Leeds United lost their grasp at the top of the Championship table on Saturday afternoon after they tasted defeat in the Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side suffered at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday, who won 2-0, courtesy of two late goals.
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The game had been petering out for a second successive 0-0 after the two drew at Hillsborough earlier in the season, but the Owls had other ideas.
Jacob Murphy first beat Kiko Casilla at his near post before Atdhe Nuhiu sealed all three points by firing home a quick counter-attack in injury time.
It was only the first time since the end of October that Leeds had failed to score in a Championship game, ironically coming in that aforementioned meeting.
Marcelo Bielsa said after the game that he was still pursuing a striker to provide competition to Patrick Bamford, especially after Eddie Nketiah was recalled to Arsenal at the turn of the year and while it is an obvious need, attention should be put towards a different area.
The 26-year-old is doing his part considering he is the team’s top goalscorer with ten goals from 25 appearances, which is actually a pretty respectable attempt. He’s always going to be Bielsa’s first choice too as Nketiah’s return was down to a lack of game time.
It is at left-back where United’s most pressing concern should lie. Barry Douglas is looking like half the player he was for Wolves while Ezgjan Alioski is a loose-cannon who has looked pretty suspect defensively at times.
Against Wednesday, per SofaScore, Douglas was dribbled past twice and lost possession 11 times in just 56 minutes with his replacement, the Macedonian picked up the lowest rating of anyone on the pitch (6.1) and also won only one of his five duels and lost possession nine times.
Murphy, their opposite number bagged his goal after coming inside and slotting home from an acute angle, meaning Alioski should have done much better to stop him.
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The 27-year-old averages a foul per game and is dispossessed 1.1 times per match too. Douglas, on the other hand, is yet to even record an assist, a dire attempt considering he recorded 14 the season Wolves won the league while defensively, every metric is down considerably, per WhoScored.
This left side could actually be Leeds’ biggest weakness. Whether Bielsa will look to fix it remains to be seen.