AN injury-time goal from Leicester substitute Harry Panayiotou condemned Leeds United to a record-breaking home league defeat at Elland Road.
The 2-1 loss was United’s 11th in the Npower Championship – the most they have ever suffered in a single season and dropped Leeds to a final position of 14th.
The manner of the winning goal, a deflection off a Ben Marshall shot that would have been comfortably dealt with was ultimately unlucky for Leeds, especially as it came in added time in injury-time, but they could have no complaints at losing after a poor display in their final game of a disappointing campaign.
The Whites did start brightly and could have two up in the first four minutes, Robert Snodgrass seeing an effort saved by former Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel and Luciano Becchio going clear only to fluff his attempted chip with the ball easily saved.
Ross McCormack failed to make much contact when presented with a decent chance from Robert Snodgrass’s run and pull back and Adam Clayton then Snodgrass also got efforts in as United looked the better side early on.
But Leicester came into the game and forced Andy Lonergan into his first save when Ben Marshall was on target with a 20-yard free-kick.
It was the visitors who took the lead on 39 minutes when Michael Brown’s slice put his defence in trouble and Danny Pugh failed to deal with a bouncing ball, allowing City striker Martyn Waghorn to muscle in and then calmly put the ball past Lonergan.
With the confidence of the goal Leicester took complete control in the second half and it took Leeds fully 35 minutes to get their first effort in on goal.
The visitors failed to add to their lead, however, as Waghorn’s volley was aimed straight at Lonergan, Lloyd Dyer shot wide after ignoring two unmarked team-mates and Danny Drinkwater’s 20-yard shot was well held by Lonergan.
United suddenly sprang to life in the closing stages and after sub Mikael Forssell had a shot saved by Schmeichel they equalised on 82 minutes. Snodgrass beat the keeper to the ball and sent a shot dribbling towards the goal. The other sub, Danny Webber, followed up and made sure of his first Leeds goal in netting from a yard out.
In a crazy finish not in keeping with the poor game that had gone before there were more chances at both ends for a winner with Clayton going closest for the hosts, but final passes went astray until the very last minute as Marshall’s shot went in off young substitute Panayiotou to leave Lonergan wrong-footed. United manager Neil Warnock was also furious after there had been what looked like a foul in the build-up by Leicester.
With no time for a reply it was somehow fitting that Leeds’ season should end with such a goal and that they should have that unwanted home defeats record.
Leeds United 1
Leicester City 2
(Waghorn 39, Panayiotou 90)
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Leeds: Lonergan, Connolly, Bruce, Lees, Pugh, Snodgrass, Clayton, Brown, Thompson (Webber 57), McCormack, Becchio (Forssell 75).
Leicester: Schmeichel, Moore, Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky, Marshall, Bamba, Drinkwater, Dyer (Panayiotou 73), Waghorn (Nugent 64), Beckford (Vassell 45).
Referee: Danny McDermid.