Leeds United picked up their biggest three points of the season so far as they defeated the runaway leaders of the Championship to this point, Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Friday night.
Leicester and Ipswich have set an unappareled precedent when it comes to accumulating points until this point in the season. In order to remain within some touching distance of the top two, Leeds United had to go to the King Power and take points off them directly to show that they’re firmly in the hunt when it comes to automatic promotion too.
Leeds came out of the blocks quick, and immediately deployed a press to disrupt any Leicester attempts of playing out from the back.
This press bore fruit for the visitors within the first two minutes when Ethan Ampadu managed to step up and intercept a pass that was intended for Kieran Dewsbury-Hall.
Georginio Rutter was able to control the ball before playing it into the feet of Joel Piroe, who did well to shift it onto his left foot inside the box but he fired wide.
It was the wide players of Leicester who looked the most threatening early on and one of them nearly gave the Foxes the lead just over ten minutes before the break.
Abdul Fatawu Issahaku did well to control a long diagonal ball before flicking it past Sam Byram. The winger then cut inside on his left foot before unleashing a powerful strike that looked destined for the top corner, however it rattled the crossbar to the relief of Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal.
United managed to take the lead just before the hour mark via a set-piece. Dan James delivered his corner in and it was met by Byram who had made a darting run towards the near post. The header was a low one and forced Mads Hermansen to make a good save but he parried it right into the path of Rutter who was able to stab it home from close range.
After Leeds took the lead, it was Leicester who built up some momentum however they were unable to really threaten Meslier’s clean sheet.
Remarkably, the hosts first shot on target came in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Fatawu Issahku accelerated down the right wing before standing a teasing ball up to the back post which was met by Dewsbury-Hall. Somehow, Meslier managed to pull off an incredible acrobatic save to the claw the ball out and away from danger and secure his side all three points.
Speaking after the game, Leeds United manager Daniel Farke said:
“To play with courage, with confidence was the key today. That have one of the best starts in the history of the Championship. To get something from the game, you have to be brave.
I totally believed in my players and I was confident we could dominate the game. I was a bit concerned that we didn’t reward ourselves in the beginning but we kept going. We were good when we needed to stay disciplined. You could se the goal coming.”