Leeds United 1:2 Leicester City
It was a game of two halves at Elland Road on Tuesday night as City fought back from a goal deficit to hurdle Leeds and make it into the League Cup 3rd round draw…
Paulo Sousa made five changes to the side that lost at Burnley on Saturday, bringing in Logan, Lamey, Moussa, Morrison and Gallagher, while former-fox Max Gradel made the Leeds starting line-up.
Gradel proved to be a thorn in the side, delivering a good cross for Becchio in the first chance of the game.
Another recent City-player Alex Bruce then nodded wide from a Kilkenny corner when he should have put Leeds ahead. The home fans didn’t have long ot wait howver. After 32 minutes a determined looking Gradel delivered a fine cross and Somma, unhindered by markers, glanced his header home.
Johnson then went close to extending the lead, but Logan saved. Just before the break City could have snatched an equaliser with a rare chance but Howard headed wide from an excellent Berner cross.
Paulo Sousa shuffled his pack for the second half, bringing King on for Moreno and reverting to a 442 – and it worked. King repaid his manager as soon as the action resumed. Gradel went on a dangerous run into the penalty area, but his shot was blocked by Logan. The rebound fell to Becchio but his shot was cleared off the line by King.
Inspired by the young Welsh international City gradually fought their way back into the game and levelled in the 66th minute. King and Moussa combined well to set up Wellens who beat Higgs from the edge of the area.
The Leeds keeper then did well to deny Howard who almost converted a low Gallagher cross from close in.
Hobbs and Somma both wasted late chances and it looked as though the game was drifting towards extra time when City enjoyed a slice of luck. Collins needlessly handled what was at best a hopeful ball forward, Howard stepped up to the ochie and sent Higgs the wrong way and City into the third round.
It was a great result for a spirited City side and for manager Paulo Sousa who was already experiencing a little pressure… “We started off very well in the first half with a lot of personality but a small mistake led to the goal and after that we became a little bit disturbed. We were in trouble until the end of the half but we made changes, both tactically and mentally, at half-time and we were able to win the game. This is something we have deserved since the start of the season.”
Leeds: Higgs, Connolly, Collins, Bruce, Bessone, Kilkenny, Johnson, Howson (Hughes 72), Gradel, Becchio (Watt 72), Somma. Subs Not Used: Naylor, Schmeichel, White, Bromby, Grella.
Leicester: Logan, Berner, Hobbs, Lamey (Neilson 89), Morrison, Moreno (King 46), Moussa (Kennedy 68), Wellens, Gallagher, N’Guessan, Howard. Subs Not Used: Oakley, Crncic, Parkes, Ambrusics.
Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 16,509.