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Leeds United 3 - 3 Blackburn Rovers: United Show Heart to Earn a Point

McCormack's sublime finish helped Leeds pull level.
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
McCormack's sublime finish helped Leeds pull level. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Getty Images

A late Ruben Rochina back-heel cost Leeds two points after a dramatic comeback from the Whites in a spectacular 90 minutes of football at Elland Road.

Rovers came to Leeds with an unbeaten record in the league and with new signing Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield. The main man in the Blackburn team though was Paul Robinson, the ex-Leeds goalkeeper got a wonderful reception as he gave the Leeds salute to the Kop before kick-off.

Steve Kean's side started the better of the two and could have taken the lead after a few minutes when Kenny had to palm away Pedersen's shot from just outside the box. Leeds continued to make mistakes and error in possession and the pressure finally told when the away side took the lead in the 19th minute. A mix-up between Lee Peltier and Diouf allowed Olsson to run down the wing and fire a left-footed drive into the corner past a helpless Paddy Kenny.

You'd think the right-side of Leeds' team would learn from their mistakes but they didn't and it was 2-0 on 26 minutes. Pedersen and Olsson worked well down the left and Diouf failed to track back before the ball was laid off to Nuno Gomes who made it 2-0 with a side footed shot.

It was then that the refereeing and linesmen's decisions started to wear thin with the Elland Road crowd as there were a number of countless errors made. Soft free-kicks, handballs and a missed pull on Ross McCormack in the box got the crowd and team fired up as they struggled to see a way past the shoddy decisions.

Just before half-time there was a reprieve as Leeds grabbed one back after several goal-mouth scrambles. After two goal-line clearances Diouf was on hand to tap it home at the back post.

Blackburn could have scored a third early on in the second-half after Danny Murphy went close on two occasions with his final effort coming within a whisker of Kenny's post.

As the crowd began to get behind the team once again, Leeds went level thanks to a stunning half-volley from McCormack. Becchio appealed to foul Givet but the referee allowed play to run on and Leeds' striker wasted no time in making it all square. The second goal seemed to fire Leeds into action as they totally dominated possession and tried to find a third goal.

Becchio had a header cleared off the line but the Argentine did make it 3-2 just past the hour mark when his header found the bottom corner. The crowd went mental as Leeds had managed to fight back and things could have got better after Jason Pearce scored a header from a free-kick; only for it to be ruled out for an apparent foul.

The referee had his final say in the action when Blackburn levelled through Ruben Rochina. Tom Lees challenged for a header and had appeared to win a throw-in for the Whites. However the ref changed his mind and gifted Blackburn a free-kick, which wasn't cleared and Rochina back-heeled in a crowded box.

The fourth official signalled five additional minutes and both teams had chances to snatch the win. Ross McCormack's shot appealed to strike a hand and as Leeds complained Dickson Etuhu found his way into the box but fired over. With seconds to go Diouf had one last chance in the box, but his decision to try move it to his left foot cost him as Blackburn recovered before Diouf blazed over.

All in all, probably a fair result although the point feels like a loss. To comeback from 2-0 shows heart and courage against a solid Blackburn side. Diouf did very well on the ball but his marking cost him for Rovers' first two goals. 7th place into the international break isn't a bad start considering the options we have from the bench.