Report: Leeds United 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

A first home defeat of the season.

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Sky Bet Championship

Leeds United 0

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Szmodics 82’)

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Firpo (Anthony 88’), Ampadu (C), Piroe, Summerville, Rodon, Gray, Georginio (James 67’), Gnonto (Joseph 80’), Roberts (Byram 67’), Gruev (Bamford 67’). Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Cooper, Kamara, Gelhardt.

Rovers: Pears (GK), Brittain, Pickering, Hyam (C), Tronstad, Szmodics (Telalovic 95’), Gallagher, Dolan (Chrisene 84’), Rankin-Costello, Wharton (McFadzean 45’), Carter. Subs not used: Wahlstedt (GK), Koumetio, Markanday, Buckley, Gilsenan, Garrett.

Referee: James Bell

Booked: Joseph (Leeds) Carter, Dolan, Tronstad, Pears (Rovers)

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 36,518

Leeds United suffered a first home loss of the season against Blackburn Rovers, after Sammie Szmodics scored late in the second half.

When the match started, Daniel Farke’s side had two early strikes on goal, which both tested Aynsley Pears between the posts for the visitors.

The first came from Crysencio Summerville. Leeds had been awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area and he opted to shoot, seeing the rebound fall to Willy Gnonto on the edge, who also worked space and then saw his left-footed effort saved by Pears as well.

The opening 30 minutes was dominated by the home side and further chances came on the Blackburn goal.

From a Connor Roberts free-kick, Ethan Ampadu rose highest and flicked his header just wide of the post. Shortly after, Ilia Gruev also placed narrowly wide with a flicked at the near post.

Pears was next called into action when Roberts opted to strike himself from just outside the area, forcing the ‘keeper to dive to his left and tip the shot behind.

Referee James Bell was also busy in the first 45 minutes at Elland Road. He awarded Leeds multiple fouls after the visitors had stopped attacks, resulting in yellow cards for Hayden Carter and Tyrhys Dolan.

After seeing much of the action down the opposite end to his goal, Illan Meslier had to be alert late in the half. Szmodics broke free up the pitch and shot low, seeing the United number one tip the effort wide of the post at full-stretch.

The whistle was blown to end the half, with the score still level, despite the best efforts of Farke’s side.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

Rovers made a change at the interval. John Eustance opted to bring Kyle McFadzean into his defence, replacing Scott Wharton as the match got back underway.

With the atmosphere being raised inside Elland Road, Leeds had the first two chances of the second half. Gruev struck from 25-yards which saw Pears forced to make another save, before Gnonto’s shot from the edge of the box flew just past the post.

Rovers then had chances of their own. Joe Rankin-Costello picked up the ball and fired an effort from the edge, going just wide. Even closer moments later, Szmodics played a low ball across the box and after a goalmouth scramble, Meslier managed to clear the danger.

With just under 25 minutes to play, Farke went to his bench and made a triple substitution. Dan James, Patrick Bamford and Sam Byram all entered, replacing Georginio Rutter, Roberts and Gruev.

Throwing everything at the Blackburn goal, two more chances followed. Pears was at full-stretch and punched away Firpo’s goal bound effort, before seconds later, James saw his shot flash just wide.

In the 82nd minute, Rovers hit Leeds on the counter attack and scored the first goal of the game. Sam Gallagher flicked a header into the path of Dolan, who saw Szmodics through on goal, allowing him to clip the ball over Meslier and into the back of the net.

Despite continuing to throw everything at the visiting goal, the Whites couldn’t find a way back into the game and Rovers left with the three points.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

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