Friday 20 September 2019

Roofe the hero once again as Leeds produce stunning finale

Leeds hero Kemar Roofe. Photo: PA
Leeds hero Kemar Roofe. Photo: PA

Jon Culley

Kemar Roofe scored the winning goal in the last minute of stoppage time for the second time in four days as Leeds United stretched their lead at the top of the Championship after an extraordinary 3-2 comeback win over Blackburn Rovers at a sold-out Elland Road.

Rovers stunned the home crowd by going 2-1 ahead in the last minute of regulation time, captain Charlie Mulgrew scoring from a 25-yard free-kick, which saw many of the home fans heading for the exits.

Roofe, in fact, scored both of Leeds' late goals, forcing the first over the line in a frenetic scramble before glancing home a header from a Pablo Hernandez cross in the fourth additional minute.

Leeds' top scorer, now with 13 goals for the season, had come up with the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time in the 3-2 victory at Aston Villa on Sunday.

"I think we deserved to win, although maybe not in that manner," head coach Marcelo Bielsa said.

"At the end of the first half, we did not imagine the game would end like that."

Leeds were in front at half-time after Derrick Williams had turned a low Hernandez cross into his own net at the end of a good passing move.

Blackburn goalkeeper David Raya had denied Leeds a second with a fine save from Ezgjan Alioski, who also hit the woodwork.

But Rovers were able to draw level at the start of the second half, Mulgrew converting from the penalty spot.

Bielsa introduced 18-year-old Jack Clarke, who had come off the bench to spark Sunday's recovery from a 2-0 deficit, with 30 minutes remaining, but this time the comeback seemed beyond Leeds, certainly when Rovers edged in front with so little time left.

Quality

However, if there is one quality this Leeds side have in full measure it is the willingness to fight until the end.

The victory enabled Leeds to move three points clear of Norwich, who came from 3-0 down against Nottingham Forest at Carrow Road to rescue a point.

Matty Cash put Forest ahead in first-half stoppage time and Jack Robinson made it 2-0 on 64 minutes.

When Cash added another 10 minutes later, there seemed no way back for Daniel Farke's side.

Mario Vrancic, though, reduced the deficit on 77 minutes, before substitute Onel Hernandez struck twice in the seven minutes of stoppage time to secure a remarkable draw.

Conor Hourihane gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Swansea, while in League One, Aiden McGeady hit the winner as Sunderland defeated Bradford 1-0 before an attendance of 46,039 at the Stadium of Light

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