Bamford on target as Leeds beat Birmingham

1 month ago 290
Patrick Bamford celebratesPatrick Bamford scored his first goal since netting against Bournemouth in the Premier League last April

Leeds returned to winning ways and closed within seven points of the automatic promotion places with a comfortable win over Wayne Rooney's Birmingham.

Patrick Bamford started for the first time since May and headed the opener before Dan James netted a second in first-half stoppage time.

Crysencio Summerville slotted a cool third after the break, while Whites keeper Kristoffer Klaesson kept a clean sheet on his first league start.

Blues have only taken six points from their last nine games and remain in 20th place.

Relive Monday's EFL actionChampionship table

Leeds boss Daniel Farke made five changes, with Klaesson handed his first start in goal after Karl Darlow dislocated a thumb.

The 23-year-old was playing his first Leeds game, at any level, since an under-21s appearance last February, and his only previous league experience was 35 minutes off the bench in the Premier League in March 2022.

Bamford was recalled in place of Joel Piroe, with James, Glen Kamara and Archie Gray also brought in, while Blues boss Rooney made two changes, recalling Lee Buchanan and Oliver Burke.

After a quiet start City keeper John Ruddy denied Summerville following good work from Georginio Rutter, with Mbule Longelo blocking the follow-up from James, but the deadlock was broken on 34 minutes when the latter swung in an inviting cross from the right and Bamford evaded his markers to nod home.

The outcome was all but settled just before the break when substitute Junior Firpo burst to the byline before cutting back to the unmarked James, whose first-time shot deflected into the corner past Ruddy.

Birmingham tried to rally and Klaesson got a strong hand to an awkward curling Siriki Dembele strike and then, following the interval, Dembele threaded in Juninho Bacuna only for him to dink wide under pressure from Klaesson.

Leeds came close to a third just before the hour when Bamford thudded the base of the post from the edge of the box.

James fired into the side-netting from an angle before the third arrived when Rutter's superb lofted pass freed Firpo on the left and his cutback was coolly slotted into the bottom corner by Summerville, his 12th goal of the season.

There was still time for Firpo's header from a corner to come back off the post as Leeds made it nine wins in 10 home games.

Wayne Rooney looks downWayne Rooney's Blues have two points from their last five matches and two wins from 15 games in all

Leeds manager Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Leeds:

"When you go into a fourth game in 10 days off the back of back-to-back defeats it's always difficult, the pressure is on you.

"In the first 20 minutes everything felt a bit heavy, not quick enough. After the first goal we controlled the game, we didn't allow them to have chances.

"I was a bit concerned because we didn't bury the game after so many good situations until the third goal. We could and should have scored more. It was a really good performance, perhaps not perfect.

"Klaesson was brilliant for a full debut, by the way, many compliments to him. It was difficult but the lads responded in the best possible way. It was important to have a good win for confidence."

Wayne Rooney, Birmingham manager, told BBC Radio WM:

"I thought for 30 minutes we were ok and looked a threat, but the first goal changed the game and it was really disappointing from our point of view, leaving a player like Bamford free in the middle of the six yard box.

"From there we really didn't look like getting back in the game. We know Leeds are a good team and would create chances, we had some good moments but it was frustrating and disappointing we weren't clinical enough. We had some very good chances. We didn't take them.

"We are in a difficult moment, there's no denying that, we have to pull together to get through it. I hope we can bolster the squad in January.

"We'll try everything we can to get players in to give ourselves a chance of winning games."

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 4-2-3-1

13Klaesson22Gray14Rodon6Cooper25ByramSubstituted forFirpoat 18'minutes4Ampadu8Kamara20JamesSubstituted forAnthonyat 74'minutes24RutterSubstituted forPovedaat 85'minutes10SummervilleSubstituted forGnontoat 74'minutes9BamfordSubstituted forPiroeat 75'minutes

Substitutes

3Firpo7Piroe12Anthony27Poveda29Gnonto39Spence40van den Heuvel44Gruev49Joseph

Birmingham

Formation 3-4-1-2

21Ruddy44Aiwu5Sanderson3Buchanan45Burke19JamesSubstituted forRobertsat 62'minutes34SunjicBooked at 36minsSubstituted forGardnerat 62'minutes23Longelo7Bacuna28StansfieldBooked at 20mins17Dembélé

Substitutes

1Etheridge8Roberts10Jutkiewicz11Miyoshi14Anderson20Gardner24Oakley26Long49Donovan

Referee:Keith Stroud

Attendance:36,086

Live Text

Match ends, Leeds United 3, Birmingham City 0.

Second Half ends, Leeds United 3, Birmingham City 0.

Attempt missed. Joël Piroe (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Emanuel Aiwu (Birmingham City).

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by John Ruddy.

Attempt saved. Ethan Ampadu (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ian Poveda.

Attempt missed. Jay Stansfield (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Emanuel Aiwu.

Attempt blocked. Jay Stansfield (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gary Gardner.

Junior Firpo (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City).

Substitution, Leeds United. Ian Poveda replaces Georginio Rutter.

Foul by Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United).

Gary Gardner (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Ethan Ampadu (Leeds United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Junior Firpo (Leeds United) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Jaidon Anthony with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Lee Buchanan.

Attempt blocked. Georginio Rutter (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jaidon Anthony.

Attempt missed. Gary Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

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