Full-time: Leeds United 1 Blackburn Rovers 2
ROVERS moved up to 10th and within two points of the play-off places with a rousing New Year’s Day win at a Leeds side that were defending a seven-match unbeaten home run.
First-half goals from top scorer Jordan Rhodes – his 16th of the season – and on-loan striker Rudy Gestede – his first for the club – that were set-up by man-of-the-match Tom Cairney ensured Gary Bowyer’s impressive side made it back-to-back away victories for the first time this season.
It was also their second success over the Whites in the space of four-and-a-half weeks after they won the reverse clash between the teams at Ewood Park on November 30.
It was thoroughly deserved success too and, although Matt Smith gave Leeds hope with a tap-in eight minutes into the second half after a rare error from Tommy Spurr, ultimately Rovers could have won by more.
Boss Bowyer, whose bold 4-3-3 formation paid off handsomely, was delighted with the response to the home loss to Birmingham City and home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
He said: “The disappointment of the last couple of games didn’t disturb them at all and they came into the game very confident on the back of how we played against Birmingham.”
See tomorrow’s Lancashire Telegraph for a full report and reaction.
Leeds: Kenny, Lees (Poleon 77), Zaliukas, Pearce, Byram, Mowatt (Brown 88), Murphy (Ariyibi 46), Austin, Pugh, Smith, McCormack. Subs not used: Cairns, Peltier, Wootton, Varney.
Booked: Zaliukas, Austin, McCormack, Brown.
Goal: Smith 53.
Rovers: Eastwood, Marshall, Dann, Hanley, Spurr, Taylor, Williamson, Cairney (King 65), Gestede, Campbell, Rhodes. Subs not used: Kean, Kilgallon, Songo'o, Rochina, Judge, Mahoney.
Goals: Rhodes 13, Gestede 36.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Attendance: 30,145 (1,010 away).
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