Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United: Jobe Bellingham header sees Black Cats edge out United

EFL Championship action continued for promotion chasers Sunderland and Leeds United at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening. Black Cats caretaker boss Mike Dodds guided his side to a narrow 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion last time out, while Daniel Farke’s side dismissed Blackburn Rovers by 2-0. 

SUN: Patterson; Huggins, Seelt, Ballard, Hume; O’Nien; Pritchard, Neil, Ba, Clarke; Bellingham

LEE: Meslier; Gray, Rodon, Struijk, Spence; Ampadu, Kamara; Summerville, James, Piroe; Rutter

A positive start from Leeds United at the Stadium of Light almost brought about the game’s opening goal, but with Crysencio Summerville’s teasing free kick looking as if it was going all the way in, Sunderland stopper Anthony Patterson was able to make a comfortable save. 

Intricate build-up play moments after between Djed Spence and Georginio Rutter also saw Leeds almost take an early lead, but Patterson again kept United at bay, with Joel Piroe almost getting a touch on the ball to divert it home.

Some absolutely stunning footwork from Jack Clarke saw the Sunderland winger slice through the Leeds defence in the 14th minute, but before he could cut the ball back towards Alex Pritchard for a tap-in at the near post, the ball was cleared by Joe Rodon.

Pritchard himself could have opened the scoring himself not too long after, but his fierce effort from just outside the Leeds box whistled just past the far post. 

Alex Pritchard’s free-kick in from the left hand side also caused some problems for Leeds, but Pascal Struijk cleared the ball quickly. But Pritchard was promptly needed to whip the corner in from the right hand side, which landed on the head of Dan Neil. His header was subsequently kept out by a sensational stop from Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Four minutes into the second half, Sunderland could have taken the lead through Niall Huggins, but his fierce effort was straight at Meslier who palmed it away comfortably. Jack Clarke also saw a wayward effort go wide in the 65th minute.

Crysencio Summerville broke away from a Sunderland corner and got on the counter attack for Leeds, but after getting away from Jack Clarke, his shot was tame and Anthony Patterson collected comfortably.

An end-to-end affair between the two sides finally saw the deadlock broken in the 78th minute. Sunderland broke away on the counter attack through Patrick Roberts, who fed the ball out wide to Niall Huggins. The right-back’s cross in was then headed away by Pascal Struijk, whose header deflected off Alex Pritchard, leaving the ball to bounce in front of Jobe Bellingham – he headed home from close range past Illan Meslier. 

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Leeds needed a quick response following that goal, but Crysencio Summerville’s free kick wouldn’t have helped matters, as it flew well over the bar; leaving Anthony Patterson in the Sunderland goal untroubled. Joel Piroe, however, did briefly threaten an equaliser, but his close range shot was cleared off the goal-line by Tre Hume. 

Both sides are back in action this Saturday, with Sunderland heading down south to take on Bristol City, and Leeds United head back to Elland Road where they’ll host Coventry City – both kick off at 3pm.