Leeds United 3 Blackburn Rovers 2: Roofe lifts off Elland Road as Whites bag twice in injury-time

Leeds United 3-2 Blackburn Rovers.
Leeds United 3-2 Blackburn Rovers.
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Leeds United striker Kemar Roofe scored twice in injury-time at Elland Road on Boxing Day as the Whites ran out 3-2 winners over Blackburn Rovers.

Marcelo Bielsa made on change for the visit of Tony Mowbray's side as left-back Barry Douglas returned to the starting line-up in place of Leif Davis following a sickness bug that kept him out of Sunday afternoon's dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa.

It was a sloppy start in the early exchanges from both teams with United's giving the ball away in midfield on a number of occasions.

Rovers though failed to make them pay and it was Leeds who were pressing in search of the opening goal.

Gjanni Alioski delivered from the right as Kemar Roofe attempted to get on the end of it only for the visitors to clear before Luke Ayling saw a shot from distance flash wide of the post.

Rovers though came closest as Jack Rodwell was set up with a lovely lay-off from Bradley Dack on the edge of the box but the midfielder but failed to force Bailey Peacock-Farrell into a save as he scrambled down to his right.

Alioski then himself forced David Raya into action in the visiting goal as he tipped a thunderous effort past the goal following some Pontus Jansson magic on the edge of his own box as he produced a Cruyff turn to get himself out of trouble with Blackburn closing in and start the attack.

United finally broke the stalemate with some help from the visitors on the half hour mark.

Jack Harrison broke down the left and into the box as a Barry Douglas ball found the Manchester City loanee who drilled a cross into the area with Rovers defended Derrick Williams on hand to inadvertently turn it home past Raya into his own goal.

Leeds had been patient ahead of the opener but almost doubled their advantage instantly straight from the resulting kick-off.

Douglas again picked out Alioski on the edge of the box with the Macedonian turning to curl an effort at goal which smacked against the crossbar before Mowbray's men could scramble the ball away from danger.

It was close as Bielsa's men would come to adding to the scoreline as they entered the break ahead.

The second half had barely begun before Rovers were level as Leeds were made to pay for some lacklustre defending.

Charlie Mulgrew picked up the ball inside the Whites box and laid it off before Luke Ayling threw himself into a rash tackle which upended the Scotsman with Steve Martin poiting to the spot.

Mulgrew picked himself up to convert the spot kick leaving Peacock-Farrell with no chance as he slotted home into the bottom right corner of the net.

Leeds, who were stunned by the leveller, responded by introducing Jack Clarke in place of Harrison on the hour mark as the Elland Road crowd roared their seal of approval.

It was the visitors who worked the next real chance though as Harrison Reed broke down the right to find Adam Armstrong but Kalvin Phillips produced a sublime block inside the area to keep the scores level.

Roofe then had two glorious opportunities to poke United's noses in front once again but he failed to make contact with either delivery as Leeds pressed on in search of three points.

Pablo Hernandez had an effort blocked by Corry Evans with the Kop screaming for a penalty but Martin waved this appeal away. Roofe immediately glanced a header on target amidst the protests which forced Raya into action as he kept the effort out with an outstretched palm down low to his right.

Blackburn responded to remind Leeds the threat they carried as Dack burst through on goal after beating two men but United defender Jansson managed to get a toe on it just as the midfielder was about to unleash a shot on goal.

Leeds penned Blackburn in with a succession of corners as the clock ticked on with Bielsa's side desperately searching for that one golden chance.

It would come though for the visitors as Kalvin Phillips took out substitute Joe Rothwell 30-yards from goal.

Mulgrew stepped up and fired home the free-kick with Peacock-Farrell only managing to push the effort into the side netting.

Leeds though had no time to lick their wounds and United responded immediately.

An Adam Forshaw cross was met by a Hernandez header which Rovers stopper Raya clawed away before a Jansson follow up was blocked on the line.

Roofe then shot which Rovers thought they had cleared away once again only for referee Martin to point to the centre circle and spark wild celebrations.

Leeds came again from the kick-off and won a free-kick on the right 30-yards from goal.

The free-kick was headed out by Rovers before being swung into the area once again by Hernandez with the Roofe again meeting the ball with a glancing header which found the bottom corner of the goal to lift the roof off Elland Road.

United celebrated as lightening struck twice in the space of four days with a last-gasp winner to extend their lead at the top of the Championship.

Leeds United XI: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Jansson, Phillips, Harrison, Klich, Alioski, Hernandez, Forshaw, Roofe. Subs: Huffer, Halme, Clarke, Davis, Gotts, Baker, Shackleton.

Blackburn Rovers XI: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Rodwell, Evans, Bell, Dack, Armstrong, Graham. Subs: Leutwiler, Reed, Smallwood, Rothwell, Nuttall, Downing, Palmer.

Attendance: 34,863