U21s Report: Leeds United 1-3 Sunderland

Whites beaten in Premier League 2 clash.

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Premier League 2

Leeds United U21s 1 (Thomas 49’)

Sunderland U21s 3 (Jones 16’; Rusyn 34’, 40’)

Leeds: Christy (GK) (C) (van den Heuvel 43)’, Moore, Sutcliffe, Toulson, Debayo, Monteiro, Allen (McFadden 58’), Crew, Perkins, Coleman, Thomas. Subs not used: Richards, Cline, Wilson.

Sunderland: Bishop (GK), Pembele, Bainbridge, Rigg, Crompton, Triantis (Johnson 32’), Kelly (Chiabi 61’), Middlemas, Mayenda, Jones (C) (Fieldson 89’), Rusyn. Subs not used: Cameron, Ryder.

Referee: Dean Watson

Booked: Leeds: Debayo; Sunderland: Triantis

Venue: LNER Community Stadium, York

Leeds United Under-21s fell to a 3-1 defeat against Sunderland Under-21s as the Whites continued their Premier League 2 campaign.

A Nazariy Rusyn brace and a Harrison Jones goal had put the visitors three goals to the good at the break, but an improved second half display saw Luca Thomas pull a goal back as Scott Gardner’s side fought for a route back into the game.

The Whites went into the game looking to bounce back after losing to PSV U21s in the Premier League International Cup last time out. United sat in 20th place in the Premier League 2 table, with games in hand as they try to make up ground on the sides around them.

Sunderland meanwhile found themselves 12th in the division, having enjoyed a good start to the campaign under former Rangers manager Graeme Murty, and keen to build on a 5-0 win at Nottingham Forest in their previous outing.

Leeds started on the front foot, with Northern Irish forward Charlie Allen causing the Sunderland defence all sorts of problems early on.

Sonny Perkins and Luca Thomas combined well midway inside the visitors' half, eventually working the ball out to Allen on the right flank. Bearing down on goal, the Leeds man saw his effort deflect behind. The hosts were quick to play the resulting corner, with Allen once again involved, this time forcing Nathan Bishop into a fine diving save low to his left.

Moments later, Diogo Monteiro fired a superb cross-field ball into the path of Allen on the right, with his early taken shot saved well again by Bishop. Scott Gardner’s side continued to use the right flank to their advantage, with Allen’s dangerous cross somehow evading everyone and keeping the scores level.

After soaking up the early pressure, the visitors took the lead against the run of play when captain Harrison Jones was on hand to tap home Timothy Pembele’s cut back from the right.

Sunderland then began to see more of the ball in the midfield and Caden Kelly played a searching ball looking for Nazariy Rusyn on the left who cut infield and fired into the low corner past Harry Christy to double the visitors' lead.

Rusyn grabbed his second and the visitors’ third shortly afterwards. Kelly was once more the provider, with the Ukrainian U21 international rounding Christy to tap home. Christy was injured in the attack and had to be replaced by Dani van den Heuvel just before the break.

HALF TIME: Leeds United U21s 0-3 Sunderland U21s

The Whites started the second half on the front foot searching for a way back into the match and forced Sunderland keeper Bishop into two smart stops early on.

A corner from the right first found its way to Harvey Sutcliffe on the edge of the area whose powerful drive was parried away, before Dan Toulson’s looping effort was tipped over the bar.

The pressure told moments later when a dangerous cross from Charlie Crew on the right caused chaos in the Sunderland penalty area, with Luca Thomas on hand to bundle the ball home and give the Whites a lifeline.

United came close to adding a second shortly afterwards, as the impressive Allen fired a fierce effort just wide of the far post.

More chances came as Gardner’s side continued to push for a second, with Thomas continuing to be involved in the heart of the action. Good work from Kris Moore won possession back for the hosts, before his searching ball looking for Thomas inside the area just evaded the forward.

The visitors still offered a threat on the break and could have added another, if not for superb last ditch defending by Harvey Sutcliffe and James Debayo to deny Eliezer Mayenda and Harrison Jones.

Despite plenty of chances in the second half, the match was brough to a close and Sunderland claimed the three points. Leeds are back in action on Friday, travelling away from home to face Chelsea.

FULL TIME: Leeds United U21s 1-3 Sunderland U21s

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