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Monday, March 4, 2024

Bamford on target as Leeds beat Birmingham

Bamford on target as Leeds beat Birmingham


Patrick 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.

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 down
Wayne Rooney’s Blues have two points from their last five matches and two wins from 15 games in all

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Klaesson
  • 22Gray
  • 14Rodon
  • 6Cooper
  • 25ByramSubstituted forFirpoat 18′minutes
  • 4Ampadu
  • 8Kamara
  • 20JamesSubstituted forAnthonyat 74′minutes
  • 24RutterSubstituted forPovedaat 85′minutes
  • 10SummervilleSubstituted forGnontoat 74′minutes
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forPiroeat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Firpo
  • 7Piroe
  • 12Anthony
  • 27Poveda
  • 29Gnonto
  • 39Spence
  • 40van den Heuvel
  • 44Gruev
  • 49Joseph

Birmingham

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 21Ruddy
  • 44Aiwu
  • 5Sanderson
  • 3Buchanan
  • 45Burke
  • 19JamesSubstituted forRobertsat 62′minutes
  • 34SunjicBooked at 36minsSubstituted forGardnerat 62′minutes
  • 23Longelo
  • 7Bacuna
  • 28StansfieldBooked at 20mins
  • 17Dembélé

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 8Roberts
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 11Miyoshi
  • 14Anderson
  • 20Gardner
  • 24Oakley
  • 26Long
  • 49Donovan

Referee:
Keith Stroud

Attendance:
36,086

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