Leeds United pair make double impact but Whites twist after chances galore

DOUBLE IMPACT: From Leeds United's Sean McGurk, pictured firing the Whites ahead against Liverpool's under-21s. Picture by LUFC.
DOUBLE IMPACT: From Leeds United's Sean McGurk, pictured firing the Whites ahead against Liverpool's under-21s. Picture by LUFC.

Leeds made a bright start and Michael Skubala's side went ahead with just two minutes on the clock through Sean McGurk. Good pressing by Mateo Joseph led to the striker winning the ball on the edge of the box and the forward then squared to McGurk who produced a lovely curled finish with the outside of his boot.

The Whites were well on top and Keenan Carole then cut in from the right before unleashing a low drive which was saved, after which Darko Gyabi fired over from the edge of the box.

Joseph was then played in behind the back line but saw his attempt a flicked finish saved by Reds keeper Mareclo Pittauga who was tested again one minute later by another Carole shot which he saved.

Pittaluga then got lucky moments later when only booked for handling the ball outside of his box but Leeds doubled their advantage from the free-kick as a fine delivery from McGurk was headed home by Joseph.

Liverpool were getting nowhere but the Reds finally served up a decent attempt in the 34th minute through Lewis Koumas whose drive from the edge of the box was tipped wide by a fine Harry Christy save.

At the other end, the lively McGurk then tried his best to emulate Harry Kane with a chipped attempt from range which Pittaluga clawed away from under the bar.

But Liverpool pulled a goal back the first minute of added time through winger Trent Kane-Doherty whose cross/shot from the right flank took a deflection en route to beating Christy.

Leeds should have restored their two-goal cushion one minute later through McGurk who was picked out in the box befire turning inside but his shot from the middle of the area was too near Pittaluga who saved.

The Reds then made a decent start to the second half but Christy easily saved a Terence Miles header from a corner before getting down to make a solid stop to keep out a firm drive from Mateusz Musialowski.

The impressive Kone-Doherty then stormed forwards to the edge of the box before unleashing a firm low shot that was saved by Christy who kept out a weaker effort from the same player shortly after.

Christy was becoming a busy man and the keeper then pulled off another strong save to keep out an effort from Paul Glatzel at a tight angle.

Reds captain Thomas Hill then wasted a good chance when blazing a wild shot over the bar but Leeds squandered a golden opportunity soon after as McGurk beat the offside trap and teed up Charlie Allen who was thwarted by the onrushing Pittaluga.

The Liverpool keeper then pulled off another good save to deny Joseph after the striker's turn and firm strike in a packed box and the Reds drew level two minutes later through Musialowski who won possession before unleashing a smart finish from the edge of the box.

The same player could then only shoot straight at Christy upon being picked out with a fine chance soon after but Leeds then wasted a glorious chance themselves as Darko Gyabi fired wide from the middle of the box.

Another Christy save followed to deny Koumas with 14 minutes left but Leeds finished with a flourish and squandered two golden chances in the last two minutes of normal time.

A Charlie Allen cross firstly picked out substitute Joe Snowdon who looked certain to score only be to thwarted by a flying Pittaluga save and Jeremiah Mullen then blazed wide after being sent up for an attack.

But Liverpool then twice went close to bagging an added time winner through Kaide Gordon who sent a free-kick just over the bar before seeing another shot deflected over the top.

Leeds United under-21s v Liverpool under-21s: Christy, Moore, Mullen, Monteiro (Debayo 75), Hjelde, Gyabi (Snowdon 75), Bate, McGurk (Crew 64), Allen, Carole (Douglas 59), Joseph. Subs: Van den Heuvel.

Attendance: 666.