Leeds United somehow managed to recover themselves in a crazy game of football, as an own-goal in stoppage time gave Leeds the lead in a 5-4 victory.
Birmingham started well, but couldn’t keep it up as Leeds took control in the first ten minutes. It wasn’t long before Leeds opened the scoring, a brilliant counter led by Harrison, who came inside from the left before wriggling a pass between defenders to Costa, who sent a brilliant low finish past the keeper and into the far corner.
Helder Costa goal Leeds vs Birmingham 1-0 pic.twitter.com/pcauK1Lxjd— zwodde (@zwoddeytb) December 29, 2019
Harrison then turned scorer on 22 minutes, as Nketiah held the ball up on the right before turning into the box before the ball broke to Alioski with his back to goal. He lays it off to Harrison who hits it on-target, deflecting off a defender and hitting the net for 2-0.
Birmingham pulled one back on 27 minutes as Colin broke down the right before finding Bellingham in space in the middle, and he could make no mistake in the finish from close range.
From here, Leeds looked shaken-up, while the Blues looked revitalised by the goal. A goalmouth scramble followed later on in the half, with blocks from White and Cooper putting them off and saving their skin, but not for long.
On the hour mark, Birmingham levelled, with a poorly defended corner reaches the back-post before coming back across. Casilla punched away but couldn’t do it decisively, and Jutkiewicz headed in from close range.
Ten minutes later, Leeds were back in front thanks to a Luke Ayling screamer. A crossfield ball found the full-back marauding forward, he beat Bela as he came inside before hitting a wonderful half-volley which dipped onto the post and across the line for 3-2.
Leeds kept looking to attack with an improved performance, but still didn’t look comfortable. Another set-piece gave the Blues another equaliser, Pedersen’s cross found Bela who had won the race to the ball against the oncoming Kiko Casilla. His header looped across the line to make it 3-3.
But Leeds immediately recovered just one minute later, with Ayling coming across to the left channel before playing a low pass straight threw the box. It fell to Dallas at the back post who smashed the ball into the top corner.
Birmingham grabbed a stoppage time leveller as they attacked the right side, with a swinging cross finding Jutkiewicz sliding in at the back post to somehow peg Leeds back again.
And somehow, Leeds took the lead again, as Berardi won the ball brilliantly on the right side, Ayling slammed the ball across the penalty area, and Dan Harding put the ball into his own net, giving Leeds the three points, eventually.
Seriously poor defending from set-pieces and direct play is what held Leeds back, brilliant character, fitness and luck got Leeds through as we approach another huge game on New Year’s Day.