Leeds United under-23s 0 Birmingham City under-23s 3: Whites fall to lacklustre Blues defeat at Thorp Arch

Leeds United under-23s.
Leeds United under-23s.
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Leeds United's under-23s fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Friday afternoon at Thorp Arch in the Professional Development League.

Carlos Corberan named a strong starting line-up with Jamal Blackman taking up his usual spot in goal alongside the returning Izzy brown who stepped up his comeback from a torn ACL injury.

The Chelsea loanee was making his first appearance in 10 months after injuring himself whilst on loan at Brighton in January just six minutes into their FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace.

Jamie Shackleton took up his spot as a right wing-back with Aapo Halme also returning to the side having missed the last three fixtures following an injury in the Premier League Cup tie against Notts County.

Hugo Diaz and Conor Shaughnessy joined the Finnish central defender in the heart of defence with Leif Davis moving to his more familiar left-back role.

Jack Clarke began the game on the right with Jordan Stevens on the left as Brown played behind Ryan Edmondson with captain Callum Nicell sitting in front of the back three as Leeds deployed a 3-3-1-3 formation.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams as Viv Solomon-Otabor saw two efforts saved by Blackman.

United, who were seeing the majority of the ball, found it difficult to break City down in the early exchanges as the Whites possession based football attempted to spread the visitors out of position.

The Blues were playing very much on the break and it was proving effective as Charlie Lakin drove into the United half and played a lovely one-two with Beryly Lubala before being brought down by Leeds stopper Blackman but referee James Matthews waved away appeals for a spot-kick.

The visitors though would have their penalty just minutes later as Blackman again ventured out of goal and collided with City striker Omar Bogle leaving Matthews no option but to point to the spot.

Midfielder Craig Gardner duly converted in emphatic fashion as he found the top right corner of the net from 12-yards.

Leeds responded as Brown picked out Clarke at the back post with a lovely delivery but the winger saw his header fall the wrong side of the woodwork in what was United's best chance of the game heading into the break.

Brown was to be replaced at the half having come through 45 minutes unscathed with Clarke Oduor on in place of the 21-year-old.

City again started the better of the two teams and it didn't take long for them to double their advantage as Kyle McFarlane picked out Bogle in the area leaving the striker to tap home with ease.

The scoring was complete as Bogle again latched onto a ball over the top from the City midfield as he collected and fired low past Blackman as the near post from a tight angle.

There was to be a disappointing end to the afternoon for the United stopper as he left the field on a stretcher with an apparent leg injury following a collision with forward Lubala inside the box.

United defender Diaz slotted into goal for the remaining minutes with the Whites having used up all three substitutions.

Leeds though fell to their second straight defeat in the Professional Development League and only the third of the campaign in what was a disappointing display for Corberan's side.

Leeds United XI: Blackman, Shackleton, Davis, Diaz, Shaughnessy, Halme, Nicell, Stevens, Clarke, Brown, Edmondson. Subs: Miazek, Oduor, Mihaylov, Struijk, Dalby.

Birmingham City XI: Trueman, Harding, Dalres-Cogley, Lakin, Scarr, Bajrami, McFarlane, Gardner, Bogle, Lubala, Solomon-Otabor. Subs: McCoy, Luyambula, Redmond, McGilp, Andrews.