Leeds United won for the first time after going behind in over a year in the league and continued their good run of form and moved up to five points off of second place as Cardiff City lost at home to Fulham, dropping them into the playoff spots and allowing Bristol City, who beat Reading FC, to get into the second automatic promotion spot.
Goals from Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe sealed the points for Leeds today after the club had gone into half time down 1-0 after failing to defend Tom Naylor at the far post, despite having 70% of the possession.
CHANCE: Cibicki crosses low from the right wing, Hernandez is unmarked 12 yards out but doesn't get a good connection. Ball flies to safety. 0-0 on 18 mins.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 26, 2017
Leeds had the bulk of possession in the first half, but were wasteful in the first 25 minutes, as three good chances went begging. First, Gjanni Alioski tee’d up a good shot as a deflected header slowly fell to him, but his shot went wide right in the 16th minute. Less than two minutes later, Pawel Cibicki found Pablo Hernandez with a good pass into the box, but his shot was scuffed wide, as Hernandez didn’t get full contact on the ball.
Tom Naylor gives @burtonalbionfc the lead with his 2nd goal in 3 days - his first @SkyBetChamp goals for 16 months. @LUFC have lost all 7 league games when conceding first this season. pic.twitter.com/1vvGvoDXja— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 26, 2017
Kemar Roofe controlled a ball in the box, but failed to put he ball on target, despite getting a decent shot off with his back to goal. And because the football gods punish wasteful things, in the 29th minute, Leeds were made to pay for their wastefulness as the lone decent attacking spell for Burton resulted in a goal as the Leeds defenders switched off, expecting Naylor to be called offsides. He wasn’t and his effort on goal gave Burton Albion a 1-0 lead.
Leeds looked for an equalizer the rest of the half, but were unable to get one past Steven Bywater, meaning that Leeds went into half-time down 1-0 to a Burton Albion side feeling a lot of confidence after winning two straight matches. Leeds were the far better side, but perhaps trailing was payback for the smash-and-grab job that Leeds performed on Hull City the last time out.
Ronaldo Vieira was felled by a high challenge by Naylor, but the ref, who seemed to think that a challenge from Berardi, where Berardi didn’t make contact with anything other than the ball, should see yellow, failed to produce a card.
Roofe won a free kick outside the Burton box, and after Bywater had gotten a yellow card for pulling down the shorts of a Leeds player (LOL) Pablo Hernandez scored from a wonderfully taken free kick.
Ronaldo Vieira got revenge on Burton after the awful tackle from earlier in the match by playing an absolutely brilliant pass in for Kemar Roofe to run on and slot past Bywater and into the Burton Albion net, sending the visiting Leeds fans into full voice.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga, the loanee from Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga, came on in the 75th minute, making it two matches in a row that the big German striker came on in the second half as a substitute, and Kalvin Phillips came on for Ronaldo Vieira only a few minutes later in the 77th minute.
Into the last 10 minutes. Leeds have controlled this since the turnaround. Nothing stupid needed now. 1-2. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 26, 2017
Leeds looked to kill the match off in the remaining minutes of the match, as match had pretty much been dominated by Leeds for almost the entire game, except for a couple of moments of madness that resulted in a Weidwald save and the goal for Burton after Leeds had assumed (incorrectly) that Naylor was offside. Pennington came on late for Alioski, as he seems to be the “closer” for Leeds when the team needs a game killed off.
CHANCE: Massive scramble in the box, Wiedwald can't get a hand to it, the ball bobbles around and then flies just wipes. Jeepers. 1-2 on 90+6.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 26, 2017
A goalmouth scramble to end all scrambles occurred late in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough as Leeds came from behind to win for the first time all season. Leeds probably made it a little more interesting than it should have been, but Leeds win again, meaning that they have cemented their place in the top six and leave the Pirelli Stadium with all three points for the first time in history.