Leeds United 3 Ipswich Town 2 match report – Bialkowski own goal proves costly
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An own goal from keeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s ultimately proved costly for Ipswich Town in an entertaining 3-2 defeat at Championship table-toppers Leeds United this afternoon.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga broke the deadlock (13) after a flying start for the hosts, but Town worked their way back into the match and levelled through David McGoldrick’s header (30).
Leeds were quickly back in front after the alert Kalvin Phillips pounced on a loose ball in the box (32), then Ipswich started the second half on the front foot before Bialkowski fumbled Pablo Hernandez’s inswinging corner over the line.
Spirited Town stuck to the task though and hit back through Joe Garner’s finish in the 71st minute to set up a nervy finish for the hosts.
Leeds burst out of the blocks and immediately got a packed Elland Road roaring them on. With some clever movement and quick interchanges in the final third it looked only a matter of time before they would break the deadlock.
That moment arrived in the 13th minute when Conor Shaughnessy’s defence-splitting pass from deep sent big German striker Lasogga in the clear and he produced a firm, low one-on-one finish.
At that stage, it looked as though the Blues could be in for a long afternoon. They did weather that early storm though, gradually got a foothold in the game and started to force mistakes from a Leeds defence that took risks at the back.
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McGoldrick’s work rate and direct running had helped turn the tide, so it was fitting that he would rise highest in the box to emphatically head home Grant Ward’s dead ball delivery from the right to equalise on the half hour mark. You have to say, Joe Garner rather bought himself the free-kick when going down under Liam Copper’s challenge.
Town had a golden chance to frustrate the home players and crowd, but they were level for less than two minutes. Samuel Saiz just beat Luke Chambers to a high ball in the box, with the alert Phillips nipping in to round keeper Bartosz Bialkowski and squeeze home a finish from a tight angle.
Leeds got back on the front foot and should have doubled their lead in the 43rd minute following a slick move. After Eunan O’Kane’s driving run and pass, followed by Pablo Hernandez’s sublime heeled flick, the goal opened up for Saiz in the box. The Spandiard took too many touches though, allowing Jordan Spence to produce a lunging block.
Town continued to get the ball forwards themselves though and from their seventh corner of the half almost drew level in stoppage-time as Chambers’ firm header was cleared off the line by Vernon Anita.
Ipswich started the second half positively, keeping possession well and pinning Leeds back in their own half for long spells.
Town were now the team on top and almost scored a superb equaliser. Following some quick feet by Ward in the middle and a sumptuous low cross from deep by Garner, Luke Ayling got a vital touch on the ball just ahead of McGoldrick at the far post.
Chambers produced an outstanding last-ditch challenge on Pillips in the box at the other end, before Alioski dragged a shot wide of the post following a jinking run in an increasingly open affair.
Biakowski’s error arrived in the 67th minute as the Blues keeper fumbled Hernandez’s inswinging corner over the line.
Town hit back quickly though thanks to a goalkeeping error at the other end. Felix Wiedwald pushed Dominic Iorfa’s low cross back into a dangerous area, allowing Garner to fire into the bottom corner.
An entertaining, open game remained on a knife’s edge right up to the end. Town, who produced 13 shots and forced 12 corners, pushed the table-toppers all the way in front of a bumper Elland Road crowd of 34,002.
LEEDS UTD (4-2-3-1): Wiedwald; Ayling, Shaughnessy, Cooper (cpt), Anita (Berardi 60); O’Kane, Phillips; Alioski, Saiz, Hernandez (Dallas 76); Lasogga (Grot 86).
Unused subs: Lonergan, Pennington, Klich, Roofe.
Booked: Cooper (72)
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Bialkowski; Iorfa, Spence, Chambers (cpt), Knudwen; Ward (Celina 68), Skuse, Adeyemi, Nydam (Sears 68); McGoldrick (Waghorn 77), Garner.
Unused subs: Gerken, Connolly, Kenlock, Woolfenden.
Booked: Spence (3), Knudsen (37)