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Leeds United held goalless after chances go begging

Pierre-Michel Lasogga reacts after failing to score for Leeds United against Nottingham Forest.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Pierre-Michel Lasogga reacts after failing to score for Leeds United against Nottingham Forest. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

It was a frustrating start to the New Year for Leeds United as despite creating several good chances and hitting the woodwork they had to settle for a point from a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest.

In front of another big Elland Road crowd, the Whites started and finished the game well and deserved more than their final result, but it was not their day in front of goal.

The first chance came in the third minute when Pablo Hernandez intercepted a pass out of the Forest defence and advanced before seeing his shot from the edge of the box saved by keeper Jordan Smith.

Samuel Saiz, back in the starting side in the number 10 role, made his first contribution soon after when his teasing cross hit the hand of a Forest defender, but no penalty was forthcoming from referee Jeremy Simpson.

Ben Brereton offered the first threat for the visitors when he got in behind the United defence only for Liam Cooper to time his challenge perfectly to win the ball in the area.

At the other end Leeds had a great chance as Pontus Jansson got his head to a Hernandez corner. The ball was blocked on the line, but fell to Kemar Roofe, who saw his first effort from little more than a yard saved by Smith on the line and with his second effort sent an overhead kick over.

Roofe then had a shot blocked a minute later and Jansson headed wide as the hosts kept up their bright start.

Kieran Dowell ran at the home defence only for a weak shot from the edge of the box to go wide.

Leeds lost Luke Ayling to injury when he was caught by former team-mate Liam Bridcutt in a tackle that went without punishment and it seemed to take something out of the game for a spell with little goalmouth action for the rest of the half.

The second half saw the disappointing Gianni Alioski taken off with Pierre-Michael Lasogga brought on up front and Roofe moved out wide. It began in more positive fashion when Kalvin Phillips got forward to send a shot over.

The best chance arrived on 55 minutes as Cooper stepped out of defence well then Saiz went on a superb run to the edge of the box. He found Roofe in space and the forward beat Smith only to see the ball bounce back off the crossbar.

Two minutes later Roofe ran at the Forest defence and shot over from the edge of the box when he had options with players either side.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell when they got their first two shots on target in a one minute spell. First, Ben Osborn’s long range strike was tipped over by Felix Wiedwald then Dowell was found in space in the box, but saw his shot beaten away by the home keeper.

Leeds got back on top, however, and Jansson had a header saved by Smith.

Saiz sent a 20-yard shot over after Hernandez found him in space and Lasogga volleyed wide from a tough angle.

Another fantastic run by Saiz set up Hernandez, but the Spaniard could not beat Smith.

Next it was Lasogga denied by the keeper after his header from Hadi Sacko’s cross was not powerful enough.

Lasogga did well as the game moved into added time, winning the ball and cutting inside before seeing his angled strike well saved by Smith.

One more chance came and went with Hernandez pulling his shot wide from the edge of the box and somehow the game ended 0-0.

Thomas Christiansen felt his side were unlucky not to take all the points.

He said: “I believe we deserved to take the three points. We created big, very big opportunities to score.

“We did almost everything perfect, but you have a game against Hull when we didn’t deserve to win and took the three points.

“The players responded in a good way. The performance I liked a lot but it was not good enough because we could not get the goal today. There’s not much I can complain about, just the last pass or last shot.

“At least we were good in defence and didn’t give them opportunities to come into the game.

“Knowing the programme we have had it feels like we have had a good return with the points we have taken.”

Match facts

Leeds United 0

Nottingham Forest 0

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 32,426

Leeds: Wiedwald, Ayling (Anita 26), Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, O’Kane, Phillips, Alioski (Lasogga 45), Saiz, Hernandez, Roofe (Sacko 80).

Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne, Traore, Osborn, Bridcutt, Cash, Dowell, McKay (Carayol 75), Brereton (Walker 60).

Referee: Jeremy Simpson