Leeds United paid for Eunan O’Kane’s first-half red card as a Bersant Celina goal condemned them to a harsh defeat at Portman Road.
Celina curled home a sweet finish from 25 yards to break Leeds’ resistance on 68 minutes after United lost O’Kane to an off-the-ball dismissal seven minutes before half-time.
The Republic of Ireland international was sent off in the 37th minute for a clash with Jonas Knudsen, appearing to headbutt the centre-back after the ball ran out of play at Ipswich’s end of the field
The dismissal came at a time when Leeds were dominating possession and threatening to open the scoring, leaving Thomas Christiansen’s side to fend with 10 men for an hour.
Ipswich struck the same post twice late in the first half but Leeds fought bravely after the interval until Celina came up with a fine strike to break the deadlock and a late onslaught from United failed to force an equaliser.
Ipswich’s high line gave Leeds an invitation to play in behind their defence from the outset and Pawel Cibicki should have drawn first blood on 20 minutes when Pablo Hernandez left Myles Kenlock standing with a clever touch on the right wing.
The midfielder laid the ball off nicely to CIbicki who mishit a finish and wafted the ball wide with Ipswich goalkeeper Dean Gerken badly exposed.
Ipswich’s first chance of note came soon after as David McGoldrick lobbed a cross to the far post and Joe Garner drove a volley narrowly wide but the hosts rarely looked like forcing an opener before the red card.
Leeds suffered a blow shortly before the half-hour when Cibicki - recalled to the starting line-up as Saiz started his six-match suspension - pulled up injured and was replaced by Hadi Sacko but Kemar Roofe was denied on 33 minutes when he burst clear and cut inside Knudsen before seeing a shot blocked by Luke Chambers.
O’Kane, however, halted Leeds’ momentum by clashing with Knudsen and Ipswich twice hit the woodwork before the break with Martyn Waghorn driving a corner against the near post and Celina rattling the frame of Felix Wiedwald’s goal in injury-time.
Leeds tried to push forward after the break, despite Roofe sitting in an isolated position up front, but Ipswich came close again on 51 minutes with a shot from Callum Connolly which Wiedwald parried at full stretch.
The German, though, could do nothing to stop Celina’s effort when the Kosovan broke away after Kalvin Phillips lost his footing and curled a perfect strike beyond the reach of United’s keeper.
Leeds had a glorious opportunity to snatch a point nine minutes from the end when Hernandez laid on a gift of a cross for Liam Cooper but Cooper skied the ball over an empty goal and Hernandez saw a 20-yard effort fly inches over as Christiansen’s fight fought desperately for a point. The game slipped away, however, after Gerken dived to reach an injury-time bullet from substitute Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
Ipswich Town: Gerken, Iorfa, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Skuse (Hyam 76), Connolly, McGoldrick, Waghorn, Celina, Garner. Subs: Crowe, Sears, Drinan, Bru, McDonnell, Smith.
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, Anita (Lasogga 78), Phillips, O'Kane, Cibicki (Sacko 28), Hernandez, Alioski (Shaughnessy 46), Roofe. Subs: Lonergan, Dallas, Klich, Grot.
Referee: Robert Jones