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Leeds out of bottom three after comeback win over Forest

Reuters |
Apr 05, 2023 08:15 AM IST

Leeds played positively in the second half and deservedly took a crucial victory that fired them up five places in the congested lower reaches of the table.

Leeds United came from a goal down to beat fellow Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest 2-1 at a raucous Elland Road and move out of the relegation zone on Tuesday.

Leeds United's Marc Roca celebrates(REUTERS)

Forest, who began the game in 16th place, started in confident fashion and Orel Mangala gave them the lead in the 12th minute with a well-worked goal.

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But Leeds responded in superb fashion and were ahead before the end of a rip-roaring opening half.

Jack Harrison smashed in a rebound to bring the hosts level in the 20th minute and in first-half stoppage time Luis Sinisterra beat Forest keeper Keylor Navas with a clinical low shot after cutting in from the left.

Leeds continued to play on the front foot in the second half and deservedly took a crucial victory that fired them up five places in the congested lower reaches of the table.

They are in 13th place with 29 points from 29 games played, two points clear of the relegation zone, while Forest's worrying slide continues.

Steve Cooper's side are now winless in eight league games and sit in 17th position with 27 points, the same as three other clubs, and only out of the bottom three by virtue of a better goal difference than Bournemouth.

So congested is the bottom half of the table that only seven points separate bottom club Southampton from 12th placed Crystal Palace. Wins for any of the clubs battling to beat the drop are like gold dust with the picture changing on a weekly basis.

Leeds dropped into the bottom three at the weekend after being hammered by leaders Arsenal and when Mangala gave Forest the lead with a precise finish past keeper Illan Meslier's dive and just inside the post, the vultures were circling.

Crucially, the home fans raised the decibel level and Leeds stormed back at a Forest side who could have gone ahead even earlier when Emmanuel Dennis volleyed against the post.

Harrison was a bundle of energy all night and he instigated the move down the right that eventually saw Marc Roca's powerful drive blocked by Navas. He was then alert to slam the rebound into the net to raise the roof of the old stadium.

Forest came under a sustained onslaught with Patrick Bamford having a couple of opportunities.

Leeds then went in front as Colombian livewire Sinisterra bamboozled Forest's right back Neco Williams before arrowing a low right-foot shot into the far corner.

Forest were unable to build any momentum in the second half and Leeds really should have won by a wider margin.

"We knew this was a very important game for us. I am happy because we work hard for it. To get this three points is massive for us," match-winner Sinisterra said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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