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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

26 December 2018 Venue Elland Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Reports

Report: Leeds United 3 Rovers 2

Late heartbreak for Rovers as two goals in added time win the game for Leeds United

26 December 2018

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Two 90th minute goals from striker Kemar Roofe won the game for Leeds United in a barnstorming clash at Elland Road.

After a Derrick Williams own goal handed the home side the lead in the first half, Rovers battled back and equalised just a minute into the second half thanks to a Charlie Mulgrew penalty.

Mulgrew looked to have won the game in the final minute of normal time as he smashed home a sensational free kick, but two late strikes from Roofe in the four minutes of added time turned the score around and won the game for Marcelo Bielsa's Whites.

Tony Mowbray made two changes to his starting XI for the clash against Bielsa's boys, with Williams and Jack Rodwell coming into the team, Harrison Reed and Richie Smallwood dropping to the bench.

Leeds had the better of the play early on, but the closest they came to scoring in the opening stages was when captain Luke Ayling lashed wide from 20 yards 12 minutes into the encounter.

At the other end, the returning Rodwell fired just wide after Williams' cross was teed up by Danny Graham.

Ezgjan Alioski forced David Raya into a smart save after his let fly from 25 yards midway through the half as the home side searched for the opener.

A moment later and former Spain international smashed towards goal after cutting in from the left, but a deflection ensured Raya's clean sheet remained intact.

But just after the half hour mark the hosts took the lead as Jack Harrison's low cross from the left was put into his own net by Williams at the near post.

It was close to 2-0 just a couple of minutes later as a curling effort from Alioski from the edge of the box crashed against the crossbar before the danger was cleared.

Rovers were struggling to get past a resolute home defence, but ensured they went into the break just a goal down, when it could easily have been more for United.

Just 50 seconds into the second half and Rovers were handed a great opportunity to level the score up from the spot after he was taken down in the box.

The skipper stepped up to slam home into the bottom corner for his sixth of the season.

The home side searched for a response and a wicked delivery from Alioski just evaded the rampaging Harrison at the back post just four minutes later.

Alioski tried his luck again just after the hour mark, and once again Raya made sure he held the strike from the Macedonian international playmaker.

Mateusz Klich, who scored against Rovers at Ewood earlier in the season, forced Raya into a smart save down low and then Barry Douglas smashed over as Leeds came again.

Klich went close again after opening his body up on the edge of the box before seeing his strike bend past Raya's left-hand post.

Raya was on hand again soon after as he flew to his right to tip away a Roofe header, before a solo run from Dack ended up with Pontus Jansson racing back to take the ball off his toes just as the playmaker was set to pull the trigger.

With 10 minutes remaining, the dangerous Hernandez bent wide as the table-topping Whites continued to probe for what would be a late winner.

Time was running out for a decisive goal, and another strike from range, this time from Adam Forshaw, was gathered by Raya, with only five minutes remaining.

But there was still time for some more Mulgrew magic, and from all of 30 yards, the captain curled into the back of the net to potentially win the game for Rovers in the final minute or normal time.

However, Leeds weren't done, and they went straight up the other end and found an equaliser at the third time of asking, when Roofe's volley was adjudged to have gone over the line despite Raya's heroics.

And with the final touch of the game, further heartbreak came the way of Rovers as Roofe again scored, this time heading home a free kick to earn the three points for the home side.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling (c) (Shackleton, 69), Douglas, Forshaw, Roofe, Alioski, Jansson, Hernandez, Harrison (Clarke, 60), Phillips, Klich.

Unused substitutes: Huffer, Baker, Davis, Halme, Gotts.

Goals: Williams OG, 33, Roofe, 90, 90.

Booked: Douglas, 76, Phillips, 89.

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe (Reed, 62), Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Bell, Evans, Rodwell (Smallwood, 69), Armstrong (Rothwell, 75), Dack, Graham.

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Downing, Palmer, Nuttall.

Goals: Mulgrew, 47, 90.

Booked: Rodwell, 44, Lenihan, 85.

Referee: Stephen Martin.

Attendance: 34,863 (1,272 Rovers fans)

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