Szmodics goal denies Leeds chance to go top

Szmodics goal denies Leeds chance to go top
Sammie Szmodics’ winner was his 24th Championship goal of the season

Sammie Szmodics’ late goal gave relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers a shock victory as Leeds United again failed to take a chance to go top of the Championship.

It was Szmodics’ 30th goal of a remarkable season for the Republic of Ireland international – and inflicted Leeds’ first home defeat of the campaign.

Keeper Aynsley Pears’ long kick was flicked on by Sam Gallagher to Tyrhys Dolan, whose excellent pass put Szmodics through.

Szmodics coolly slotted past keeper Illan Meslier to leave the Elland Road crowd stunned and lift Rovers six points clear of the bottom three ahead of the 15:00 BST kick-offs.

For the second time in the space of a few days, leaders Leicester losing handed both Leeds and Ipswich chances to go top.

Leeds failed to take that opportunity in midweek, managing just one shot on target during a goalless stalemate at home to Sunderland on Tuesday and Ipswich also drew 0-0 at home to Watford 24 hours later.

The Suffolk side will, however, go top if they get at least a point at home to Middlesbrough later on Saturday.

Following Leicester’s 1-0 loss at Plymouth on Friday evening, Leeds were determined not to fluff their lines again.

But Blackburn were also looking to make amends, having been thrashed at 5-0 at Bristol City and they defended well, frustrating the raucous home crowd.

Pears kept out first-half strikes from Willy Gnonto and Connor Roberts, while Ilia Gruev missed a decent chance for Leeds when he headed wide of the near post after good work on the left by Crysencio Summerville.

The visitors were happy to defend in numbers and did not threaten until a counter-attack five minutes before half-time.

Szmodics pounced on Summerville’s under-hit pass to Roberts and darted towards the left-hand edge of the penalty area before seeing his low shot pushed away by Meslier.

Although Leeds were straight back on the front foot after the interval, with Gnonto firing just wide, they survived two major second-half scares.

After Meslier gave the ball away with a woeful throw, Joe Rankin-Costello blasted narrowly wide.

And a miraculous piece of defending by Roberts – again after Leeds gave the ball away – then prevented a certain goal.

Szmodics, on the right of the penalty area, centred towards Dolan, who was denied a simple close-range finish by Roberts somehow managing to divert the ball away from him.

Leeds went close on three occasions before Szmodics’ winner: Pears denied Junior Firpo, Gnonto was just unable to get a touch at the far post to Daniel James’ shot and Patrick Bamford headed a James cross over the bar.

As Daniel Farke’s side desperately sought an equaliser, they appealed in vain for a penalty when Bamford went down in the box in the final moments, with a member of the Leeds coaching staff red-carded for his angry reaction in the technical area to the spot-kick not being given.

Blackburn boss John Eustace told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“I’m very proud. The effort the boys have given me since I came in has been outstanding.

“Without the ball we had a gameplan. We knew they’d take more risks as the game went on and it was a fantastic bit of play to score the goal.

“We’ve got a quality team. Wednesday [losing 5-0 to Bristol City] was a bit of a blip. It’s very evident that we’re difficult to play against.

“It’s important that we keep working hard, sticking together, and we’ve got three massive games coming up and know we still need points.

“The only way you get success is if you stick together. We had a really rough time on Wednesday but the togetherness we showed – everyone thought we’d come here and lose – was tremendous.”



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 33RobertsSubstituted forByramat 67′minutes
  • 14Rodon
  • 4Ampadu
  • 3FirpoSubstituted forAnthonyat 89′minutes
  • 22Gray
  • 44GruevSubstituted forBamfordat 68′minutes
  • 29GnontoSubstituted forJosephat 80′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 24RutterSubstituted forJamesat 68′minutes
  • 10Summerville
  • 7Piroe


  • 6Cooper
  • 8Kamara
  • 9Bamford
  • 12Anthony
  • 20James
  • 25Byram
  • 28Darlow
  • 30Gelhardt
  • 49Joseph


Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1PearsBooked at 85mins
  • 17CarterBooked at 28mins
  • 5Hyam
  • 16S WhartonSubstituted forMcFadzeanat 45′minutes
  • 2Brittain
  • 11Rankin-Costello
  • 6TronstadBooked at 47mins
  • 3Pickering
  • 10DolanBooked at 42minsSubstituted forChriseneat 84′minutes
  • 8SzmodicsSubstituted forTelalovicat 90+6′minutes
  • 9Gallagher


  • 12Wahlstedt
  • 14Koumetio
  • 18Markanday
  • 21Buckley
  • 22Gilsenan
  • 30Garrett
  • 33Telalovic
  • 45Chrisene
  • 55McFadzean

James Bell


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Leeds United 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Leeds United 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.

  3. Attempt blocked. Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  4. Mateo Joseph (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Semir Telalovic.

  6. Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Semir Telalovic replaces Sammie Szmodics.

  7. Attempt blocked. Sam Byram (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  8. Ethan Ampadu (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Foul by Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers).

  10. Substitution, Leeds United. Jaidon Anthony replaces Junior Firpo.

  11. Attempt blocked. Joël Piroe (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ethan Ampadu.

  12. Foul by Junior Firpo (Leeds United).

  13. Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Aynsley Pears (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) with an attempt from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Junior Firpo with a cross.

  16. Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Ben Chrisene replaces Tyrhys Dolan.

  17. Attempt saved. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Junior Firpo with a cross.

  18. Goal! Leeds United 0, Blackburn Rovers 1. Sammie Szmodics (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tyrhys Dolan with a through ball.

  19. Substitution, Leeds United. Mateo Joseph replaces Wilfried Gnonto.

  20. Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Hayden Carter.

Read More

Zaļā Josta - Reklāma