Monday, 7 January 2013

FA Cup Leeds 1-1 Birmingham

Luciano Becchio was Leeds’ saviour once more as his second-half goal against Birmingham kept Leeds in the FA Cup. The in-form Argentine scored his 19th goal of the season on the hour to cancel out Wade Elliott’s opener and keep Leeds in with a chance of making the fourth round, although a replay was the last thing either manager wanted. Both Neil Warnock, absent through sickness, and City counterpart Lee Clark have long injury lists to deal with and could have done without another game. The goals were the only real high points on an otherwise forgettable afternoon, with clear-cut chances at a premium. The visitors took the lead on 33 minutes after Elliott finished a surge forward with a blistering 25-yard drive. Nathan Redmond might have extended their lead but his shot went narrowly over, and the near-miss soon came back to haunt City as Becchio found his range on the hour, neatly slotting under Doyle after David Norris showed good feet to send him clear.Leeds coach Mick Jones said: “We spoke to the manager on loudspeaker at half-time and he made the decision to change the team based on what he heard on the radio coverage he was listening to.“We’ve had a lot of illness and had to sit some players out. “We’re hoping that we will be clear by the time we get back to the league games.” The game, a pretty dismal affair in front of just 12,000 fans at Elland Road, was marred by a serious leg injury to Birmingham’s Will Packwood who collapsed under an aerial challenge. “Will Packwood’s early diagnosis is a break to both tibia and fibula,” said Blues boss Clark. “His young team-mates were in bits, in tears on the pitch. We will give him the best care possible and look after him. I heard the snap and it was a right downer. Even experienced Leeds players like Michael Brown told me it was horrendous.

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