Leeds Taste Derby Day Defeat at Rampant Barnsley – by Rob Atkinson


Mike Dean – doubly incompetent

In football, as in life, timing is everything. And it was the timing of two rather poor Mike Dean penalty decisions during Leeds United‘s tumultuous defeat at Oakwell this evening that may well have been the factor upon which the outcome of the game ultimately depended. Had Leeds gone in at half-time 2-0 up, with a penalty to add to Chris Wood’s bundled opener after Kyle Bartley got a Barnsley hand in his face at a corner, there could have been few complaints from a home side that looked to be under the cosh at the time. But, in the final analysis, the fragility of a 1-0 lead was exposed by a late first half smash and grab goal from the hosts – and you sensed then that the tide had turned decisively.

In the second half, Barnsley came out like a pack of ravenous hounds and punctured United’s rearguard twice in quick time in a dominant spell. Two great finishes left Leeds with what, in the end, proved to be too much to do. This always looked to be the case, even after Dean’s second shoddy call of the match, awarding Leeds a penalty from a good forty yards behind play, for a handball offence that was clearly miles outside the box. Chris Wood duly converted but, even with their hopes so fortunately boosted, United never really escaped the stranglehold Barnsley had put on them from the time of the equaliser. In the end, the injustices evened themselves out, allowing the better side over 95 minutes to enjoy a deserved victory. 

What might have transpired had the hapless Dean got his calls the right way around is anybody’s guess – though it’s tempting to suppose a Leeds side two goals to the good would have taken some pegging back. As things were, there can be few complaints, and both sets of fans will be in agreement that Mr. Dean should go back to Premier League football and practice his dubious skills there.

For Leeds, defeat might just be a timely wake-up call and a reminder that the squad still needs a bit more strength in depth. It’s to be hoped that this will be addressed in the coming days, along with the pressing need to get back to winning ways on Wednesday against a Nottingham Forest side that should be ripe for the beating. United manager Garry Monk will be focusing already on that game, and the Whites should see it as a chance to start off on another positive run. 

Lastly, it has to be said that Barnsley’s grit and attitude were as commendable as the quality of the goals they scored. Everyone knows how much beating Leeds means to the Tykes, and those victory celebrations will be sweet indeed. With Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday also flying high in the Championship, it’s turning out to be a good season for Yorkshire clubs. None of which is any comfort in defeat – but Leeds know there is stiff competition out there and it’s up to our heroes to step up to the plate now and reassert their authority. 

That process can and must start on Wednesday. After a great run since December, we now expect nothing less.

15 responses to “Leeds Taste Derby Day Defeat at Rampant Barnsley – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob, this is a very good, well balanced report of the game. You make valid points about the match official, Leeds needing to add depth etc… But it doesn’t make me feel any better. So, to vent some anger, please stop using American expressions like “step up to the plate” – it is to do with baseball – and is as annoying as losing to ******* Barnsley!


  2. Well, I got my predictions wrong. I really thought we would slip up against Derby. This was a very poor performance and I am not yet sure whether is was complacency, fatigue or just a bad day at the office. I think a sprinkling of each against a Barnsley side who came at us like marauding barbarians. What it does demonstrate is we need to strengthen and very quickly. We are clutching at straws when losing key players and we are predictable in our gameplan because of this. The club must react and give GM the resources he needs because right now a drop in form with all the potential opponents hovering around us could be a disaster. We must not let the momentum slip. This is as tight a season at the top as you would want and although GM insists he is looking at our performance and not the competition’s you can bet he is feeling it.
    Anyway, I have been saying it all season. It’s how you react after a bad game and we will find out on Wednesday. MOT


  3. As a Red, I usually look to your Post expecting total bias.
    You’ve got it right today.
    Thanks for the credit you give Barnsley.

    Now sort Town out


  4. As said on radio leeds post match ,, hernandez is a fantastic player but in a game like this where you need to battle he’s frail rob..


  5. patrick hogan

    Can’t argue with the result: but what I haven’t read anywhere yet is this. It was not a penalty for Leeds as the ball was clearly handled outside the box – but it was done so deliberately, hence should have been a red card the like of which Kalvin Phillips received recently for the same offence.


  6. David Dean

    Barnsley played really well and Leeds defended well in the first half until they thought it was half time, caught napping. We are going to lose a few more matches but the playoffs at least are there for the taking with Pontus back 🎩. It wasn’t a poor display – we were out fought and outplayed on the night and we could have snatched a point at the death.


  7. Tell me i’m wrong Rob, is that Jasper Carrot in a referee’s kit there?


  8. I was fully prepared for Mike Dean to cost us victory, but it had nothing to do with him.

    It was Garry Monk who cost us victory.

    If it wasn’t for his negative approach we could be contenders for automatic promotion.

    He couldn’t even go for it at 3-1 down. He brought Dallas on too late and ignored Mowatt and Antonsson.


  9. We have been found wanting on the two occasions this season teams have come at us with pace and aggression (Brighton and yesterday – Newcastle, who took it easy doesn’t count). While our central defence plays a more relaxed game than last season’s best pairing of Cooper and Bellusci – relying largely on good positional play and both aerial and ground interceptions – it appears to lack some of the strength in the tackle and physicality possessed by last season’s best pairing. Which I guess is why all four central defenders in question are not in demand by the top clubs either here or abroad.


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