REPORT: Leeds United 1 Blues 2

Blues dug in and defended superbly at the end to protect their lead and secure a welcome first win of the campaign – and make it five unbeaten.


A brace by Che Adams paved the way for a deserved first victory of the season for Blues.

Up against the unbeaten Championship leaders in the cauldron of sold-out Elland Road, Adams scored in the eighth and 29th minutes to put Blues into control.

Ezgjan Alioski pulled a goal back in the 85th minute and that set up a dramatic finale, with Blues coming through an eye-popping EIGHT minutes of added-time.

Although it was nervy at the finish, Blues were the better side overall and this time were clinical in their finishing – and were also able to see it through.

It was no more than the just reward on the afternoon, and for all those six drawn matches that just wouldn’t go their way.

Blues went ahead after second phase play from a free-kick that was cleared.

Kristian Pedersen spotted a nice angle to play the ball infield from the left to Adams who was in a few yards of free space.

Adams wasted no time in assessing the opportunities: he spun quickly onto his right foot, shaped to bend a shot towards the bottom corner but then whipped the attempt back to the other side of the goal, deceiving Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Adams’ goal was a pointer to yet another very good start on away territory for Blues, who got men forward quickly to unsettle Leeds defence and were typically organised to stop them getting into any kind of real stride initially.

It wasn’t happening for Leeds and Blues, cohesive and calm when needed, looked very good.

It was no surprise, in truth, when Adams scored his and Blues second of the afternoon, in the 29th minute.

It came from a clever move down the left hand side after Pedersen had been quick in the challenge on the slide to intercept a pass.

Lukas Jutkiewicz moved the ball on down the flank and fed it inside, to Jacques Maghoma.

In turn Maghoma shifted it to the right for Adams, who appeared to be ready to play in Jota on the burst near the edge of the area. But Adams instead swivelled a low angled right-footer that had too much precision for Peacock-Farrell and went in off the base of the post.

A sell-out Elland Road was hushed into stunned quiet, apart from the hardy band of travelling Blues fans.

Leeds acted by substituting Kalvin Phillips and bringing on Stuart Dallas in the 34th minute, to try and address things down their right.

Blues set-up and implementation of what Garry Monk wanted had his former club all at sea.

Blues stuck to their task and were continually a threat when breaking the lines from midfield and towards the final third.

Five minutes before the break, from a Jota corner on the right, Blues almost went 3-0 to the good.

Maghoma fired in a fierce half-volley from 16 yards that he did well to keep down and control and only a fine reaction stop by Peacock-Farrell, springing to the left by the post, kept the score down.

Strangely, that seemed to inspire Leeds to greater urgency.

Liam Cooper found himself alone in the area from a free-kick as for once Blues concentration wavered, but Harlee Dean came over to block his attempt at goal.

Then Dallas crossed dangerously from the right and the ball found its way over the other side, for the onrushing Alioski, who wildly blazed his effort into the South Stand.

From a stoppage-time corner, Cooper got up and glanced the ball across the face of goal, it bouncing just too far in front of Tyler Roberts, who threw himself at it by the upright.

The interval came just at the right time for Blues as Leeds piled on serious pressure after the save from Maghoma.

Half-time: Leeds United 0 Blues 2

Six minutes after the break Dean was watchful to ensure Roberts didn’t trouble Lee Camp from close range, the centre-half positioning himself in the perfect spot to get in the way of the effort, from deep in the area.

Blues were forced into a change after Gary Gardner sat down for a second time with a leg injury, having taken a knock, which unsurprisingly incurred the wrath of the home faithful. Maikel Kieftenbeld, fit again after missing the Sheffield United game with a hamstring twinge, entered the fray.

As the hour mark passed Blues were still very much masters of their own destiny.

From a left wing corner by Jota, Dean when flying through the air to try and meet the cross at the near post and wasn’t far away; he crashed to the ground awkwardly and required treatment.

Leeds made a second substitution thereafter, sending on Adam Forshaw and taking off Mateusz Klich.

The match began to be littered with free-kicks and stoppages, which raised the hackles of the Leeds support as they and their players - and staff in the technical area – became frustrated.

Leeds went for broke for the last quarter of the contest by sending on strapping forward Ryan Edmondson and taking off Barry Douglas.

Blues, though, didn’t seem for the breaking. Their shape, organisation and determination was of the highest order.

That was until Leeds grabbed their lifeline through Alioski with five minutes to go.

A ball over from the right found Alioski in space, in the Blues area. He took a good touch before drilling a low shot past Camp and just inside the far post.

Suddenly Elland Road was a different place and Blues knew they had to come through an onslaught.

Wes Harding came on for Jota as Blues looked to solidify and see the game out – as well as those eight added minutes.

In the fifth of those minutes Camp pulled off a brilliant save, diving low to the right to push away a stinging drive by Dallas from inside the box after Omar Bogle kept a ball in but inadvertently set Leeds onto an attack.

Blues dug in and, that scare apart, defended superbly at the end – and in the second period in general - to protect their lead and secure a welcome first win of the campaign – and make it five unbeaten.

Leeds (3-4-3): Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas (Edmondson 71), Jansson, Cooper, Alioski, Harrison, Phillips (Dallas 34), Roberts, Saiz, Klich (Forshaw 63). Subs not used: Blackman, Pearce, Baker, Shackleton.

Goal: Alioski (85).

Booking: Saiz (57).

Blues (4-4-2): Camp, Colin, Pedersen, Morrison, Dean, Jota (Harding 88), Gary Gardner (Kieftenbeld 58), Lakin, Maghoma, Jutkiewicz (Bogle 81), Adams. Subs not used: Trueman, Roberts, Mahoney, Solomon-Otabor.

Goals: Adams (8, 29).

Bookings: Gardner (40), Morrison (67), Kieftenbeld (79), Pedersen (84).

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 34,800.