Conor Chaplin was left frustrated after his relegation-threatened side lost 1-0 at Leeds United on Thursday, telling the Tykes’ official website that Barnsley ‘outplayed, out-pressed and out-worked’ the champions-elect.
The former Portsmouth forward has a point too.
Leeds would have been perhaps a little fortunate to claim one point let alone three during what was perhaps their worst performance under Marcelo Bielsa since a teeth-pulling defeat away to Brentford in April 2019.
But, while the Whites survived an almighty score to move to within just solitary game of promotion, Barnsley were left to rue a display which was their entire season in a microcosm.
Gerhard Struber’s side are very much the Norwich of the Championship – free-flowing, easy on the eye yet prone to falling apart in both boxes.
And, after missing a host of chances at one end, Barnsley gifted Leeds the winner against the run of play thanks to a Michael Sollbauer own goal.
“It’s disappointing,” Chaplin reflects. “The lads have done well and I’m proud of the performance. There’s a bigger picture and it’s tough to take, but I thought we more than competed at times – especially in the second half.
“Once we got to grips with their shape and how they wanted to play, because it was tough at times, I thought we outplayed them at times; out pressed them, outworked them.
“But you’ve got to score goals and take chances.
“We had chances from open play, set-pieces – we were creating chances. Cauley (Woodrow) had one that was blocked, but you’ve got to expect that; they’re fighting to go into the Premier League.
“But the overriding feeling is just disappointment at the moment.”
It is not often Leeds manage less than 65 per cent possession on home soil but Barnsley restricted them to just 56 last night, while producing twice as many shots as their illustrious hosts.
Football really is a cruel game at times.