Leeds edge out Middlesbrough to climb to second place in Championship

By Sports Desk April 22, 2024

Crysencio Summerville’s brace boosted Leeds’ hopes of automatic promotion as they edged to a 4-3 victory against Middlesbrough in a thrilling Sky Bet Championship clash.

A relentless opening saw five goals scored in the first half alone, starting with Boro going in front through Isaiah Jones just seven minutes in, but the visitors soon got their foot back in the game with goals from Summerville and Patrick Bamford in the space of 11 minutes.

An enthralling end-to-end encounter saw Emmanuel Latte Lath level on the 30 minute mark but Wilfried Gnonto restored Leeds’ advantage from a ruthless attack.

Summerville extended the advantage in the second half before Latte Lath’s header threatened a late comeback. However, Leeds held on for a victory which means they leapfrog Ipswich into second place, albeit having played a game more than the Suffolk club.

Middlesbrough took the lead in the seventh minute when Luke Thomas won the ball on the left flank and played in Finn Azaz, who flicked a quick pass to an onrushing Latte Lath.

Illan Meslier came out to block the ball, which bounced underneath him and into the path of Jones, who raced past defender Junior Firpo and stabbed the ball into an empty net.

Leeds composed themselves and equalised just seven minutes later when Anfernee Dijksteel clipped Georginio Rutter’s ankles in the area and Summerville stepped up to fire the subsequent spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

The visitors took the lead in the 18th minute when former Boro striker Bamford came back to haunt the Riverside, bundling in Firpo’s cross with his thigh past goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

After threatening from some corners, Boro got an equaliser on the half-hour mark when Leeds were dispossessed from a throw-in in their own half. Azaz found an unmarked Latte Lath on the edge of the box and Meslier could only palm the forward’s powerful strike into the net.

Leeds regained their lead nine minutes later with a well-worked attack through the middle involving Archie Gray, with Summerville threading the ball into Gnonto, who smashed it past Dieng.

The visitors nearly had another just minutes later in a similar style, but Bamford’s effort was pawed away by Dieng and Sammy Silvera smashed a shot over the bar just before the break.

The hosts patiently passed around the pitch in a quieter start to the second half and Lewis O’Brien and Dijksteel tested Meslier with some dangerous crosses.

However, Leeds dealt the next blow from another devastating break in the 61st minute when Firpo played through to Summerville in acres of space on the left and the forward scored his second of the evening with a curling shot across goal.

The game still had another twist when Latte Lath set up a manic finale after looping a header over Meslier from a pinpoint cross in the 87th minute.

The visitors were forced into some frenetic defending and Meslier made a low dive to deny Jonny Howson’s effort in stoppage-time to wrap up victory.

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