By Mark Smith

15th Dec, 2019 | 7:30am

MOT View: 20y/o struggles - Three things learned in Leeds draw v Cardiff

Like many, I sat back and relaxed at Elland Road once Patrick Bamford had put Leeds United three goals to the good against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Even once Lee Tomlin found the back of the net, there wasn’t a sense that what unfolded after could have happened. Leeds were reckless at times and paid the price for not sitting back and seeing out the game like they have done so well in recent weeks.

The Whites came out of the blocks quickly and were two goals to the good inside 10 minutes thanks to Helder Costa and Bamford.

A second-half penalty should half sealed all three points, but Tomlin’s strike followed by goals from Sean Morrison and Robert Glatzel gave the Bluebirds an unlikely point.

Leeds were still dominant, and as shown by the attacking momentum graph on SofaScore they were in control of the game for pretty much 85 minutes.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men still hold a 10-point gap to third but will kick themselves for a missed opportunity going into a tough run of fixtures.

Here are three things learned in the 3-3 draw on Saturday…

1. Bamford is undroppable

As soon as the striker was replaced by Eddie Nketiah, Leeds lost most of their momentum in the final third. That is both attacking and defensive momentum. The Arsenal loanee didn’t put the same amount of pressure on Cardiff’s back four as Bamford did, and the former Middlesbrough man can count himself unlucky to have been taken off on a hattrick. The 26-year-old is certainly undroppable at this moment in time, and those two goals on Saturday could see him start a run of finding the back of the net consistently over Christmas.

2. Struijk rabbit in the headlights

The Leeds academy star came onto the pitch, and ultimately, was one of the reasons why the Whites didn’t collect three points. We weren’t against the 20-year-old coming on to see out the final 10 minutes, but to take off Gaetano Berardi, Bielsa instantly lost any sort of leadership and experience in the heart of the defence. The Dutch defender was a rabbit in the headlights for the third goal, as he lost the ball and Glatzel who equalised against the run of play. He might have impressed against Hull the game before, but Saturday’s cameo proved that Struijk is still a long way from becoming a regular feature in the first team.

3. Leeds need Forshaw to return

This isn’t a complaint at what Leeds currently have in midfield, because at times our football was scintillating in the heart of the pitch. Forshaw would have been the perfect substitution once Cardiff scored their first goal. Both Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich aren’t known for their defensive efforts, and once they tired, we looked wide open to the counter-attack – something that was our downfall in the end. Forshaw could have come on and helped seen out the game defensively, and with Shackleton injured aswell, Leeds look seriously light in midfield.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds keen on forward involved in nine goals in 19/20 – report