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Leeds United were held on to a 0-0 draw at home in the second Championship game of the season, by Preston North End at the Elland Road.
Thomas Christiansen named a formidable side as he welcomed back Pontus Jansson into the starting XI after he served his suspension. Only three of the players that started the midweek game held on to their places – Luke Ayling, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Felix Wiedwald.
Leeds were off to a positive start, with wingers Kemar Roofe and Ezgjan Alioski looking threatening from the outset. Preston started to grow into the game though, but couldn’t break through. Alioski fired just wide in the 20th minute, after beating a couple of opposition players. Five minutes later, Thomas Barkhuizen went close for Preston from distance, but his effort flew just wide.
Both teams looked to threaten and there were a few chances, with Alan Browne and Callum Robinson coming close for the visitors. Roofe and Chris Wood threatened for the Whites, but half-time arrived with the score line very much intact at 0-0.
Browne was presented with another great chance soon after the restart, but his weak effort was easily saved by Wiedwald. Preston continued to create opportunities and they eventually managed to get the ball into the back of the net in the 58th minute via Greg Cunningham’s header from a Daniel Johnson free-kick. But it was ruled out for offside. Ben Pearson was then sent off for a second yellow, on the hour mark, as Christiansen sent on Samu Saiz and Ronaldo Vieira in place of Roofe and Kalvin Phillips.
Borthwick-Jackson produced two very dangerous looking crosses from the left in quick succession, but Wood could not apply the finishing touches on either occasion. The Kiwi was then denied by Chris Maxwell in a one-on-one situation, arguably the biggest chance of the game for Leeds, and Alioski couldn’t sort his feet out to get on the end of the rebound. With ten minutes left, Saiz headed straight at Maxwell, as Leeds went in search of a goal.
The Preston stopper then punched away a header from final Leeds substitute Stuart Dallas, before acrobatically tipping away the rebound from Hernandez. And the visitors nearly left with all three points when a late cross from Johnson trickled all the way across Leeds’ area. But there was nobody to apply the finishing touches.
Leeds were given five minutes of added time to bag a winner but it was Preston who so nearly grabbed it in the 95th minute, when a brilliant counter ended with former Manchester United man Josh Harrop hitting the crossbar as the final whistle blew with no team being able to break the deadlock.
Christiansen will be pleased with certain aspects of his side’s play, but will also be worried about them not able to find that one goal, while the number of chances the visitors created also will be a reason for bother.
— Kamil Biały (@Lajt89) August 12, 2017
We didn't get smashed at all pic.twitter.com/2RQ1NI9PNY
— Ryan Nicholson (@Rnico99) August 12, 2017
1st clean sheet of the season
— danny mitchell (@danovtlc) August 12, 2017
You really know how to ruin a birthday ffs!
— Jordan (@Jordan_Doherty) August 12, 2017
— ShadyDealer (@Shadydealer) August 12, 2017
that was nt brillaint lbh! we have to win homes games!
— David Wooldridge (@davidrw66) August 12, 2017
Dire boring and lacked creativity, wood had once chance all game
— Nathaniel Spedding (@sp3dd3r) August 12, 2017