Leeds United 3-2 Ipswich: Whites run out winners in thrilling clash to stay top of the Championship

Not so plain sailing for Leeds as they return to winning ways in the league to remain top of the Championship table on goal difference.

Leeds United 3-2 Ipswich: Whites run out winners in thrilling clash to stay top of the Championship
(Picture: Getty Images)
Leeds United
3 2
Ipswich Town
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling, Shaughnessy, Cooper, Anita (Berardi, min. 60), Phillips, O'Kane, Alioski, Saiz, Hernandez (Dallas, min. 76), Lasogga (Grot, min. 86).
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Spence, Chambers, Knudsen, Ward (Sears, min. 68), Adeyemi, Skuse, Nydam (Celina, min. 68), McGoldrick (Waghorn, min. 85), Garner.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 13, Lassoga. 1-1, min. 30, McGoldrick. 2-1, min. 32, Phillips. 3-1, min. 67, Bialkowski OG. 3-2, min. 71, Garner.
REFEREE: Geoff Eltringham (ENG). Booked: Jordan Spence (min. 3), Jonas Knudsen (min. 37), Liam Cooper (min. 72).

Leeds United edged a thrilling clash with Ipswich Town in front of a sell-out Elland Road to win 3-2 and remain top of the Championship table.

The Whites took the lead early as youngster Conor Shaughnessy put Pierre-Michel Lasogga through to slot past the 'keeper.

Visitors Ipswich levelled 17 minutes later when David McGoldrick found himself unmarked in the box to head in from the free kick.

The hosts regained the lead just a minute later as Samuel Sáiz's header forward was pounced on by midfielder Kalvin Phillips, rounding the 'keeper and slotting in from an acute angle.

Bartosz Białkowski dropped Pablo Hernandez's corner over the line to make it 3-1 but Ipswich managed to force a nervy finish, pulling one back on 71 minutes when Joe Garner fired in on the rebound. 

But Leeds held on thanks to Białkowski's mistake, securing the three points to remain in first on 20 points.

Can Leeds survive without Jansson?

Fans' favourite defender Pontus Jansson was not fully fit to to take part in the proceedings against Ipswich, who were coming into the game just two points behind the league leaders with a game in hand. 

Jansson's absence saw 21-year-old Shaughnessy step in alongside the returning Liam Cooper to fill up Leeds' centre-back positions. 

Apart from Cooper returning, Thomas Christiansen's side was unchanged from their 1-0 defeat away at Millwall last Saturday.

Leeds looked a lot more comfortable and improved from that defeat against Millwall, passing well with players linking up with each other nicely despite Ipswich's efforts to disrupt them.

The home side's improved start was rewarded just 13 minutes into the game, when Shaughnessy played a fantastic ball forward from defence, setting up striker Lasogga.

One-on-one with the keeper, Lasogga applied a cool finish - a first-time low shot into the bottom left-hand corner putting Leeds a goal to the good.

Poor marking allows Ipswich to equalise

Ipswich made it difficult for Leeds during the first-half, pushing forward and creating a few chances against the league leaders. 

The Tractor Boys showed their strength as Leeds looked vulnerable on set pieces without defender Jansson.

Jansson's absence was felt half-an-hour into the game. Town's corner was whipped in and found striker McGoldrick, unmarked in a central position, to power a header past Wiedwald to level.

Leeds respond to equaliser in style

The first goal the Whites had conceded at home in the league all season didn't shake things up too much for Christiansen's men.

Just minutes after conceding, midfielder Eunan O'Kane's ball found Lasogga who headed on towards Saiz.

Saiz followed up with another header, sending the ball forward into the box. There, it was pounced on by Phillips who had carried on his run from midfield. 

Phillips beat the keeper to it, his first touch taking the ball around Białkowski for him to hit it into the back of the net from an angle with his fourth of the campaign. 

The home side were unlucky not to have 3 before half time when Pablo Hernandez flicked the ball onto Samuel Saiz in the box. Saiz's hesitence paid the price however as his shot was blocked. 2-1 Leeds at half time.

Ipswich error sees Leeds add to their lead

It was more of the same in the second-half as the home side looked to secure the win. Leeds got their third goal just over 20 minutes after the restart from a corner-kick.

Hernandez whipped the ball in with power towards goal and though it was an easy save for Białkowski, the Town 'keeper couldn't keep his hands on it as he let it drop beyond the goal line.

Białkowski tried to hide the fact the ball had crossed the line by picking it up again quickly but the officials awarded the home side the goal thanks to goal-line technology.

Town pressure not enough to gain a point

But yet again Leeds invited the away side back into the game when Wiedwald spilled a simple cross towards Garner inside the area and the striker had no problem in firing in to make it 3-2.

It was a nervy last 15 minutes or so for the home side as Ipswich pushed forward in numbers looking for a way back into the game.

Yet Leeds stood strong however to remain top of the second division at least until Tuesday.

 

Mick McCarthy's Ipswich should remain positive, however, as they did make it difficult for Leeds and they also have an all-important game in hand over the rest of the top six sides.