Report: Leeds United 0-1 Southampton

Report: Leeds United 0-1 Southampton

Whites defeated at Wembley.

Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final

Leeds United 0

Southampton 1 (Armstrong 24’)

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Firpo (Joseph 83’), Ampadu (C), Piroe, Kamara (Roberts 74’), Summerville (Anthony 74’), Rodon, Gray, Rutter, Gnonto (James 66’), Gruev. Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Cooper, Shackleton, Byram, Gelhardt.

Southampton: McCarthy (GK), Walker-Peters, Downes, Stephens (C), Aribo, Armstrong, Smallbone, Harwood-Bellis, Fraser (Adams 70’), Bednarek, Brooks (Edozie 35’ (Manning 83’)). Subs not used: Lumley (GK), Manning, Stewart, Bree, Rothwell, Sulemana, Charles.

Referee: John Brooks

Booked: Summerville, Ampadu (Leeds) Bednarek, Fraser, Harwood-Bellis, Adams, Downes, Aribo (Southampton)

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Attendance: 85,862

Leeds United’s season ended in heartbreak at Wembley, as Southampton ran out 1-0 winners in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.

Backed by unbelievable support with the Leeds end a sea of white, Daniel Farke’s side ultimately came up short in the capital, with Adam Armstrong’s first half goal proving enough to separate the two sides.

The Whites had the first sight of goal when Joe Rodon produced a fine piece of skill inside the Southampton half to find space for Georginio Rutter.

On the turn, the French forward was bundled to the ground with Archie Gray picking up the scraps, racing to the edge of the area before drilling an effort just wide of Alex McCarthy’s far post.

Georginio was then involved as United came forward once more, playing an incisive one-two with Willy Gnonto before the Italian let fly, forcing McCarthy into a save down to his left.

For all Leeds’ early pressure, the Saints were beginning to offer a threat on the break, with Armstrong latching onto a pass down the left.

The forward crossed low looking for Will Smallbone which Rodon was well placed to intercept, before captain Ethan Ampadu was on hand to block Armstrong’s follow up effort.

Illan Meslier’s first call into action came just before the 15-minute mark, with the Leeds goalkeeper making a fine diving save to parry Smallbone’s well-struck free kick away from danger.

Armstrong put Saints into the lead midway inside the first half, racing onto Smallbone’s pass in behind the Leeds line before drilling low across Meslier and into the far corner.

After a cagey spell that produced few openings for either side following the opener, Meslier got down superbly well to get a strong hand on Armstrong’s next strike, with great defensive positioning from Rodon allowing the defender to hack clear before a black shirt could pounce.

Rodon would again make a crucial interception to deny Armstrong moments before the break, blocking the striker’s left-footed effort from the edge of the area, with referee John Brooks then bringing the opening 45 minutes to a close.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Southampton

With both sides unchanged after the restart, the Whites started brightly, with a marauding run from Rodon seeing him charge into the Saints’ penalty area, linking up with Gnonto before desperate defending saw Southampton clear.

Summerville picked the resulting loose ball up on the edge of the box and looking to pick out the top corner, the Dutch winger curled agonisingly wide of McCarthy’s far post.

United’s pressure continued when Georginio was bundled to the floor, in a great crossing position on the left. Summerville instead opted to try and catch McCarthy out at his near post, with Jack Stephens’ stooping header averting the danger.

Just after the hour mark, a first change from Farke saw Dan James introduced in place of Gnonto, with the winger immediately involved in the action, floating a dangerous cross looking for Joel Piroe which Kyle Walker-Peters headed clear, with Southampton then launching a quick counter.

Samuel Edozie would be the player to latch onto the ball down the left, darting into the area before scooping over the crossbar as he looked to double his side’s lead.

James came within inches of a stunning equaliser with five minutes left on the clock, with the Wales international linking up with substitute Mateo Joseph before seeing his fierce driving cannon off the upright and away from danger.

Deep into stoppage time, McCarthy produced a fine finger-tip save, parrying well to deny James’ low strike from the edge of the area as Leeds threw everything at the Saints backline.

Despite United’s best efforts, Southampton’s defence stood firm before Brooks’ full-time whistle brought the game to a close.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Southampton