Leeds United 2 Nottingham Forest 1: Picture changes as wingers fire Whites to giant stride

Leeds United bounced back in style from Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal with a hugely important 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest which took the Whites out of the drop zone and all the way up to 13th.
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Leeds began brightly but the Whites were saved by the frame of the goal from a corner in the eighth minute as a Morgan Gibbs-White delivery hit Patrick Bamford and fell at the feet of Emmanuel Dennis whose shot from a tight angle hit the top of the post before the Whites cleared.

Forest then broke down the right moments later but Brennan Johnson's shot was deflected into the hands of Illan Meslier. Forest, though, went ahead in the 12th minute as a Luke Ayling header was intercepted and the visitors worked the ball down the left flank for Dennis who pulled the ball back to Orel Mangala who calmly slotted home from just inside the box. Ayling looked to quickly atone with a strike from the edge of the box which flew well wide.

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But Leeds drew level in the 20th minute through a move which started and ended with Jack Harrison who cut in from the left and helped Leeds work the ball to Marc Roca whose ferocious strike was saved by Keilor Navas but only parried to the onrushing Harrison who walloped the ball home from close range.

JIG: Luis Sinisterra celebrates putting Leeds United 2-1 up. Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images.JIG: Luis Sinisterra celebrates putting Leeds United 2-1 up. Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images.
JIG: Luis Sinisterra celebrates putting Leeds United 2-1 up. Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images.

Leeds continued on the front foot and Robin Koch hooked a shot harmlessly wide from a corner on the half hour mark. After brilliant pressure by Marc Roca, Bamford flicked a shot across goal following Roca's pull back from the byline and the Whites no 9 then saw another attempt deflected wide for a corner which Forest cleared.

But Leeds were well on top and went ahead in first half stoppage time with a fine individual goal from Luis Sinisterra who received possession towards the left of the area and worked his way around both Neco Williams and Mangala before producing a beautiful low strike into the opposite corner.

There were no changes for either side during the interval, after which a pass from Roca sent Bamford clear but Bamford clear but Moussa Niakhate had the pace to get back and force a crucial block.

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Forest then lost the ball looking to clear from the corner and a fine opening was presented to Firpo who could only send a low cross straight to Navas. After solid hold up play from Bamford, another good chance ended with an Ayling cross being easily gathered and only a brilliant tackle from Firpo on substitute Taiwo Awoniyi then saved the day at the other end.

Back came Leeds and another Harrison strike was deflected wide and the Whites winger darted into the area soon after before dragging a low shot wide.

From a free kick, a Siniterra header was easily saved as Leeds piled it on and a lovely move then ended with Sinisterra cutting inside from the edge of the box and sending a curler just wide.

Brennan Johnson was then booked for pushing over Roca and Leeds squandered a glorious chance to go 3-1 up moments later after Forest duo Williams and Felipe collided which left Bamford alone in the area but the striker hammered a wayward shot well wide.

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Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville were introduced with 20 minutes left as Sinisttera and Brenden Aaronson made way and Forest threatened with eight minutes left as Brennan Johnson found space down the right but his low cross was cleared.

Elland Road was then furious as referee Robert Jones failed to play advantage after a foul on Bamford when Rodrigo was clear and Rodrigo saw a lovely attempt saved as play resumed. At the other end, Harry Toffolo fired well wide as Forest looked to break Leeds hearts in a late spell of pressure.

Forest were then given five minutes of added time to bag an equaliser and Pascal Struijk flew into a huge block to help keep the visitors at bay and Rasmus Kristensen replaced Bamford as a late change as Leeds saw out time without too much alarm.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Firpo, Roca, McKennie, Sinisterra (Rodrigo 74), Harrison, Aaronson (Sinisterra 74), Bamford (Kristensen 90). Subs not used: Robles, Cooper, Gyabi, Greenwood, Rutter, Gnonto.

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Nottingham Forest: Navas; Williams, Felipe, Niakhate, Toffolo; Freuler (Kouyate 64), Mangala (Shelvey 56), Danilo (Awoniyi 56); Johnson, Gibbs-White (Scarpa 71), Dennis (Ayew 71). Subs not used: Hennessey, Worrall, Surridge, Lodi.

Referee: Robert Jones.

Attendance: 36.740.