Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 3: Carbone watches Whites victory

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Benito Carbone watched from the stands as Leeds United claimed a 3-1 win over Birmingham City in their final away match of the season.

Carbone - in line for a coaching role under Leeds owner Massimo Cellino - took in a scrappy contest at St Andrews which Matt Smith and Danny Pugh turned United’s way with second-half goals.

An own goal from Paul Caddis sealed a deserved success for Leeds and Federico Macheda’s late strike was no consolation for struggling City.

The YEP has been told that Carbone is in line to take charge of the academy at Leeds but the ex-Bradford City striker’s presence in Birmingham increased speculation about the future of manager Brian McDermott.

The United boss is yet to be told if he will survive under Cellino but a header from Smith and a low finish from Pugh in the space of two minutes gave him the satisfaction of a third victory in four games.

The onus was on Birmingham to force the pace and claim a result and they were first to threaten after five minutes when Lee Novak’s sliced volley whipped beyond Jack Butland’s far post.

City’s Tom Adeyemi should have opened the scoring five minutes later when Novak’s flick played him in behind United’s defence but he smashed a wasteful finish over the crossbar with only Butland to beat.

United’s earliest effort was a volley from Michael Tonge which bounced well wide but Adeyemi went close again when his strike from inside the box struck a defender and flew behind for a corner.

Birmingham goalkeeper Darren Randolph denied Tonge shortly before the break as Leeds’ best move of the half ended with a shot against Randolph’s legs.

McDermott’s players began to dominate after the interval and Smith guided home a classy header after rising to meet Tonge’s cross on 57 minutes.

Pugh put the game beyond doubt soon after when the ball ricocheted to him inside the box, leaving him with a simple chance six yards out, and Caddis put the match beyond Birmingham on 79 minutes when he turned Ross McCormack’s cross into his own net.

Macheda reduced City’s deficit towards the end of the game, drilling the ball past Butland from close range, but Birmingham failed to mount a fightback.

Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Spector, Thorpe (Gray 90), Hancox, Adeyemi, Reilly (Macheda 60), Huws, Burke, Zigic, Novak (Allan 70). Subs (not used): Doyle, Martin, Lee, Shinnie.

Leeds United: Butland, Lees, Pearce, Wootton, Pugh (White 88), Tonge, Brown, Austin, Murphy (Mowatt 57), McCormack, Smith (Hunt 79). Subs (not used): Cairns, Poleon, Stewart, Thompson.

Defining moment: Eunan O'Kane gets his marching orders at Portman Road. PIC: Simon Hulme

Phil Hay’s big-match verdict: It never rains, it only ever seems to pour for Leeds United at Portman Road