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Match Reports

Report: Leeds United 2-1 Rovers

Williams bags his third of the season but it's not enough against Marcelo Bielsa's high-flyers

9 November 2019

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Derrick Williams scored his third goal of the season but it wasn't enough at Elland Road despite a gutsy Rovers display at Leeds United.

Williams produced a thumping header with five minutes to go until half time to hand Rovers hope after two quickfire Leeds goals but the Yorkshire side ahead.

Patrick Bamford's penalty came before Jack Harrison's strike which put the hosts ahead inside the opening half hour.

Rovers were dogged though and certainly put in a shift against their high-flying opponents, but ultimately went home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Both Tony Mowbray and Marcelo Bielsa named unchanged teams for the encounter, which meant there were milestones for the Rovers pair of Bradley Dack and Adam Armstrong.

Dack made his 100th league appearance in Rovers colours, whilst Adam Armstring appeared for the 50th time in the league since joining permanently from Newcastle United in the summer of 2018.

The home side had the majority of the ball in the opening 15 minutes, but failed to test Christian Walton due to resolute and organised Rovers defending.

It took 24 minutes for the first shot in anger from either side, with Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas rifling high, wide and away from Walton's goal.

But five minutes later Bielsa's side were handed a glorious chance to take the lead after Tosin Adarabioyo was harshly adjudged to have taken down Luke Ayling in the box. Up stepped Bamford to send Walton the wrong way from 12 yards and put Leeds ahead.

It was 2-0 just moments later and this time Bamford - boosed by his first goal in 10 games - was the assister. A great first touch brought down Kalvin Phillips' long ball and he set up Harrison whose effort clipped the post before trickling over the line.

It was a bitter blow for Rovers, but they showed their character to find a lifeline through Williams' third goal of the season.

Stewart Downing's outswinging corner kick was perfect for the Irishman, who beat former Bristol City team-mate Ayling in the box to produce a thumping header that beat Kiko Casilla and into the back of the net.

That ensured Rovers did take a goal into the break, although Walton had to be alert to hold onto another attempt just before the half time whistle blew.

The chances for both teams continued to be few and far between in the early stages of the second half, with the closest the score came to changing being when the lively Harrison smashed over Walton's upright after being set up by Wolves loanee Helder Costa.

Rovers remained in the contest, and good play from Dack saw him wriggle away from Phillips and crossing, before Williams lashed wide of target with under 15 minutes remaining.

The game was getting stretched and Harrison would have made the game safe had he smashed into the net, but he instead dragged wide when well placed.

Tyler Roberts let fly with five minutes remaining and Walton's reactions were spot on to turn the attacker's drive around the post for a corner kick as Rovers remained in the game.

But Rovers struggled to create one final chance and returned back to East Lancashire pointless despite an organised display.

Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper (c) (Berardi, 72), Bamford, Roberts, Dallas, Costa (Hernandez, 81), Harrison (Davis, 90), Phillips, Klich.

Substitutes: Meslier, Douglas, Gotts, Clarke.

Goal: Williams, 40

Booked: Phillips, 80

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Nyambe, Adarabioyo, Williams, Downing, Travis, Armstrong (Graham, 60), Dack, Holtby (Buckley, 69), Gallagher (Evans, 69).

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Johnson, Rothwell, Bell.

Goal: Bamford pen, 30, Harrison, 35.

Booked: Williams, 54, Buckley, 75.

Attendance: 35,567

Referee: Gavin Ward.

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