An extraordinary second half from Leeds United overturned a two-goal deficit to beat rivals Millwall 3-2 in Elland Road.
A brace from Patrick Bamford was critical to the rescue of the home side in the second half after Millwall’s 2-0 half time lead.
Combined with a few dodgy officiating from referee Darren England – a set-piece goal and a soft penalty gave the away side the edge in the opening moments.
The fans within Elland Road had hardly got to their seats before they saw their side go 1-0 down.
Jed Wallace floated the ball over to the far post and it was Shaun Hutchinson who climbed the highest to provide the away side the lead.
Immediately, Ezgjan Alioski had the ball laid him off on the left corner of this box by Stuart Dallas. The Macedonian’s effort kept climbing as it evaded the crossbar.
The ball dropped to him on the edge of the region and in typical Klich style his immediate reaction was to fire an attempt towards goal, but it whistled wide of the left-handed post.
Frustration started to build around Elland Road as numerous evident choices kept falling from the away side’s favour.
Regardless of the irritation, Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, and Dallas worked together to invent still another swift move.
The Northern Irishman struck his campaign by the right, across the target. His shot flew wide of the left-hand post, flicking the gloves of Bartosz Bialkowski along the way beyond – referee Darren England failed to detect detail and gave the goal kick.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Millwall hurried to the Leeds penalty area from the left-hand byline. Miraculously after a coming together with Alioski, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off with a penalty.
A couple of minutes later it was Jed Wallace, who stood over the ball on the penalty spot. The broad man easily slid the ball into the bottom left corner to double their lead.
For the next quarter of an hour, it became an extremely subdued, deflated match up until groups went in for the half time.
Right after the break, Leeds had a feeling whatever you can do, we can do better’ and they won a corner early into the second half. It was Pablo Hernandez that opportunity to float a carbon copy delivery over to the far post. The cross fell to Ayling but his effort ricocheted to the path of Bamford on the target line to halve the deficit.
Leeds’ onslaught didn’t let off. Alioski found space out wide to whip a delivery round the Millwall defensive lineup.
As the consequence of the ball pinballing its way from the region, the ball sat up like a fantasy for Hernandez. This time his half volley arrowed into the bottom left corner, leaving Bialkowski no choice but to try a futile dive to the ground.
With the scores level and the game’s constant entertainment continued, Leeds went in search of another.
Moments later, back Luke Ayling fired the ball across the famous corridor of uncertainty homing in on the mind of a diving Patrick Bamford. The ground erupted into joyous disbelief as the ball thundered to the back of the net.
The air around Elland Road understandably was a stark contrast to the disgruntlement resulting from the game officials in the first half.
As the rain started to fall upon the pitch, it couldn’t dampen the host’s assault on the target.
Helder Costa was able to twist his way inside from the right. Before the Portuguese winger got the edge of the box that he tried an audacious curling effort with his left foot. Unfortunately for the loan of his campaign clipped the bar, inches away from finding the top corner.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Leeds had the perfect opportunity to put the game to bed. The floor fell to a deafening silence as he struck the ball over the bar. The possibility seemed easier to score.
Millwall were not finished there. A mix up in the back let Murray Wallace time to get a shot off. His campaign flew off and away into the South Stand.
While the final seconds ticked off, the home crowd cheered every stoppage in play like it were a goal that put them farther out of the reach of Millwall.
That’s precisely how it ended, from the reach of Millwall. It ended Leeds United 3, Millwall 2.
In what was a challenging few weeks for the struggling forward, he made a match-winning performance to place Leeds back facing West Bromwich Albion near the peak of the table.
The second, however, was a much more clinical transformation. The significant number nine darted to the area as he watched Millwall off Luke Ayling allowing him the distance to cross. The ability of his run, together with his perfectly timed jump, was sufficient to send Elland Road to pandemonium.
After tonight’s performance along with the loan signing of France U21 ahead Jean-Kevin Augustin, Marcelo Bielsa now has quite the selection dilemma during the next few weeks.
The subject of poor officiating in the EFL Championship has been bandied across the lovers of Leeds United this week, and tonight the problem could only be amplified.
Referee Darren England was in the brunt of the criticism from the home fans in the first half. In the first 20 minutes, he neglected to provide the hosts a corner on three different occasions, regardless of the audience being adamant of the shortcomings.
Chants of”2-0 to the referee” rang around the ground soon after Wallace converted his punishment. Because of England failing to spot the ball going out of play at the build-up.
In the second half, the insanity played a role in the diversion from the sub-standard officiating, nonetheless, certainly, England will be relieved he can not be accused of breaking the league leaders of three key points.