Leeds' lack of quality in front of goal is alarming

Jamie Spencer
Leeds have averaged one goal per game in the Premier League this season
Leeds have averaged one goal per game in the Premier League this season / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Leeds played well enough to beat a very poor Watford side by four or even five goals at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon. Yet the scoreline was just 1-0 when the final whistle blew.

Ultimately, a win is a win and, given it was a very overdue first Premier League win of the season – seven games in, no less – that it is the most important factor right now.

However, the lack of goals when Leeds were dominant in possession throughout the contest and had 20 shots in total – 17 of them were off target – is too big an issue to be brushed off.

The quality to make that dominance count was sorely lacking and that is a concern.

Leeds are a creative team and played well on the whole against the Hornets. Raphinha and Daniel James caused Watford no end of problems in wide areas, Rodrigo looks far better as a ‘number nine’ than he did as a midfielder earlier in the season, and Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich were both excellent in their desire to get forward in support of the attack and create chances.

But that was where things started to fall down. As good as Dallas, for example, was in getting into good attacking positions, his quality when it mattered let him down. Shooting was wayward and more care needs to be taken in the final third. But he was not alone in that.

Leeds have only scored more than one goal in a game on one occasion this season.

Defensively, they are not strong enough for one goal to be enough. The fact that it was enough to beat Watford came from the fact that the visitors were so poor and put virtually nothing together going forward. Even so, Leeds still came under pressure towards the and it could easily have ended very differently, undeservedly so, had a ball bounced differently here or there.

Leeds were lucky not to concede a late equaliser against Watford
Leeds were lucky not to concede a late equaliser against Watford / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

It would have been their own fault for not making more of their own chances.

The margin for error in that scenario is way too small and it leaves Leeds vulnerable.

This is a team that was good enough to finish in the top half of the Premier League last season. They were averaging 1.6 goals per game then compared to just one goal per game now. If you discount the anomalous 5-1 thrashing from the opening weekend of the season, the average goals per game conceded is more or less what it was last season.

But the difference between being ninth then and 16th now is the lack of goals scored.

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