Leeds United 1 Norwich City 3: Whites fall to humbling defeat as clinical Canaries pounce

Leeds United fell to a humbling 3-1 home defeat on Saturday evening in the Championship as Norwich City claimed all three points in the top of the table clash.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 2nd February 2019, 6:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:09 pm
Leeds United fall to 3-1 home defeat to Norwich City.
Leeds United fall to 3-1 home defeat to Norwich City.

Marcelo Bielsa made two changes for the visit of the Canaries as Pontus Jansson returned from suspension in place of Kalving Phillips in the heart of defence with Tyler Roberts replacing Jack Clarke.

United fired the first warning shot of the evening as Mateusz Klich fired wide as the baying crowd asked him to shoot before Jack Harrison saw an effort claimed with ease by Tim Krul.

It took until just the sixth minute of the game though for the deadlock to be broken as Mario Vrancic saw his free-kick from just outside the box deflected into the top corner.

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Pontus Jansson was the guilty party after the Swede gave away possession and then took out his man as the Canaries grabbed the early advantage.

Leeds responded as Gjanni Alioski fired a volley agonisingly past the post after good work from Harrison down the right.

There was to be a dangerous moment for the visitors as Tyler Roberts latched onto a ball over the top and with Krul onrushing guided an effort wide of the mark.

The Norwich stopper clattered into his man and Elland Road baying for a red card referee Stuart Attwell brandished a yellow.

Pablo Hernandez hit the resulting free-kick into the wall which fell to Klich once again who saw his thunderous shot fly inches over the crossbar.

For all the possession United were struggling to break the visitors down and Daniel Farke's men added to the scoreline before the break.

Forshaw lost the ball in midfield which allowed Vrancic to shoot and his shot once again took a deflection falling into the path of Teemu Pukki who was all alone with the goal at his mercy.

Bielsa's men were rattled and Max Aarons almost added a third before the half-time whistle but failed to keep his effort down inside the area.

Leeds had the ball in the back of the net in added time at the end of the first half as Luke Ayling guided the ball home but Krul was adjudged to have been taken out unfairly from an Alioski free-kick.

United made two changes at the break as Hernandez and Harrison were replaced by Jack Clarke and Barry Douglas.

Bielsa's side continued to chip away at the Norwich defence but the visitors were looking the more dangerous of the two sides as they continued to press Leeds high which forced simple errors from the hosts.

Patrick Bamford was introduced to the game as Roberts departed and moments later Aarons had a glorious opportunity to put the game out of sights but he could only fire wide from inside the box as a loose ball fell kindly.

The full-back then was in the right place at the right time to clear a Clarke cross off the line with Alioski waiting to pounce.

Farke's men then finally wrapped up victory as Vrancic calmly slotted home from inside the area from another deflection with Kiko Casilla unable to keep the effort out.

There was time for Bamford to grab a consolation for the hosts in added time as he nodded home a corner but Elland Road was left deflated as the Championship promotion race was blown wide open under the lights.

Leeds United XI: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Alioski, Forshaw, Roberts, Klich, Hernandez, Harrison, Roofe. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Douglas, Shackleton, Gotts, Phillips, Clarke, Bamford.

Norwich City XI: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Lewis, Vrancic, Trybull, Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez, Pukki. Subs: McGovern, Rhodes, McLean, Tettey, Hanley, Srbeny, Cantwell.