|Leeds United 3 v 2 Blackburn Rovers|
Wednesday, 26th December 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Roofe raises Christmas cheer...again!
Wednesday, 26th Dec 2018 20:42 by Marko
He did it at Villa and he did it again to give Blackburn the Boxing Day Blues at Elland Road this afternoon. Leeds came from behind to score twice in injury time.
Marcelo Bielsa made just a solitary change from the late, late show at Villa Park with Barry Douglas returning to left-back in place of youngster Leif Davis.
Leeds started brightly and their slow build up and passing game was in stark contrast to Blackburn's lump it forward at all costs. However I wouldn't say they were as negative as many visitors to LS11 this season. By the half hour mark Leeds held three-quarters of the possession but hadn't really stretched the Blackburn defence.
In fact it was a Rovers player who opened the scoring on 33 minutes, Derrick Williams somehow managed to turn Jack Harrison's cross past Raya. Despite the huge slice of fortune, United were well-worthy of their lead going into the break.
However disaster struck just two minutes after the restart. Ayling was adjudged to have brought down Mulgrew, from where I was sitting it was impossible to see the offence, however the referee Steve Martin appeared to wave play-on, Peacock-Farrell saved but then the ref decided to award a penalty. Mulgrew stepped up and put the ball past Peacock-Farrells left-grasp to give the visitors an undeserved equaliser.
The war of attrition continued and it looked like it was going to be one of those days. Hernandez just failed to poke home Aylings cross. Douglas tried his luck from long range, as did an improved Alioski who drew a save out of Raya.
The pattern seemed to be Leeds would push forward whilst Rovers were happy to try and counter attack. By now, some Leeds fans were content to file out but those who did missed an absolute treat, although those with a nervous disposition or a heart-condition were probably wise to head for the exits early.
In one such counter-attack, Phillips felled Roswell. Up stepped Mulgrew with 90 minutes on the clock and from 30 yards he drilled home a free-kick in which Peacock-Farrells poor positioning meant he could only feebly push the ex Celtic mans effort into his own net.
Even their keeper Raya ran upheld to cavort in front of the 1800 or so trans-pennine, who gleefully bayed "Who are ya!" at the home fans, who mustered a slight roar of encouragement when the fourth-official indicated there would be four minutes of time added on.
Almost straight from the kick-off, Elland Road descended into scenes of bedlam. Forshaw's cross found Jansson, who drew a save from Raya who then somehow managed to deny Hernandez but not Roofe, who somehow managed to squirm the ball home through the ruck of yellow-shirts.
However Leeds resilience meant that they were not going to settle for just a point and with just seconds remaining, Hernandez whipped in a sweet cross from the right. Leaving Kemar Roofe unmarked in his current vein of form is as daft as leaving your Christmas Turkey on the kitchen table with a hungry Rottweiler. Unmarked, Roofe rose to nod home the winner and spark some of the most joyous scenes here since many Christmas pasts.
"Who are Ya?" rang through the air again but this time it was Yorkshire voices taunting the Lancastrians, followed by a boisterous chorus of "We're top of the League". Mr Martin's whistle brought proceedings to a close and the PA prematurely announced that Norwich had fallen 1-3 to our New Years Day opponents Nottingham Forest. In fact the Canaries had staged their own comeback but still had dropped two-points.
It means that when 2019 does dawn, Leeds will top the League irrespective of what happens here on Saturday against an improving Hull City side. More atrition and resilience needed most probably, Roofe to score yet again don't bet against it!
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Photo: Action Images
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