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Match Reports

Match Report: Leeds United 2 PNE 1

21 January 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: Leeds United 2 PNE 1

21 January 2024

A 94th-minute Joël Piroe penalty saw Preston North End agonisingly beaten 2-1 by Leeds United at Elland Road.

PNE got off to a brilliant start as Will Keane scored his ninth goal of the campaign inside 65 seconds, but the hosts had a quick response and were soon level through Dan James.

North End battled superbly for the rest of the game and it looked as though the points would be shared, until a penalty gave Piroe the opportunity to score late.

North End were hindered by illness on their trip to Yorkshire, with Duane Holmes, Freddie Woodman and Milutin Osmajić all missing, meaning there was a start for Dai Cornell in goal.

David Webb’s whistle had hardly been blown before North End raced into a lead. A Ben Whiteman free-kick was won in the air by Liam Lindsay and, after a miskick by Brad Potts, the ball fell to Millar and he drilled it into a dangerous area where Keane was waiting to tap home.


The goal silenced Elland Road but not for long, as Junior Firpo galloped down the left and had his cross headed past Cornell by James.

It was a frantic start which only continued and PNE could have retaken the lead in the 11th minute when Millar was played through down the left, however the Canadian saw his effort tipped away from the top corner by Illan Meslier.

Play finally seemed to settle from that point as the hosts started to see more of the ball, but by no means were they dominant as North End pressed high and looked dangerous in possession.

Daniel Farke’s men then came out on the front foot in the second period and were denied by the post two minutes in when Crysencio Summerville’s cross was diverted goalwards by Georginio Rutter.


Patrick Bamford and Summerville then had further opportunities within the next few attacks, while there was a scare in the 50th minute when Cornell had to come rushing out to meet James, and a combination of the goalkeeper and Liam Lindsay just about dealt with the danger.

PNE were having to do more defending but still looked threatening on the break, with Potts enjoying a few attacks down the right and Millar asking the usual questions on the opposite flank.

There were a flurry of bookings towards the end of the game as tensions ran high in the home ranks on and off the pitch, and it looked as though North End were doing enough to hold on to a point.

That was until Ryan Ledson was penalised for a handball inside the area and Piroe stepped up to score from the spot in the fourth of six added minutes.

Leeds United line-up: Meslier; Gray, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo (Byram, 76); Gruev, Kamara (Piroe, 76); James, Rutter (Joseph, 90+8), Summerville (Cooper, 90+6); Bamford. Subs not used: Klaesson, Anthony, Shackleton, Poveda, Gelhardt.

PNE line-up: Cornell; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Whiteman, McCann (Ledson, 70), Millar (Browne, 77); Frøkjær (Woodburn, 90); Riis (Stewart, 77), Keane (Brady, 77). Subs not used: Pradic, Cunningham, Bauer, Best.

Attendance: 36,570 (1,881 PNE fans).

Referee: Mr D Webb.

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