Report: Blues 1 Leeds United 0

The Blues striker ended his six-match drought in fantastic style, firing home from outside the area on 29 minutes to decide the contest – just as he did with his early-season brace at Elland Road.


Che Adams’ 22nd goal of the season completed an impressive league double over promotion-chasing Leeds United at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

The Blues striker ended his six-match drought in fantastic style, firing home from outside the area on 29 minutes to decide the contest – just as he did with his early-season brace at Elland Road.

Garry Monk’s men had to weather some periods of intense pressure from the visitors, particularly midway through the second-half, but dug in deep and ground out a morale-boosting victory.

The home side had chances to extend their lead – Adams denied by Leeds keeper Kika Casilla on numerous other occasions – whilst the opposing number nine, Patrick Bamford, maintained his reputation for spurning chances for Leeds, the striker missing three good openings, including a shot that hit the post just before Blues scored.

Leeds were the first to threaten as Tyler Roberts got in behind the Blues defence on the right but from a narrow angle he crashed a shot wide of Lee Camp’s left-hand post.

Harlee Dean was alert to the danger to block the onrushing Ezgjan Alioski when the ever-present North Macedonia international made a dangerous run into the area as the promotion-chasing visitors continued to probe in search of an early goal.

After a scrappy opening 28 minutes, the game came alive with a narrow escape at one end followed by a goal at the other in the space of 60 seconds. And it was Blues who were the beneficiaries.

Luke Ayling’s in-swinging cross from the right drifted in to the unmarked Patrick Bamford who stuck out his left leg to poke the ball past Lee Camp. But the Leeds striker was left holding his head in his hands as the ball bounced back off the inside of the post and back into the grateful arms of Camp.

Blues then increased the visitors’ anguish by countering straight to the other end to open the scoring themselves. A fantastic team move saw Jacques Maghoma collect the ball from Kristian Pedersen wide on the left, the winger cutting in and passing sideways to Lukas Jutkiewicz. The big striker’s clever dummy created a shooting chance for Adams, Blues’ top scorer taking a touch before whipping a terrific 20-yarder that bounced delectably into the bottom corner of the net.

Leeds got a sight of goal in first-half stoppage-time as the ball dropped to Alioski on the left side of the area but the left-back’s wayward shot flew into the packed ranks of Blues fans behind that Tilton goal.

Monk’s side had a great opportunity to double their lead within two minutes of the restart, Jutkiewicz getting behind the Leeds backline and with Kiko Casilla off his line. The Blues forward decided against attempting a lob, opting instead to advance forward with the ball, eventually getting in a shot that was smothered by the Leeds keeper.

The hosts were dealt a blow a few minutes later when Maikel Kieftenbeld overran the ball and in his attempt to retrieve it he crashed into Kalvin Phillips. It was obvious straightaway that the Dutchman had sustained a serious knee injury which forced him to be taken off on a stretcher.

Whilst Kieftenbeld was still prone on the grass, the visitors broke and Bamford missed another opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet, sliding in to meet substitute Stuart Dallas’ low cross but ballooning his shot well over the crossbar.

Blues were defending deeper and deeper at this stage and were indebted to the sharp reactions of Camp to maintain their advantage. Maghoma, playing almost like an extra left-back, missed his kick allowing Roberts the chance to cross for Bamford. The luckless Leeds man did at least get his header on target, but Camp was equal to it, springing to his left to turn the ball aside.

Monk’s men began to look a little more assured as the minutes ticked by and only the legs of Casilla prevented Adams from doubling his and Blues’ tally on 79 minutes. Blues’ top scorer showed great strength to turn just inside the area and get in a shot that was well blocked by the Leeds custodian.

Adams has denied by the visitors’ keeper again five minutes from time as the Blues number nine crashed in a half-volley that was beaten away by Casilla.

Leeds piled on the pressure during six minutes of additional time, winning numerous corners, but Blues defended like their lives depended on it and could even have stolen a second goal before the end, David Davis breaking down the left and getting into the area but firing his shot straight at Casilla.

A delighted Monk joined his players on the pitch for the post-match lap of honour after chalking up another win over his former employers.

Blues (4-4-2): Camp; Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen; Mahoney (Jota 76), Kieftenbeld (Harding 57), G. Gardner (Davis h/t), Maghoma, Jutkiewicz, Adams.
Subs (not used): Roberts, Mrabti, Vassell, Trueman.

Goal: Adams (29)
Booking: Dean (48)

Leeds (4-1-4-1): Casilla; Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Alioski; Phillips; Hernandez, Roberts, Klich (Clarke 70), Harrison (Dallas h/t); Bamford (Roofe 70).
Subs (not used): Berardi, Shackleton, Forshaw, Peacock-Farrell.

Bookings: Alioski (30), Jansson (76), Hernandez (83)

Referee: Mike Dean
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