Leeds of­fer noth­ing and Mill­wall make them pay

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Wright

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

KEEP YOUR HEAD: Mill­wall’s Fred Onyed­inma un­der pres­sure from Conor Shaugh­nessy

OH BOY: Ai­den O’Brien cel­e­brates Mill­wall’s win­ner

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