Delectable fans, a hovel of a ground – why I’m glad we won’t play Leeds next season

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From a neutral perspective, the 1-1 draw at Leeds was perhaps Sunderland’s most entertaining game this season and secured a very useless point.

But the chances are that you aren’t neutral and would have preferred to have won a boring match.

Gaetano Berardi sees red.

Gaetano Berardi sees red.

If the game was surprising, nothing else about the day was.

Sunderland are unbeaten at Elland Road since 2002. The intervening 16 years have seen Elland Road ... remain as much of a hovel as it ever was.

Still, if it was a half-decent ground the £37 tickets wouldn’t have been as much of a rip-off.

Leeds enjoy fleecing away fans, so let’s not deny them the pleasure.

I had assumed that there are worse grounds awaiting in League One. However, I have spoken to a Walsall supporting friend and it turns out that there aren’t.

Dirty play is another part of the historical fabric of Leeds United and the custom was faithfully upheld by fruitloop full-back Gaetano Berardi, whose airborne, both-footed lunge at Callum McManaman earned one of the season’s less controversial red cards.

Not now Cato.

This was out of character for Gaetano. Again. Indeed, he has only been sent off three times this season (Leeds have the most red cards in the division this season; hurrah for tradition). He is now banned for the remainder of the campaign.

This sort of incident tends makes someone a crowd favourite down there, and at the time they were incensed by the referee’s incontestably correct decision; citing the fact that McManaman was not actually dead as exonerating evidence.

Yes, the home faithful were as delectable as ever. I could eat them with a spoon, I really could.

Leeds were top of the table after nine games and the more deluded among their following got a little carried away. They now occupy the bottom half and are reduced to congratulating themselves for being even better than Sunderland.

There were two main positives for SAFC at the Elland Road “stadium”.

The first is that they didn’t lose, as they did at home. Sunderland don’t have a derby this season and Leeds is the nearest thing. Not geographically, but in every other way.

The second is that there will be no fixture with one of England’s least loved clubs for the foreseeable future.