Cardiff prove too strong for Leeds


Cardiff City moved up to seventh in the Championship and level on points with sixth place Preston following a fully-merited 2-0 victory at home to Leeds United.

The visitors never looked anywhere near their best, despite typically dominating the statistics, and will be thankful that results yesterday mean they’re still level with West Brom, seven points ahead of third.

Neil Harris’ men pressed high from the off and looked much the brighter of the two sides until the drinks break midway through the first half, though failed to create any meaningful chances.

The visitors’ right back Luke Ayling had the first serious effort on goal, but his glancing set-piece header was hooked out from the far post by Will Vaulks.

It was the Bluebirds who took the lead ten minutes before half-time though, when Kalvin Phillips played a blind pass straight to Junior Hoilett in the centre circle.

The Canadian winger carried the ball to the edge of the Leeds box at pace, with teammates ahead of him making darting runs to create space, before driving a clean left-footed strike into the top corner.

Hoilett’s goal was the first United had conceded in over nine hours of football, since the 11th of February.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men really should have equalised in first-half injury time, but Jack Harrison’s goal-bound effort from Ayling’s pull-back was inadvertently blocked on the line by the Yorkshire side’s hapless striker Patrick Bamford.

After the break, Leeds began to pile on more pressure with their advanced possession and nearly levelled again on the hour.

Home goalkeeper Alex Smithies saved well from Tyler Roberts in the six yard box, after Bamford had nodded down Stuart Dallas’ cross.

But the Welsh side doubled their lead in the 71st minute against the run of play, when Leeds again conceded possession taking a quick, short free-kick at the back.

It allowed Nathaniel Mendez-Laing to tee up Robert Glatzel to smash a volley beyond Illan Meslier and in off the post, from the edge of the penalty area.

The hosts successfully saw out the remaining minutes without another major threat to their goal and are now right in the mix for a play-off place.

Leeds’ lack of cutting edge and sloppiness at crucial moments means they fail to extend their seven point cushion in the automatic promotion places.


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