Leeds stay unbeaten at home after beating Middlesbrough in five-goal thriller

2 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Leeds maintained their unbeaten home Championship record this season with a pulsating 3-2 win over 10-man Middlesbrough which saw all of the goals scored in the first half.

Middlesbrough took the lead through an early strike by Emmanuel Latte Lath but Leeds responded to go ahead.

Dan James and Crysencio Summerville, two of the smallest players on the pitch, put Leeds in front with headers inside the first seven minutes.

The home fans had to wait until the 38th minute for a third which came via Joel Piroe's penalty.

Boro had time to score a second before the break, with Latte Lath heading in from a corner, but the visitors had Anfernee Dijksteel sent off for a second yellow card just after the hour.

In a rapid start, the visitors took the lead as Alex Bangura sent Latte Lath down the left channel and he cut inside before firing in.

Leeds responded as James saw his chipped effort cleared off the line and Georginio Rutter had a shot blocked before Sam Byram's deep cross from the left saw James rise above two defenders to nod home from close range.

Leeds were soon in front when a cross from the right by Archie Gray was headed in by Summerville with seven minutes on the clock.

Middlesbrough worked a neat move down the right but when Morgan Rogers laid the ball back, Latte Lath shot over.

Illan Meslier kept out Latte Lath's shot with his legs after Dan Barlaser had opened up the Leeds defence with a pinpoint pass.

Boro suffered a blow after half an hour as experienced defender Paddy McNair had to be replaced by Matt Clarke and his first involvement was to give away a penalty.

A poor clearance by goalkeeper Seny Dieng was played to Rutter and as he tried to go around Clarke they both fell, with Clarke sticking out an arm to bring down the striker as he tried to regain his feet.

Piroe stepped up to score the penalty and give Leeds a two-goal cushion.

Boro grabbed their second with the last effort of the first half as Latte Lath rose above Byram to head in a Barlaser corner.

Ethan Ampadu's pass sprung the offside trap and Rutter should have done better with a low shot which curled off target as Leeds started the second period well.

Middlesbrough were reduced to 10 men just after the hour as referee Darren England showed Dijksteel a second yellow card for a poor challenge on James.

Rutter's low cross with 20 minutes left was cleared by Bangura as Leeds were kept out once more.

But Boro were denied an equaliser by a post as substitute Sammy Silvera's shot came back off the woodwork with 15 minutes remaining.

Dieng's double save kept out Patrick Bamford's header and Piroe's follow-up late on.

The managers

Leeds' Daniel Farke:

"As a manager I liked the second half where we didn't make mistakes. It was good game management. I can see why we are driven by our emotions and sometimes play the risky pass when we should take another option. I expected a great game against a tough side, and I judge them as one of our main competitors for the top six. It was important to be over-aggressive and fully committed (in the first half) against Middlesbrough, otherwise you are punished.

"The goals were a sign of how desperate we were and how we wanted to win. When you give moments away against a side like Middlesbrough, they will punish mistakes. Their first goal we opened up, and the second goal we were not fully switched on. Every fan who enjoys football must have enjoyed this game."

Middlesbrough's Michael Carrick:

"Disappointed is my overriding feeling. Not with the boys and their performance but with the result. We were up against it. We had issues that we need to fix a bit but in general there were loads of good things from it and we let it slip and should have got something from the game. We came here and played one of the top teams in the league and gave as good as we got. They look dangerous and can score goals.

"It's something we have done pretty well lately - defend our goal. We need to do something about it (conceding away from home) to be where we want to be at the end of the season. We picked up a couple of setbacks and we had big moments in the game, but we were right in there and we should have got more from the game."

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