Silvestri.

Kalvin Phillips saw a shot from the edge of the box blocked and Stuart Dallas cut in from his left wing to shoot over from 20 yards out as Leeds eased into the contest.

Mirco Antenucci looked lively up front and hit a fine volley just wide after turning well just outside the box.

Wood then saw a shot blocked after the Whites’ best move of the half.

The opening goal came out of the blue when Wednesday suddenly broke forward and Matias flicked the ball up with one foot before delivering an unstoppable shot with the other to give Silvestri no chance and bring back memories of a similar goal by Eric Cantona in Leeds’ title-winning side.

It was a moment of magic not quite in keeping with the game and the visitors stayed one up to the break.

United did have a couple of half-chances at the end of the half as Wood could not quite divert a Dallas cross-shot and Antenucci’s shot on the run sent the ball over.

Leeds looked sharper at the start of the second half as they instantly won a corner from which Sol Bamba’s header was easily saved by Lewis Price.

Phillips sent a free-kick into the side netting and that was his last action as he and Sam Byram were taken off to bring Luke Murphy and Alex Mowatt on.

The changes improved United and gave them more control in midfield. Mowatt quickly got on the ball and shot over before having a hand in an equaliser on 62 minutes.

His pass gave Dallas - now switched to the right wing - a chance to run at his full-back and he skinned him before delivering a perfect low cross for Wood to get on the end of, scoring from close range.

Liam Palmer saw a header saved as Wednesday managed a lightening break, but they were forced back more and more for the rest of the game and were grateful to take home a point.

Leeds did not make the most of all their extra possession, however, with Wood heading wide after doing well to meet a cross that was just behind him and Mowatt’s free-kick being comfortably saved by Price.

Antenucci’s goalbound shot was well blocked and Wood saw a 25-yard shot deflected over.

As the game went into injury-time Liam Cooper headed over from a corner and that was it, yet another draw for Leeds who remain unbeaten while also yet still to win a game this season.

Head coach Rosler was happy with the effort shown by his players and blamed their tough schedule for their indifferent play at times.

He said: “We have played nine games in four days and I cannot ask for any more. I am delighted with the players.

“On the ball we were not as good as we wished, we played too many straight balls and weren’t patient enough. But we showed fantastic character and endeavour to come back.

“They scored a wonder goal, but didn’t have one chance in the whole game. It was a fantastic effort, but I would not call it a chance and I don’t remember any other chances they had.

“We knew we couldn’t play our normal pressing game so we went longer then we went away from that. I wanted us to play off the strikers and Chris Wood and Mirco Antenucci are in form and did well.

“We are looking at the glass half-full, not half-empty. The Football League gave us a schedule that was not fair and we have come out of it unbeaten,”

Match facts

Leeds United 1

(Wood 62)

Sheffield Wednesday 1

(Matias 37)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 22,597.

Leeds: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Byram (Mowatt 56), Phillips (Murphy 56), Adeyemi, Dallas (Doukara 86), Antenucci, Wood.

Sheffield Wednesday: Price, Palmer, Lees, Sasso, Wiggins, Sougou (Hunt 62), Semedo (Lopez 85), Lee, Hutchinson, Matias (Helan 75). Nuhiu.

Referee: Mike Jones.