Crysencio Summerville double fires nervy Leeds back up to second

Crysencio Summerville and Patrick Bamford
Crysencio Summerville, left, scores twice as Leeds just about hold on to beat Middlesbrough - Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Championship title race is heading towards an almighty climax as a Crysencio Summerville-inspired Leeds United moved back into the automatic promotion places with a barnstorming victory over Middlesbrough.

Daniel Farke’s side simply had to win on Teesside and did so with a flourish, largely thanks to their young Dutch forward whose pace and skill terrorised Boro’s defence all evening.

The 22-year-old, who has been extensively scouted by a number of Premier League clubs this season, including Chelsea and Newcastle United, scored twice and his speed and energy fuelled Leeds’ exciting attacking display.

Having scored his first goal from the penalty spot, the second was a sensational piece of skill, combined with a rocket of a strike. He also delivered an assist, with a clever pass behind the defensive line, as Leeds leapfrogged Ipswich Town into second place, one point behind leaders Leicester City.

Patrick Bamford scores
Patrick Bamford puts Leeds 2-1 up after falling a goal behind early on - Ed Sykes/Getty Images

Leeds have played a game more but the win ensures the Championship promotion race will head into the penultimate weekend in a three way fight for the Premier League prize.

Leeds had been gathering momentum since Christmas and looked to have timed their promotion charge to perfection. With long time leaders Leicester City starting to show signs of buckling under pressure and Ipswich Town also looking vulnerable, Daniel Farke’s side looked in irresistible form, right up until the moment they were in position to move ahead of their promotion rivals.

Then came the jitters. A defeat at Coventry,  a goalless draw at home to Sunderland and another shock defeat to Blackburn Rovers , meant Leeds were in danger of letting the top two slip away again.

Leeds knew they could not afford to lose on this short trip to Middlesbrough. Michael Carrick’s side, unbeaten in nine, were about as dangerous a side as they could have faced in the Championship and when the visitors went a goal down early on, nerves jangled in the away end.

It was a really good goal from a Boro perspective, Luke Thomas winning the ball from Wilfried Gnonto on the left, moving it swiftly inside to Finn Azaz, whose first-time pass sliced through the Leeds centre-backs for Emmanuel Latte Lath. Although he was denied by goalkeeper Illan Meslier, the loose ball fell kindly for Isaiah Jones to stroke into the empty net.

Farke slumped into his chair in the dugout, but his players puffed their chests out and were level quickly.

Emmanuel Latte-Lath scores his second
Emmanuel Latte-Lath twice beat Ilan Meslier - Ed Sykes/Getty Images

Georginio Rutter did well to get the wrong side of Boro right-back Anfernee Dijksteel – only starting as first choice full back Luke Ayling, on loan from Leeds, was prevented from playing against his parent club – and it was a silly tackle from the defender inside the box.Summerville smashed home the penalty.

Leeds were in front minutes later, Junior Firpo’s cross skilfully guided in by Patrick Bamford. The two goals should have given Leeds control of the game but they could not maintain it, Latte Lath scoring a fine individual effort from the edge of the area.

Boro, though, were behind again before the break, Archie Gray and Summerville combining to set up Gnonto. The goal would not have stood in the Premier League, Gnonto clearly offside before he finished past Seny Dieng.

But that is where Leeds could well be heading. Boro remained a threat in the second half, but Summerville’s brilliance, cutting inside and rifling a shot into the far corner,  just after the hour mark gave them a two goal cushion.

They needed it too, Latte Lath setting up a tension filled finale with a looping header which caught Meslier in no man’s land with four minutes left to play.  Leeds just about held firm.

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