Leeds United fail to kick on after flying start at Ipswich

Leeds United's Stephen Warnock takes on Ipswich's Paul Anderson. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Leeds United's Stephen Warnock takes on Ipswich's Paul Anderson. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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Head coach Neil Redfearn was left frustrated by his side’s poor defending away from home after Leeds United suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship.

The day started so well for United when Mirco Antenucci took just four minutes to follow up his two goals last week against Derby with another, but the Whites could not back up their win over the leaders with victory over the side starting the day in second.

Leeds fielded one change from the previous game with Jason Pearce back in the centre of defence in place of the injured Giuseppe Bellusci. They made the perfect start when Italian striker Antenucci scored his eighth goal of the season following a great run down the left and cut back by in-form Stephen Warnock.

But the lead lasted less than eight minutes as Daryl Murphy met Luke Chambers’ cross and headed strongly past keeper Marco Silvestri.

Leeds went back on the attack and Tommaso Bianchi had a shot blocked then Antenucci hammered the ball over from a difficult angle.

Warnock and Antenucci were involved in another good break by United, but home keeper Bartosz Bialkowski this time saved.

Ipswich, however, took charge after they were awarded a penalty when Warnock was judged to have brought down Paul Anderson and David McGoldrick put away the spot kick.

Murphy wasted a chance to add another home goal and strike partner McGoldrick hit a shot over from the edge of the box.

Alex Mowatt did hit a half-volley over as Leeds tried to get forward again, but in injury-time they were rocked again when Ipswich made it 3-1, Murphy racing through to shoot past Silvestri.

The hosts started the second half where they left off with Christophe Berra netting from close range and at 4-1 it was effectively game over.

Redfearn threw on Rodolph Austin and Billy Sharp for the disappointing Souleymane Doukara and Adryan, but it made little difference as only a fine save from Silvestri prevented Ipswich form scoring again through Murphy’s volley.

Austin did have a chance for United, but could only find the side netting. Late on Antenucci’s shot was deflected wide, but it was all too little too late to salvage something from a disappointing display.

Head coach Redfearn said: “After such a great performance against Derby last week it is disappointing to come back down to earth with a bump.

“Our performances were gradually picking up week-on-week, but today was an off day.

“Ipswich are a good side, they are second in the table for a reason. We started brightly with a well-taken goal but we took our foot off the pedal for whatever reason.

“You can’t come to places like Ipswich Town and give sides a leg-up - but that’s what we did.

“Look at the first half, we had a great start and I thought we looked quite bright. And then for whatever reason we take our foot off the pedal and we don’t defend properly.

“But that’s been a story throughout the season away from home and it’s something I’ve inherited – but something we’ve got to put right if we’re going to be a force.

“It’s a young side and we’re going to make mistakes, I appreciate that, but we can’t perform like that away from home and hope to keep clean sheets.”

Match facts

Ipswich Town 4

(Murphy 12, McGoldrick 26, pen, Murphy 45+1, Berra 48)

Leeds United 1

(Antenucci 4).

Saturday, December 6

Attendance:21,489

Ipswich: Bialkowski, Mings, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, McGoldrick, Anderson (Bru 72), S Hunt (Sammon 79), Tabb (Bishop 60).

Leeds: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock, Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt, Adryan (Sharp 53), Doukara (Austin 51), Antenucci.

Referee: Mike Dean