Match Report: Leeds United 3-3 Cardiff City
Neil Harris’ Cardiff City came back from three goals behind to draw 3-3 at Elland Road against high flying Leeds United on Saturday, December 14th.
Lee Tomlin, Sean Morrison (before later seeing red for a late challenge) & Robert Glatzel hit the net for the Bluebirds in a quite incredible second half display, cancelling out earlier goals by Helder Costa & Patrick Bamford (2).
City boss Neil Harris made three changes to the team that were defeated by Brentford in midweek with captain Sean Morrison returning to the starting XI alongside Joe Ralls and Will Vaulks.
Dangerous winger, Helder Costa, put his team in the driving seat after six minutes. The on-loan Wolves winger sprinted down the left side, latching onto a superb cross field through ball from Pablo Hernandez, before firing home left footed beyond Neil Etheridge.
The advantage was doubled inside two minutes when Leeds forward man Patrick Bamford controlled a Stuart Dallas cross with his chest, before lashing into the roof of the net inside the area.
Marcelo Bielsa's side were impressive on the ball - and would've felt disappointed not to go in at half time with a greater lead. City were restricted to half chances in the opening period. Danny Ward went closest, reacting to a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing cross with seven minutes of the half remaining but the forward was stretching to reach the ball, eventually diverting it over the crossbar.
The hosts did clinically increase their advantage after the interval when forward Bamford went down in the penalty area under pressure from Etheridge. Despite protests from the City players, referee Tony Harrington pointed to the penalty spot. Bamford then picked himself up to score the penalty.
Leeds were on course for their eighth consecutive win, but City reduced the deficit with 60 minutes on the clock. Up until that point, chances hadn't fallen for the Bluebirds. Lee Tomlin though has shown in recent months that he doesn't need much of an opportunity to try his luck - and this is what happened as the City No.17 showed great quality to net. The ball fell to Tomlin wide on the right of the box after Kiko Casilla's punch. Tomlin without any hesitation deftly floated the ball into the top left corner, past from Casilla and his defence.
A clever free kick move brought about City's second goal with eight minutes remaining. Marlon Pack played in Joe Bennett wide on the left from a deep free kick, rather than lofting the ball towards the penalty area as the Leeds defence expected. Bennett's brilliant left footed cross evaded the defence, but not Sean Morrison, who was on hand to stoop and head home at close range.
The momentum was with City - but they were soon reduced to ten men. Morrison's late challenge on Leeds sub Eddie Nketiah was deemed worthy of a red card by referee Harrington.
This set back though didn't deter the Bluebirds - and they delighted the away support with a third - and levelling - goal with just two minutes left of the 90. Tomlin again playing with real flair, and his wonderful back heel flick on found the run of City sub Robert Glatzel, who scored his third goal of the season in quite incredible circumstances, firing in the equaliser for the 10-man Bluebirds against their automatic promotion chasing opposition.
Bielsa's side put City under the cosh for the four minutes of added time - but Harris' men stood strong, ensuring a point from a memorable final away match before the festive period.
FINAL SCORE: LEEDS UNITED 3-3 CARDIFF CITY
Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, White, Bamford (Nketiah 77’), Dallas, Costa, Hernandez, Harrison (Alioski 77’), Phillips, Berardi (Struijk 84’), Klich. Subs Not Used: Miazek, Douglas, Gotts, Clarke.
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Bennett, Morrison, Flint (Nelson 41’), Vaulks (Whyte 61’), Ralls, Pack, Tomlin, Mendez-Laing, Ward (Glatzel 73’). Subs Not Used: Smithies, Nelson, Bacuna, Paterson, Whyte, Murphy.