Town 4-1 Leeds United - Match Report
Saturday, 6th Dec 2014 16:56
Daryl Murphy scored twice and David McGoldrick (pen) and Christophe Berra once each as second-placed Town came from behind to thrash Leeds United 4-1 at Portman Road. The visitors went ahead via Mirco Antenucci in the fourth minute but Murphy struck back on 12, then McGoldrick netted from the spot on 26, Murphy added his second just before the break and Berra added the fourth three minutes into the second half.
Berra returned from his one-match ban but Mick McCarthy named an otherwise unchanged side. The Scottish international took up his usual central defensive role with skipper Luke Chambers moving to right-back and Jonny Parr dropping to the bench.
Leeds made one change with one-time Town target Jason Pearce coming in at centre-half for the injured Giuseppe Bellusci.
The Blues, who lined-up in a 4-4-2 formation, struck the game’s first shot in the second minute but Daryl Murphy’s scuffed effort failed to test Leeds keeper Marco Silvestri.
A minute later, from their first attempt of the game, the visitors went in front. Skipper Chambers and Tommy Smith appeared to leave Liam Cooper's ball down the Leeds left for one another, allowing Stephen Warnock to escape and send over a low cross which Antenucci turned past Bartosz Bialkowski from close range. It was a poor goal to concede from the Blues’ perspective.
Town looked to get back on terms immediately, but Stephen Hunt could only head Chambers’s cross over from beyond the far post.
But the Blues weren’t behind for too long and on 12 Daryl Murphy - who first joined Town for a trial 10 years ago today - netting his 12th of the season. Jay Tabb laid the ball out to right-back Chambers, who whipped over a cross and Murphy powered a superb header past Silvestri.
Murphy threatened again on 16, Hunt’s left-wing corner landing at his feet eight yards out. Rather fortunately for the Whites the Irishman’s goal-bound shot caught a defender’s heel and deflected away from goal.
Town’s top scorer went rather less close with a strike from distance a minute later which ended up in the crowd before Warnock cleared a dangerous Mings cross from the left from inside the six-yard box. At the other end, Antenucci headed a right-wing Warnock cross straight at Bialkowski.
The Blues had been on top having got on terms and were pressing for another goal when they were awarded a 26th minute penalty. Tabb played a long ball towards Anderson just inside the area and Warnock smashed into the back of him, clattering him to ground.
Referee Mike Dean immediately pointed to the spot and McGoldrick sent a low shot into the corner of the net to Silvestri’s right as the keeper dived in the opposite direction to claim his sixth goal of the season and make it 2-1.
The Blues almost scored their third a minute later when Hunt nodded another deep Chambers cross back across goal to Murphy six yards out. The scorer of Town’s first goal took a touch but shot wide, the ball striking a defender on its way, according to the Blues but not referee Dean who gave a goalkick.
Town continued to have the better of it but without threatening Silvestri’s goal again until the 39th minute when Tabb sent McGoldrick away on the left. The striker cut in but hit his right-foot shot across the face of goal. A minute later, Tabb was booked for a foul on Adryan.
As the half moved into injury time, the Blues went 3-1 in front. Murphy completed a one-two with Anderson and broke into the area on the right before slipping the ball between Silvestri’s legs and into the net for his 13th of the season.
Referee Dean blew his whistle soon afterwards to warm applause from the delighted home support.
Having gone behind, the Blues were the better side and deserved their equaliser when it came. Leeds could have little complaint about the penalty, while Murphy’s well-worked second just before the break came as a welcome bonus.
Town hadn’t previously scored three goals in a game since the 3-0 win at Doncaster on Boxing Day and they most recently netted three times in a half in the 3-2 win at Blackpool in November last year. Striker Murphy has already matched his goals tally for last season.
Three minutes after the restart, it was 4-1. Hunt whipped over a corner from the left which Smith flicked from the near post towards the far corner of the net, Berra adding the final touch at the as it crossed the line. The last time Town scored more than three times in a game was in the 4-4 draw at Derby in October 2013.
Smith was booked for a foul on Antenucci in the 54th minute as the Leeds striker broke but the second half had been almost all Town with the visitors already having made two tactical subs.
On 55 Murphy went close to his third goal of the game, cleverly flicking McGoldrick’s chipped cross goalwards but Silvestri made a good save at his left post.
Teddy Bishop replaced Tabb on the hour with the Blues still well on top and looking for more goals. Two minutes later, Tommaso Bianchi was booked for a foul on the 18-year-old.
Unsurprisingly given their lead, Town were in confident mood, passing the ball around slickly and adding a few tricks here and there as they went looking for an opening which would bring them their fifth goal. Leeds were all over the place, looking a thoroughly demoralised side, quickly losing the ball again whenever they won it back.
On 71 Murphy cut the ball back from the right just behind Bishop, then a minute later Kevin Bru took over from Anderson, who was applauded off the field. Eight minutes later, Hunt was given a similar ovation when Conor Sammon replaced him.
Skuse shot over from 30 yards following a corner as the game moved into its final 10 minutes with the Blues still dominating. With two minutes remaining, Lewis Cook was booked for a foul on McGoldrick, the strike hitting the freekick into the wall.
In injury time, the Blues won a series of corners with Chambers heading not far wide from the last of them. Soon after referee Dean’s whistle confirmed Town’s seventh home victory of the season and probably their most impressive.
Once Berra had netted Town’s fourth goal - although Smith was also claiming it - the Blues win was never in any doubt with Leeds looking a thoroughly shambolic and dispirited bunch.
The Blues, who are now without a defeat in seven and who have lost just once in 16, again showed their character having gone behind so early but quickly got on top in the game and deserved their goals when they came. Murphy's 13th goal of the season returns him to the top of the Championship goalscorers table.
The victory, Town’s first by three goals since the visit to Doncaster on Boxing Day, sees the Blues remain in second with leaders Derby having won 3-0 at home to Brighton.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Mings, Skuse, Tabb (Bishop 60) , Anderson (Bru 72), S Hunt (Sammon 79), Murphy, McGoldrick, Unused: Gerken, Parr, St Ledger, Bajner, Sammon.
Leeds: Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Pearce, Warnock (c), Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt, Adryan (Sharp 53), Doukara (Austin 51), Antenucci. Unused: S Taylor, Berardi, Del Fabro, Dawson, Tonge. Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral). Att: 21,489 (Leeds: 1,835).
Photo: Action Images
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