Leeds United 2 - 1 Middlesbrough: Boro Beaten by Becchio Brace

Chris Brunskill

Luciano Becchio once again found the net to give a crucial three points at Elland Road.

Entering Elland Road today felt like going back in time. Returning to a time where a football day consisted of excitement from the moment you wake up.

This morning I woke up and smiled as I remembered we had a game, and it felt good too. I knew Boro were in form and could probably beat us, but there's this sense around Elland Road that now finally we're all in it together.

Neil Warnock made changes after our 5-1 defeat to Chelsea, recalling Alan Tate for Jason Pearce and David Norris replaced Michael Brown.

Boro started the game with a sharpness that Leeds couldn't seem to match. Marvin Emnes and the big man Jutkiewicz were causing problems with their movement and strength but both men missed two early chances from similar positions.

The conditions weren't ideal and on a normal day the ball would bounce. On occasions it was sitting in the turf and the players on both sides were struggling to judge the flight of the ball.

Leeds' first real chance on goal came thanks to the head of Sam Byram who jumped high from a corner but could only head it to the feet of Steele in the Boro goal.

But it was the away side that took the lead through Jutkiewicz. The former Coventry player saw his first effort saved, but the follow up took a deflection off Alan Tate which caused Paddy Kenny to struggle to get a solid hand on it.

In an attempt to draw level, Byram pushed forward to help Green and Diouf and he found space on the edge of the box but his shot curled just wide of the upright.

With one minute remaining in the first-half, Leeds grabbed that all important equaliser. Green's tenacity to keep the ball in play was supported by Byram who swung the ball to the back post. With Boro unable to clear Becchio spun on the spot to volley the ball off the upright and into the back of the net.

At half-time Aidy White was introduced into the game to replaced Paul Green (illness) which saw Peltier go to right-back and Byram into the midfield. Boro continued to cause problems down the left with Jutkiewicz having two efforts which went wide of the post.

The game was turning into a spectacle with both sides going at it to try find that elusive winning goal. Warnock's plan was to introduce Davide Somma for the first time since May 2011 and he replaced Jerome Thomas. Somma's introduction gave Leeds a new route to goal but it was Becchio who stole the headlines with his 17th goal of the season. From Diouf's corner, Becchio headed it towards goal and it found the back of the net thanks to a slight deflection off Smallwood.

With United ahead it was all hands on deck to get the win. Pearce came on for Peltier and United had to soak up the pressure. Somma had one final chance thanks to a good counter-attack but he was out-muscled in the box and Boro continued to bombard the South Stand goal.

Vital clearances from Norris, Tonge and Pearce helped quell the danger and United eventually held on for a vital three points which sees them climb the table once again.

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