Sunday 22 September 2019

Kemar Roofe scores last-gasp winner as Leeds secure Christmas top spot in Championship with comeback win over Villa

Aston Villa 2 Leeds United 3

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (second right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team mates during the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park
Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (second right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team mates during the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kemar Roofe struck in the fifth minute of stoppage time to complete a dramatic comeback and send Leeds back to the top of the Championship with a 3-2 win at Aston Villa.

Roofe's goal crowned a second-half fightback from two goals down by the visitors, who moved a point ahead of Norwich at the top of the table.

Villa got off to a flying start, Tammy Abraham scoring his ninth goal in his last seven games after five minutes and Conor Hourihane adding a brilliant second in the 17th minute. They might even have scored more in a one-sided first half.

Instead, the hosts were stunned in the second as quick-fire goals from Jack Clarke and Pontus Jansson brought Leeds level before Roofe's slick finish at the death sealed a thrilling victory.

Injury-hit Leeds, who had only conceded one goal in winning their previous five games, were soon on the back foot and found themselves a goal down early on.

The in-form Abraham collected a short pass from John McGinn and slipped the ball past Bailey Peacock-Farrell from close range to finish off a neat passing move involving Jonathan Kodjia and Hourihane.

Villa were happy to get stuck in too, though, and Yannick Bolasie was booked for a thundering challenge on Jansson just two minutes after the goal.

Leeds grew into the game, with Ezgjan Alioski at the heart of all their good play, but fell further behind in spectacular fashion.

Kodjia, back in the starting line-up following a spell on the bench, worked his way across the face of Leeds' defence before laying a pass into the path of Hourihane.

The Republic of Ireland international took a touch before unleashing a powerful 25-yard effort which flew past the helpless Peacock-Farrell.

Leeds were shocked and wasted a chance to get back into the game when Mateusz Klich could only shoot weakly into the arms of Orjan Nyland.

Pablo Hernandez came closest to getting them back into the game with a shot which went just wide of a post.

However, confident Villa were threatening to run riot and Kodjia fired just over at the end of another defence-splitting move.

Leeds grabbed a lifeline with a 57th-minute goal from half-time substitute Clark.

Ahmed Elmohamady backed off from making a tackle, allowing Clarke to work his way across Villa's defence before setting himself and rifling a shot past Nyland from about 12 yards.

Suddenly Leeds were lifted and Villa's suspect defence was again exposed when Jansson rose to head home a left-wing corner from Hernandez in the 61st minute.

Leeds sensed an unlikely victory and, in the 95th minute, they clinched it as Roofe pounced on a week Elmohamady header to hammer a low shot into the far corner.

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