Leeds United 3-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 23rd Sep 2017 17:16
David McGoldrick and Joe Garner were on target but couldn’t prevent the Blues from falling to a 3-2 defeat away against leaders Leeds United. The Whites went in front via Pierre-Michel Lasogga on 13, McGoldrick equalised on the half hour, before Kalvin Phillips’s goal two minutes later gave the home side a 2-1 half-time lead. Town improved after the break but went 3-1 behind when Bartosz Bialkowski dropped a corner over the line in the 67th minute, Garner pulled one back four minutes later but the Blues couldn’t find an equaliser.
Jonas Knudsen returned at left-back for Town, who were wearing all blue, after missing last week’s 2-0 victory over Bolton with a hamstring injury.
Tristan Nydam, 17, was handed his second Championship start at left midfield, while Callum Connolly and Myles Kenlock dropped to the bench having started against the Trotters. Dominic Iorfa moved to right-back in a 4-4-2 system.
Leeds made one change with skipper Liam Cooper replacing Pontus Jansson at the heart of the defence.
Jordan Spence picked up an early yellow card for a foul on Samuel Saiz 25 yards out, Lasogga slamming the freekick into the wall.
Leeds dominated possession in the opening minutes but without being able to create an opening.
However, on 13 they made their early superiority tell. Conor Shaughnessy threaded a pass for Lasogga, who was afforded a huge gap in the Town defence as he ran through and hit a powerful shot past Bialkowski to his right.
Joe Garner headed Town’s first chance over from a Grant Ward corner on 20 with the Blues having more of the ball after going behind.
On 23 Luke Ayling hit a shot wide from 25 yards after the Blues had failed to clear, then at the other end David McGoldrick seized on some hesitancy from Shaughnessy and brought the ball into the area on the left but his cutback was behind Garner.
In the 28th minute McGoldrick deftly took down a high ball and drove into the area before Ayling slid behind for a Town corner with the Blues’ flag-kicks - along with the woefully uncertain kicking of keeper Felix Wiedwald - causing the home side most danger.
And on the half hour it was a set piece from which the Blues scored their equaliser, albeit a freekick wide on the right. Spence sent the ball into the box and an unmarked McGoldrick nodded his fifth goal of the season past Wieldwald.
But parity lasted only two minutes. Saiz played the ball into the right of the box for Phillips, who reached it ahead of Bialkowski and took it past the keeper to his right before slipping it into the net from a tight angle to make it 2-1.
Knudsen joined Spence in referee Geoff Eltringham’s book in the 38th minute for a foul on Ezgjan Alioski, the freekick coming to nothing.
Leeds should have made it 3-1 in the 43rd minute when Pablo Hernandez played in Saiz on the left of the box but Blues skipper Luke Chambers dived in to make a vital block.
As the half moved towards injury time, Skuse found Garner on the left of the area with a well-weighted cross-field pass. The striker brought it down but his shot was deflected over.
The Blues went close to their second equaliser of the afternoon from the resultant corner. Chambers rose highest to head goalwards but Vurnon Anita nodded off the line at the post.
Although Leeds deserved their lead on the balance of the half overall, the Blues could easily have found themselves level at the break.
Having gone behind to a goal the Town backline will want to forget after a first quarter of an hour dominated by the home side, the Blues came more into the game and had looked dangerous from several set pieces prior to McGoldrick’s goal.
After immediately conceding another poor goal, the Blues were on the front foot towards the break with set pieces - and keeper Wiedwald’s hesitancy with the ball at his feet - remaining their main threat.
The Blues tweaked their midfield ahead of the second half, switching to a diamond with Nydam at the most advanced point, Adeyemi to the left, Ward to the right and Skuse deepest.
The switch appeared to pay immediate dividends with Town enjoying a long spell of possession early in the half. However, other than a Nydam shot which was blocked by Cooper, they were unable to create a significant opening.
But the Blues continued to look the better side and on 12, after McGoldrick had been felled as he broke towards the box, Knudsen hit a freekick into the Leeds wall.
Three minutes later, Garner sent a teasing cross from deep on the right towards McGoldrick bursting into the area on the left, but Ayling brilliantly slid across to block the Town number 10’s goal-bound effort. As Town prepared to take the corner, Leeds swapped Anita for Gaetano Beradi.
Leeds began to get back on top and on 63 Chambers made a superb saving challenge after Lasogga’s header had fallen to Saiz a few yards out.
Two minutes later, Alioski cut in from the right and hit a shot into the side-netting when a cross was a better option.
In the 67th minute the Whites were gifted their third goal. Hernandez’s corner from the left looked an easy one for Bialkowski to claim but the Polish keeper spilled the ball and allowed it to bounce behind the line, the referee quickly indicating that the goalline technology had confirmed it had crossed.
Town switched Nydam and Ward for Freddie Sears and Bersant Celina and only four minutes after the own goal pulled one back.
McGoldrick fed Iorfa wide on the right and the on-loan Wolves man whipped over a cross which was too close to Wiedwald. However, the Leeds keeper dropped what should have been a comfortable low catch and Garner slammed his fourth goal of the season into the net.
Cooper was booked for a foul on Garner then on 76 Leeds replaced Hernandez with Stuart Dallas.
As the game moved towards its final scheduled 10 minutes the Blues continued to take the game to Leeds with Celina starting to cause the home side’s backline problems with his direct running.
With six minutes remaining Town swapped McGoldrick for Martyn Waghorn, while Leeds replaced Lasogga with Jay-Roy Grot.
In four minutes of injury time Skuse was booked for a foul, then Town won two quick corners on the right from which Iorfa and Celina sent in subsequent crosses and Sears saw a shot blocked.
Leeds broke and Saiz curled an effort wide then, with Town still pushing for an equaliser, referee Geoff Eltringham ended the afternoon to the great delight of the Leeds contingent in a 34,002-strong crowd, whose side remain top of the division.
While Leeds deserved of their first-half lead, Town were better in the second half, keeping the ball as well as they have for a while, and will feel that a draw ultimately wouldn’t have been an unfair result.
Bialkowski’s own goal, a rare error from Town’s double Player of the Year winner, came at a time when the Blues were in the ascendency but was quickly cancelled out by Wiedweld’s mistake at the other. Despite pinning the home side back in their box in the closing stages, the chance from which Town might grab their third goal never came.
The result sees the Blues drop to sixth ahead of back-to-back home games against Sunderland, who lost 2-1 at home to Cardiff today, and Bristol City, who drew 0-0 at Norwich, on Tuesday and next Saturday.
Leeds: Wiedwald, Anita (Beradi 60), Cooper (c), Shaughnessy, Ayling, O'Kane, Phillips, Alioski, Hernandez (Dallas 76), Saiz, Lasogga (Grot 86). Unused: Lonergan, Pennington, Klich, Roofe.
Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Spence, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Ward (Sears 68), Adeyemi, Skuse, Nydam (Celina 68), Garner, McGoldrick (Waghorn 86). Unused: Gerken, Connolly, Kenlock, Woolfenden. Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham). Att: 34,002 (Att: 693).
Photo: Action Images
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