LIONS MAUL SORRY LEADERS
Leeds offer nothing and Millwall make them pay
THIS was about as dominant as a 1-0 win gets from Millwall, who eventually made the most of an excellent performance to inflict upon league leaders Leeds their first defeat of the season.
Lions manager Neil Harris has spoken of his team not getting their full reward at times this year and he may have been wondering if this was going to turn out to be another one of those afternoons.
After having an early goal ruled out, his men went on to spurn a number of chances before Aiden O’Brien eventually sent the Den wild with a tap-in on 73 minutes.
Previously free-scoring Leeds provided virtually no threat in attack and could have no complaints about travelling home empty-handed.
Harris said: “We’ve played in a lot of games this year where we’ve been as good as that and not got the points, so it’s very pleasing to play that well and get the three points.
“We knew it was going to be tough because Leeds have scored the most goals and conceded the least – it makes them the best team in the league.
“We worked very hard on Thursday and Friday to make sure the team had a game plan to stop them playing and the credit goes to the players for executing it.
“You’ve got to remember that last Saturday at Wolves, almost an identical team played for 30 minutes with ten men.
“Then on Tuesday night we played with ten men for 60 minutes, and I almost picked the same team again. We outfought, outran, won every first ball and won every second ball.”
The tone was set when Millwall had a goal disallowed in the seventh minute as an offside Steve Morison followed up after Felix Wiedwald had fumbled Conor McLaughlin’s effort.
The Lions gradually began to fashion more and more chances as the first half wore on, with Wiedwald looking more convincing in scrambling across to keep out Morison’s header.
The German goalkeeper continued to be busy either side of half-time as he tipped over Shaun
Williams’ long-range effort then denied Shaun Hutchinson with his legs from nearer.
The Lions were getting closer and closer, as the excellent Jed Wallace sent a shot crashing against a post from the edge of the area after a corner was cleared his way.
But the breakthrough finally arrived after Wallace chipped the ball forward for Fred Onyedinma, who appeared to be fouled in the area before O’Brien rolled the loose ball into the net.
George Saville blazed a great late chance over for Millwall, but this didn’t prove costly as the three points were secured.
Following his first defeat, Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen said: “The ideas for this game were clear; we knew that it would be direct play, an aggressive game, with fast transitions to attack, but we were not able to stop that.
“We had to stop it and go into the battle with the same intensity as Millwall did.
“I want to see a reaction after a defeat. We have to learn from our mistakes and bring it to the next game.
“I cannot complain (about) the players for anything because if we are in the first position, still now, it’s because of them so I will not complain for one loss in a very bad game.
“We didn’t do the things right and everyone has the right to make mistakes.
“I’m of course not happy with the result, but we have to face the fact that we didn’t play a good game and Millwall deserved this win.”
KEEP YOUR HEAD: Millwall’s Fred Onyedinma under pressure from Conor Shaughnessy
OH BOY: Aiden O’Brien celebrates Millwall’s winner