Burton 1-2 Leeds: Kemar Roofe completes Leeds fightback
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/12/17 6:45pm
Leeds stunned Burton with two goals in three second-half minutes to keep their Sky Bet Championship play-off push firmly on track.
Trailing to Tom Naylor's second goal in as many games, Leeds needed a big second-half performance and Pablo Hernandez's stunning free-kick just after the hour mark was followed by a well-taken finish from Kemar Roofe in the 64th minute.
Naylor was on hand at the back post when Lucas Akins sent in a low shot that was helped on by Marvin Sordell in the middle before the former Derby man poked home from inside the six-yard box.
That breakthrough goal came against the run of play as Thomas Christiansen's men had enjoyed most of the early play without seriously troubling Stephen Bywater in the Burton goal.
Hernandez tried to thread a ball through the packed Burton defence early on, looking for Ezgjan Alioski, but Bywater rushed out to dive at the feet of the Macedonian and avert the danger.
Alioski then drove wide of the goal after being first to reach a clearance from Jake Buxton, while Hernandez also failed to make a meaningful connection with Pawel Cibicki's cross.
The Brewers had a chance to double their lead with Jamie Allen leading a counter-attack from a Leeds free-kick but wasting his chance to test Felix Wiedwald at the end of a lung-busting run from his own half.
Leeds were perhaps fortunate to start the second half with 11 men when Gaetano Berardi flew into a poor challenge on Sean Scannell on the stroke of half-time, with referee Darren Bond eventually producing just a yellow card after heated scenes involving players from both sides.
Burton had the better of the early second-half exchanges, with Sordell twisting and turning in the box before curling a shot just wide of Wiedwald's right-hand post.
Ben Turner then sent a header into the waiting arms of the Leeds goalkeeper from a well-worked free-kick - a yard either side and Wiedwald would have had no chance.
There were chances that the home side would regret not taking once Hernandez and Roofe produced their clinical finishes.
Despite a flurry of action in the Leeds penalty area at the end of the game - including Sordell going inches away from equalising in a final late scramble - the visitors held on for victory and now sit fifth in the table.
Nigel Clough: "We had three or four good chances to go 2-0 up and didn't take them, either side of half-time and then there is a needless challenge on the edge of the box and we are punished by the free-kick.
"We tell them to stay on their feet and not give free-kicks away. Until we stop doing that we are going to keep losing games. Leeds are that good they will punish you. Until we can play error free it is going to be the same old story."
Thomas Christiansen: "We are doing quite well at the moment. It is very satisfying. That was the idea, the wish, to do that [win four successive games] but it is not always given what we would like it to be.
"Today is a good example. In the first half we have played very well with more opportunities, had the possession clearly but at half-time we have gone in 1-0 down, but this is football."
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