REPORT: LEEDS UTD 1-0 CARDIFF CITY
The Bluebirds suffered a narrow loss at Elland Road, with a long range effort from Alex Mowatt the difference between the two sides.
Leeds enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages, passing the ball comfortably throughout midfield. However, they were unable to create any clear cut opportunities that fully tested the Bluebirds’ defenders. The first real chance of the match came after eight minutes, in favour of the away team. Some clever play on the left flank allowed Scott Malone to curl a cross towards the far post; however the ball was just in front of the advancing Alex Revell.
The Whites were looking to break the deadlock - applying huge pressure as the half-time interval loomed. On 34 minutes, Stuart Dallas chipped the ball across goal to find Mirco Antenucci, who fired into the side-netting. The ex-Brentford man Dallas continued causing trouble in the Cardiff half, squaring low after a mazy run, with a well-timed intervention from Matthew Connolly crucial to maintaining the score-line going in at the break.
Cardiff started brightly in the second half, as Joe Mason stole the ball from the Leeds goal-kick. Some nice passing and movement involving Revell and Joe Ralls saw the ball find its way to left-back Malone, whose low cross was well held by the Leeds goalkeeper Silvestri.
City began to look more threatening in front of goal, and nearly took the lead from a corner. Peter Whittingham’s delivery met the head of Sean Morrison, although his effort was blocked by a combination of goalkeeper and defender, before being scrambled clear.
The first goal of the game arrived on 63 minutes, ending Cardiff’s run of four consecutive clean sheets. Midfielder Alex Mowatt picked up the ball inside the Bluebirds' half, advanced forward and arrowed a shot into the top corner.
With the introduction of Kenwyne Jones, City begun to threaten further in this match. A clever backheel from the returning striker found Joe Mason, who played a one-two with Jones, before forcing a smart low save from Silvestri.
From the resulting corner, Sean Morrison's header was well held by the Italian 'keeper. The pressure continued, as Malone found the Trinidadian target-man at the back post, Jones unable, on this occasion, to find the goal with his header.
Chris Wood had a golden opportunity for the hosts with five minutes remaining. After rounding Marshall, the striker somehow smashed his shot into the side netting. Despite ‘City’s late attempts to steal a point, Leeds held out for the win at Elland Road.
FINAL SCORE: LEEDS UNITED 1-0 CARDIFF CITY (Mowatt 63')
Leeds United: Silvestri, Wootton, Cooper, Bellusci, Berardi, Dallas (Byram ’82), Murphy, Cook, Mowatt (Phillips ’87), Antenucci (Doukara 90+2), Wood. Subs not used: Horton, Sloth, Buckley, Botaka.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Malone, Morrison, Connolly, Gunnarsson, Whittingham (Pilkington ’77), Noone (Ameobi ’60), Ralls, Revell (Jones ’68), Mason. Subs not used: Moore, John, Tamas, O’Keefe.