Birmingham 1-0 Leeds: Marcelo Bielsa's side stumble in promotion race
Report and highlights as Marcelo Bielsa's side slip to third
Last Updated: 06/04/19 8:41pm
Leeds' automatic promotion hopes suffered a damaging setback as they lost 1-0 at Birmingham, who ended a run of five straight defeats.
Blues striker Che Adams again proved to be Leeds' tormentor as he scored his 22nd goal of the season in the 29th minute to earn manager Garry Monk the double against his former club this season.
Adams also scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road in September.
Birmingham had gone into the game on the back of a wretched run, and in the relegation battle following their nine-point penalty deduction, but the win against Leeds has given their survival hopes a huge boost.
In contrast to Birmingham's recent run, Leeds had won four of their previous five games but they struggled to find that kind of form against City.
It was Leeds, though, who went in search of a quick breakthrough and they were almost rewarded after only two minutes.
Tyler Roberts raced forward from the centre of midfield to collect a ball from Patrick Bamford but pushed his shot wide.
Birmingham struggled to mount a threat of their own until the 18th minute when Jacques Maghoma forced a corner that Lukas Jutkiewicz headed over from six yards.
After that relatively low key start, the game suddenly exploded into life in the space of a few seconds.
Leeds looked certain to take the lead when Bamford met a right-wing cross from Luke Ayling but his shot from close range bounced off the post and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Leeds were still digesting that miss when Birmingham surged straight up the pitch to break the deadlock.
Maghoma played a pass across the face of the area, with Jutkiewicz letting the ball roll to Adams, whose low drive whistled past goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and into the far corner of the net.
Adams then had the chance to grab a second when he turned Leeds defender Pontus Jansson but his shot lacked the power to test Casilla.
The Spanish stopper was forced straight into the action again at the start of the second half, this time beating away a shot from Jutkiewicz.
Leeds then wasted a golden chance to equalise after 55 minutes when Stuart Dallas crossed low from the right, only for Bamford to lift his shot over the bar from six yards.
When Bamford finally did get an effort on target from a Roberts cross, his header was tipped away by Camp.
Although Leeds enjoyed their best spell of the game at that stage, they could easily have suffered a heavier defeat but for Casilla who twice denied Adams in the final 10 minutes.
Garry Monk: "We thoroughly deserved the three points. We created the best chances in the game and should have got that second goal. It is a huge three points for us.
"The performance was very similar to the first game against Leeds when we had to be very good defensively. The difference today was that we had a much stronger performance offensively."
Marcelo Bielsa: "Bamford has a big character and personality and he was better than in the previous game. We could have drawn the game, we could have lost by more goals and we could have won the game,
"The moments of the game that we were in control we couldn't take our chances. We had a lot of time on the ball but we didn't take advantage of the chances that we created."