Joseph saves Leeds at Easter but draw allows Ipswich to hit summit

 

Mateo Joseph of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Leeds United at Vicarage Road on March 29, 2024 in Watford, England.

Substitute Mateo Joseph netted a late equaliser to earn Leeds a 2-2 draw at Watford - but that was not enough to lift his side back to the top of the Championship table.


Mid-table Watford led twice before half-time thanks to goals from Vakoun Bayo and Emmanuel Dennis either side of a fine Leeds reply from Crysencio Summerville.


Leeds were in danger of suffering a first league loss of 2024 until 20-year-old Spaniard Joseph came off the bench and scored seconds later.

Leeds ended Good Friday in second spot however as Ipswich, 1-0 winners at Blackburn earlier in the day, are a point ahead.

Watford started brightly but their appeals for a penalty in the 12th minute when Ethan Ampadu appeared to catch Yasir Asprilla on a foot were rejected by referee David Webb.

Leeds replied with a shot from Summerville that Hornets goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann did well to palm round the far post.

It was Watford who took the lead in the 31st minute via a swift move down the right after Edo Kayembe had won possession. Asprilla was played in behind the Leeds defence and the Colombian pulled the ball back for Dennis to fire off a first-time shot. Leeds goalkeeper Ilian Meslier did well to parry it but Bayo was on hand to volley home the rebound.

Leeds needed a response and it was Summerville who provided it six minutes later. The winger cut in from the left and curled a superb shot beyond the reach of Bachmann to celebrate his 17th goal of a stellar season.


There was still time before the break however for Dennis to fire Watford back in front. The goal resembled Summerville's as the Nottingham Forest loanee cut in - from the right this time - to get past challengers and then beat Meslier with a low drive.


Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Emmanuel Dennis (left) produces some impressive acrobatics after restoring Watford's lead.

Emmanuel Dennis (left) produces some impressive acrobatics after restoring Watford's lead. (Image: PA.)

Leeds began the second half looking for Summerville to make the difference again - and Bachmann had to make another save, this time at his near post.


Sierralta had to nod a Sam Byram header off the line soon after, although it would not have counted, before Bachmann tipped a Georginio Rutter drive over.


Both sides made changes before James tested Bachmann soon after with a shot that Patrick Bamford came close to diverting with a hopeful slide in front of the Austrian.


It was looking as though Leeds were going to have to accept defeat - until Joseph's sudden arrival conjured up a clumsy but timely leveller.


The substitute had only been on the pitch for a few seconds when he forced the ball over the line in the 86th minute, at the second attempt.


Bachmann blocked his first shot in a six-yard box scramble - and when Lewis attempted to clear the striker deflected it over the line with a block of his own.


Leeds will go back to the top of the table if they beat Hull at Elland Road tomorrow and Ipswich drop points at home to promotion rivals Southampton.

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