|Leeds United 2 v 0 Ipswich Town|
Wednesday, 24th October 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Leeds United 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Wednesday, 24th Oct 2018 21:57
Kemar Roofe and Liam Cooper were on target as the Blues were comfortably defeated 2-0 by Leeds at Elland Road as the Whites returned to the top of the table. Roofe put the West Yorkshiremen ahead in the 22nd minute and skipper Cooper added the second on 66 with Town never looking like taking anything from the game once they had gone behind.
Town boss Paul Hurst made seven changes to the team which lost 2-0 at home to QPR at the weekend with Bartosz Bialkowski, Jordan Spence, Jonas Knudsen, Flynn Downes, Tayo Edun, Jon Nolan and Kayden Jackson all starting.
Dean Gerken, Janoi Donacien, Trevoh Chalobah, Gwion Edwards, Grant Ward and Andre Dozzell all dropped to the bench, while Toto Nsiala was left out of the 18.
Ahead of Bialkowski in goal, Spence was at right-back, Knudsen at left-back with Matthew Pennington to the left of skipper Like Chambers at the centre of the defence.
Nolan was on the right of midfield with Edun on the left and Downes in the centre with Cole Skuse. Jackson started up front with Freddie Sears behind him.
Pablo Hernandez blazed an early shot over from distance after a Bialkowski kick had been closed down and deflected into the air by Roofe. On five, Nolan picked up an early yellow card for a foul on Samuel Saiz.
There was a big scare for the Blues in the 11th minute when Ezgjan Alioski’s low cross from the left was fumbled by Bialkowski but fortunately away from Hernandez and Chambers was able to clear.
Gaetano Berardi joined Nolan in the referee’s book in the 16th minute for a foul on Sears on the Blues’ left. From the freekick taken by Edun, Pennington headed into keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s arms at the far post.
On 19 Nolan scuffed wide from 20 yards with the Blues starting to make an impression going forward.
However, three minutes later the home side went in front. Hernandez whipped over a cross from the right which flew over Pennington to Roofe, whose header from six yards was too powerful for Bialkowski’s outstretched arm.
Having got in front, Leeds began to put the Blues under pressure but on 27 they were forced into a change when Berardi was replaced by Stuart Dallas.
Two minutes later, Hernandez cut the ball back to Saiz but his shot was blocked, then on 31 Downes was booked for a foul on Klich.
Alioski hit a cross-shot over from the left with the Whites well in control but without having come close to a second.
On 36, Luke Ayling’s shot was deflected over after Spence had cleared poorly from a corner, then from the subsequent flag-kick Downes flicked the ball over Bialkowski as the keeper looked to catch.
As the half moved into its final five minutes Town began to probe in the Leeds half but without threatening an equaliser.
Two minutes of injury time yielded no further chances at either end and the scoreline remained the same at the break.
Leeds deserved their lead having been in charge throughout and having created the game’s few opportunities.
Town hadn’t been as poor as they were against QPR, defensively they had been far less calamitous, but they had rarely threatened with Pennington’s header from Edun’s freekick their only real chance.
Two minutes after the restart Blues skipper Luke Chambers claimed a penalty after he was hauled down as an Edun freekick came in from the left. The central defender looked to have a case but neither referee Craig Pawson nor his assistant were interested.
On 50 Knudsen was booked for a foul on Hernandez, who required treatment before carrying on.
As in the first half chances were rare and keepers being forced into saves even rarer. On 56 Dallas scraped wide from the edge of the box.
A minute later Adam Forshaw replaced Saiz, then on 58 the Whites swapped Jack Harrison for Tom Pearce.
Match Gallery: 6 photos
Dallas wasn’t too far away from doubling his side’s lead on 62 when his shot from the right of the box was deflected into the side-netting. Soon after Ward took over from Edun for Town.
The home side were beginning to threaten more regularly and in the 66th minute Hernandez struck a shot from a tight angle on the right which Bialkowski pawed away from goal.
However, from the resultant corner Leeds doubled their lead. The ball was played to Cooper on the edge of the box from where the Whites captain struck a powerful shot into the roof of the net all but sealing his side’s victory and another defeat for the Blues.
Town continued to huff and puff after the second Leeds goal but the Whites looked in little danger and appeared far more likely to add a third than Town were to pull one back.
On 76 Leeds went very close when Alioski smashed a shot from distance on the left which beat Bialkowski but struck the inside of the post and landed safely. Moments later, Town switched Sears for Edwards.
With the Whites completely dominating as the game moved into its final 10 minutes, sub Forshaw unleashed a powerful effort from distance which Bialkowski did well to save down to his right.
Leeds kept up the pressure with chances coming more and more frequently, Bialkowski saving from Alioski on 82, then a minute later Roofe diverted the Macedonian’s cross from the left wide.
Moments later, Town struck their first shot of the half, Nolan hitting a low effort from the right of the area which Peacock-Farrell stopped down to his right with little fanfare. Five minutes from time Chalobah took over from Skuse.
The Blues can have little complaint about the result, they were once again very much second best.
While not as bad as they were against QPR - which is the faintest of praise - Town never looked like they were going to take anything from the game once they had gone behind.
Defensively they were better with Pennington back in the centre but Leeds still had enough chances to have won more comfortably, while the Blues were poor on the ball, two or three passes would inevitably be followed by possession being conceded, and created virtually nothing.
Whether this latest defeat is the tipping point which persuades owner Marcus Evans to end Hurst’s time in charge remains to be seen but something certainly needs to change - and quickly - if the bottom-of-the-table Blues are to avoid dropping into the third tier for the first time in 62 years.
Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Alioski, Cooper (c), Berardi (Dallas 27), Phillips, Klich, Harrison (Pearce 58), Hernandez, Saiz, Roofe. Unused: Blackman, Forshaw, Roberts, Baker, Clarke.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Pennington, Chambers (c), Skuse (Chalobah 85), Downes, Nolan, Edun (Ward 62), Sears (Edwards 76), Jackson. Unused: Gerken, Donacien, Dozzell, Lankester. Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire). Att: 29,082.
Photo: Action Images
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