Derby County 2-2 Leeds United: Kasey Palmer scores injury-time equaliser
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 22/02/18 6:34am
Derby County twice came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Leeds United, but slipped five points behind Cardiff in the race for automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
Substitute Kasey Palmer scored two minutes into injury-time to rescue a point for the home side, who appeared to be heading for defeat when Ezgjan Alioski had headed Leeds in front 11 minutes from the end.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga had earlier put the away side in front with a 34th-minute header, but Derby equalised two minutes into first-half stoppage time through Andreas Weimann.
Derby remain in fourth place, but lost more ground in the race for automatic promotion following second-placed Cardiff's 1-0 win away at Ipswich, while Leeds climb to 11th and are now eight points off the play-offs.
Derby: Carson (7), Baird (7), Olsson (7), Davies (7), Keogh (5), Huddlestone (7), Lawrence (7), Ledley (6), Weimann (7), Vydra (6), Nugent (6)
Subs: Jerome (5), Palmer (7), Johnson (6)
Leeds: Wiedwald (7), De Bock (5), Cooper (6), Jansson (8), Berardi (7), Vieira (6), Forshaw (7), Dallas (6), Hernandez (6), Roofe (7), Lasogga (7)
Subs: Saiz (7), Phillips (6), Alioski (7)
Man of the match: Pontus Jansson (Leeds)
The away side opened the scoring against the run of play in the 34th minute when Stuart Dallas received a long pass and looped a cross into the area, where an unmarked Lasogga headed home from four yards.
Earlier, both Matej Vydra and Tom Huddlestone had failed to connect with a Tom Lawrence corner from close range and Weimann shot over the bar when clean through, while Lawrence rattled the crossbar from 20 yards on 42 minutes.
Tom Lawrence and Marcus Olsson replaced Craig Forsyth and Bradley Johnson in the Derby starting XI. Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi returned from suspension for Leeds, while Ronaldo Vieira and Kemar Roofe – who scored from the bench in the previous game against Bristol City – came into the team.
But Derby found the equaliser their pressure deserved with almost the final kick of the first half. Laurens De Bock and Liam Cooper both failed to deal with a high ball and Weimann had time to take a touch before rifling a low shot through Felix Wiedwald.
Derby had a season-high 25 attempts at goal in the game, but they were stung by a Leeds counter-attack in the 79th minute as Alioski scored just 14 seconds after Palmer had struck a free-kick into the wall at the other end.
Fellow substitute Samuel Saiz, on his return from a six-game ban for spitting, played Alioski clean through and even though Scott Carson saved his first shot the Macedonian reacted to dive and head past the stranded goalkeeper.
However, Derby rescued a point from a corner in the 92nd minute when Curtis Davies nudged a high ball into the path of Palmer, who controlled the ball on his chest before smashing home from close range.
Man of the Match - Pontus Jansson
Sky Sports commentator Any Hinchcliffe awarded Man of the Match to the Leeds defender, saying: "In a game that has been littered with defensive errors, Jansson has been an absolute rock for Leeds. He's not put a foot wrong and has been a huge part of a successful Leeds gameplan."
Gary Rowett: "First half is as well as we've played for a long time, we were really dominant and to concede the goal in the way we did was a real slap in the chops. We switched off massively and in the last couple of games we've let in two goals where we've defended poorly and that's not been something you would associate with us previously.
"It just feels at the moment that we are so desperate to score we are snatching at things and have lost that bit of composure on front of goal. To come back shows great character but at the moment every game we draw feels like we lost because we are at that stage of the season but it's only one defeat in 14 and we've played really well again."
Paul Heckingbottom: "It does hurt. I'm feeling it for the players if I'm honest, they are flat in there, they're down but they've got to come out with their heads held high. I'm stood there thinking about how well they've done and the things I want to show them that's won them the game and then to get caught at the end is disappointing, it's sickening.
"But I've looked back through the season and that has been the trend. At the minute we are working really hard for our goals and giving soft ones away at the other end. I said to the players we think we should have had more points from the last three games but we haven't and we've got to be ready for the next game."
Derby travel to Reading at 3pm on Saturday afternoon for another Sky Bet Championship fixture, while Leeds host in-form Brentford at the same time.