In the end, Leeds United’s late equaliser was a win for football, as Marcelo Bielsa’s side rescued a point in their Premier League clash against Merseyside Reds (Liverpool).
With all the pre-match talk dominated by the European Super League – you only had to look at Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football coverage to see that – it was easy to forget that Leeds v Liverpool was a coming together of two of English football’s biggest clubs.
The Whites looked off the pace in the first half with Jurgen Klopp’s men dominating proceedings, and the visitors eventually got their reward when Sadio Mane netted to open the scoring.
However, Leeds kicked back into the gear after the break, and after spurning several opportunities to haul things level, they managed to find a way past Alisson thanks to a superb header from Diego Llorente.
In truth, the Whites could have, and probably should have, ended up with more than just their solitary point, and much of that has to do with Patrick Bamford’s woeful night in front of goal. As per Sofascore, he failed to find the back of the net with five of his attempts on goal, including missing three official big chances, not least a one-on-one chance in the first half.
The striker also struggled to just get involved in the game, managing just eight passes in total over the course of the 90 minutes, and his radar went awry at frustrating times too, misplacing seven of his 15 attempted passes as he desperately tried to make things happen (Sofascore).
It all led to Andy Hinchcliffe to remark on co-commentary duty for the game (72.20): “Patrick Bamford is going absolute crackers here. He made a couple of really intelligent runs, spinning in behind Fabinho, but his teammates at the back just haven’t seen the runs that he had made. It’s so frustrating for a striker, you’re trying your best but no-one’s helping you out. He’s just got to keep believing that they’ll see him, and he’ll eventually get that golden chance to get that equaliser.”
Well, Bamford did get picked out by a wonderful pass over the top by Luke Ayling straight after, and after a glorious first touch, he proceeded to see his shot come off the crossbar – perhaps slightly unfortunate, but again just another game where a gilt-edged opportunity went begging.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a lowly six, explaining: “A horrible, near anonymous first half from the striker, but improved in the second half and even hit the crossbar. Never stopped asking for the ball, but very few proper sights of goal. Looked flat-footed and sluggish in the first period.”
In fact, Bamford had a far better night off the pitch, where once again he spoke eloquently in his post-match press conference and spoke for football fans across the world in pointing out the complete nonsense of the European Super League’s plans.
Bielsa would have been very proud of his striker for the way he spoke, but for his woeful performance on the pitch, he no doubt would have been less than pleased with what the 27-year-old produced..