Blackburn Rovers 2 Leeds United 1: Marcelo Bielsa handed first away defeat of the season at Ewood Park

Have your say

A second half Darragh Lenihan header handed Blackburn Rovers a 2-1 victory over Leeds United at Ewood Park in the Championship on Saturday lunchtime.

Marcelo Bielsa recalled Gaetano Berardi and Kemar Roofe to his starting line-up for the trip across the Pennines but Pablo Hernandez was only named on the bench by the Argentine.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

With Luke Ayling suspended Stuart Dallas was chosen at right-back with Berardi starting on the left side of defence. Tyler Roberts led the line for Leeds, while the returning Roofe was handed a start on the right wing.

The game got off the a furious start as and it was Rovers who stunned the 8,000 travelling Whites fans into silence as Danny Graham met a Harrison Reed corner to open the scoring inside two minutes.

United responded as Samuel Saiz forced David Raya into a good save before Pontus Jansson flashed a header from an Ezgjan Alioski corner over the bar.

It was Tony Mowbray's men though who should've doubled their advantage as Dallas's poor start continued on the right and after 15 minutes Bradley Dack was given the freedom of the United area but saw his effort met by a brilliant block from the onrushing Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Blackburn Rovers 2 Leeds United 1.

Blackburn Rovers 2 Leeds United 1.

Bielsa opted to switch up the back four moving Berardi to his natural right-back position whilst shifting Dallas across to the left where he featured against Brentford before the international break.

Both sides continued to enjoy spells of possession with Leeds continuing to look off colour with misplaced passes and failed clearances across the pitch.

Dallas saw a shot flash agonisingly past the post as Bielsa again made another alteration swapping Roofe and Roberts with the former taking up his natural position up front.

Rovers again had another chance to add to the scoreline as a lovely ball from Elliott Bennett found Adam Armstrong in the United box and his jink left Kalvin Phillips in a heap before his effort landed on top of the visitors goal.

Leeds though leveled just seconds before the break as Saiz lifted the ball over the Blackburn defence for Berardi who put the cross on a plate for Klich to send the packed away end into raptures as the referee sounded the whistle for the break.

Bielsa's side began the second half in much the same vein as the first playing much higher up the pitch with Rovers dropping deep in attempt to break up their passing play.

The Whites though failed to make their dominance pay as Raya's goal went relatively untested.

It was the hosts who took the lead once more with 20 minutes to against the run of play as Darragh Lenihen rose at the back post from a corner to nod past Peacock-Farrell and restore their advantage.

Leeds responded by bringing on Pablo Hernandez and Jack Clarke to inject some energy back into the team as Rovers went close through Bradley Dack who struck a volley over the bar from inside the box.

Armstrong then saw a low effort blocked by the legs of Peacock-Farrell and the game began to open up with United searching for a leveller.

Hernandez and Saiz combined in the area to open up Blackburn but the latter's shot was blocked at the last second by a diving body.

Berardi then saw a shot fly over wide of the mark as the strong away following attempted to suck the ball into the net in the closing stages.

Klich forced a brilliant one handed save from Raya as Rovers attempted to keep United at bay.

Leeds then had two penalty claims as took a tumble in the box before shouts for a handball were waved away by referee Darren England amid furious protests.

The Whites though failed to find the breakthrough as Bielsa fell to only his second league defeat in charge and their first away from home.

Blackburn Rovers XI: Raya, Reed, Smallwood, Armstrong, Graham, Mulgrew, Bell, Dack, Lenihan, Evans, Bennet. Subs: Leutwiler, Williams, Rodwell, Rothwell, Brereton, Conway, Palmer.

Leeds United XI: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Roberts, Saiz, Klich, Alioski, Roofe. Subs: Blackman, Shackleton, Pearce, Forshaw, Baker, Clarke, Hernandez.

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 20,929 (Away: 7,717)