Leeds United player ratings v Bradford City

Leeds Players Warm Up

Leeds United were left red-faced after their 1-0 lead was quickly turned around by League One outfit Bradford City

A strong Leeds United team was left stunned after a dominant Bradford City finally made their possession and chances count, reversing a 1-0 deficit within the final stages of the match. 

Leeds, who were under the microscope of the whole country, didn't start the game in a particularly determined fashion and both sides, in truth, found it difficult to impose themselves on their opponents and create clear cut opportunities. Nevertheless, thanks to a couple of remarkably misjudged tackles from Luke Murphy ending in a red card, Bradford were able to take the ascendency late in the first-half but failed to make it count.

The Championship outfit made a strong start to the second half but were unable to carry through their momentum. They were on the ropes for much of the last third of the game, but were kept in it by the impressive Stuart Taylor

In the 82nd minute, it seemed like Taylor's hard work in the Leeds United goal may have paid off, as former Oldham striker Matt Smith showed off his aerial capabilities by firmly placing the ball into the corner of the goal following a neat cross into the box. The Leeds goal, however, seemed to be the catalyst for Bradford City to make their possession and chances count and quickly had Leeds United rattled just seconds after taking the lead. 

The Bradford equaliser, which came from a wonderstrike from the edge of the box, proved to be too much for Taylor after a strong performance, and he barely had time to dust himself down before a second was put past him following some comical Leeds United defending. 

Nine minutes added time wasn't enough for Leeds United to find a equaliser and the noises after the game didn't look good for Dave Hockaday, as both crowds joined together in a chorus of 'sacked in the morning'. All eyes will now be on Cellino, who was nowhere to be seen following Bradford's second, to clarify the manager's position despite it being the first month of the season. 

Player Ratings:

Stuart Taylor - 8 - Despite not being considered the first choice at Elland Road, he was probably the only person in a Leeds United shirt on the pitch showing the correct amount of desire to keep his current head coach in a job. The Leeds United MOTM by a long way.

Stephen Warnock - 5 - The former England international wasn't at his best and looked half-hearted at times. He should have shown more desire when balls were swung into the area, but failed to deal with the problem a lot of the time.

Jason Pearce - 6 - The Leeds United captain found himself under a lot of pressure at the heart of the Leeds United defence as the full-backs, particularly Wootton, didn't stop the supply coming into the box. Although, at times, his clearances could have been more effective, he was certainly part of the solution and not the problem.

Liam Cooper - 5 - As he is still adjusting to life at Leeds United, I guess it would be unfair to expect the young player to hit the ground running. However, this performance seemed to underline how raw he is, and if he is to succeed at the Yorkshire club, he needs to raise his game. 

Scott Wootton - 4 - The former Manchester United defender allowed continuous and heavy supply down his side and made little attempt to quell the danger. He made a lot of hard work for his team mates by allowing James Meredith all the time in the world to practice his crossing. 

Tommaso Bianchi - 4 - Offered very little and congested the space in the middle of the park. He continued to ruin the shape of the Leeds United midfield and lacked any kind of killer pass. 

David Norris - 5 - Arguably the best of Leeds United's midfield, but still an underwhelming performance. He struggled to impose himself on the game, lacked real quality but dug in when needed and gave an honest account of himself.

Michael Tonge - 5 - Similar to Norris, he gave an honest, but underwhelming, performance.

Luke Murphy - 1 - He looked sluggish, poor, reckless and got sent off. He gets one mark for turning up on time. 

Billy Sharp - 5 - Frustrated performance and you could tell it a mile off. He was playing far too deep and offered nothing in terms of service. Leeds would have been much more threatening had they structured the team around giving him the ball in the box. 

Matt Smith - 7 - Comfortably the best, or at least most effective, outfield Leeds United player on the day. He took his chance superbly and offered a service in the attacking third by knocking on long balls.

Verdict:

A slow and disjointed performance, largely due to the team being void of any pace at all, was lacking in both style and identity. The sending off, as stupid as it was, clearly didn't have a contingency plan and Leeds played like the lower league side for huge periods of the game. The players should carry the majority of the blame, but Hockaday didn't do himself too many favours. 

What was your verdict on the Leeds United loss?

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