A Stuart Dallas goal earned Leeds United a point this evening against Luton Town, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side were left frustrated by the visitors who had taken the lead through Harry Cornick.
Leeds remain top of the Championship table and four points ahead of West Brom, who are in action tomorrow evening, with Brentford closing in on the top-two with a win over Reading earlier in the day.
For Nathan Jones’ side, they picked up another valuable point in their own battle at the bottom of the Championship table, moving within two points of safety.
A slightly flatter Elland Road than we’d witnessed on Saturday was greeted by a decent start to the contest; Luton weren’t afraid to get in amongst Bielsa’s side, with five changes visibly giving the visitors a lift in energy.
It was Patrick Bamford with the first chance, though, after good movement brought him space in the area – an onrushing Simon Sluga met his lifted shot.
Liam Cooper hobbled out of the game on 10 minutes after an awkward moment from a Luton set-piece, with Jones’ side continuing to unsettle the league leaders.
There was a nervous moment from his replacement, Gaetano Berardi, shortly after his introduction and his clumsy challenge on Callum McManaman might have left a few hearts in mouths for those watching on at home.
Tyler Roberts responded by creating himself a shooting chance before waltzing his way into the area, but both moments lacked that killer touch we know he’s capable of.
Helder Costa wasted another good opportunity after a lapse in concentration from Jones’ defence; the returning Luton boss rallied his troops, though, bouncing around his technical area.
Feeding off the energy from their dugout, Luton continued to frustrate Leeds and could’ve taken the lead on 22 minutes. Sonny Bradley’s header was straight at Illan Meslier, though.
As we ticked beyond half-an-hour, Leeds tried to build their rhythm, but were visibly missing the infectious energy the Elland Road crowd usually creates for Bielsa’s men.
Kalvin Phillips almost caught out Sluga with a curling effort from the left, but the goalkeeper was equal to it, a lot like the rest of Luton’s defensive unit as they kept their shape, much to the delight of Jones.
There was a flurry of corners for Leeds at the end of the half, but Phillips’ delivery, which was often short, wasn’t on the money and a frustrated Mateusz Klich swung his foot at a cleared set-piece on the stroke of half-time: easy work for Sluga.
Bielsa responded by introducing Ezgjan Alioski, but Jones had a change of his own up his sleeve, with Cornick on and making an instant impact.
Ryan Tunnicliffe played the forward into space in the Leeds half, allowing him to carry the ball well before curling a shot into the far corner of Meslier’s goal on 50 minutes.
As you might expect from a side just seven games away from the Premier League, there was a response. Roberts and Harrison both tested Sluga’s reflexes at his near post as Leeds probed.
Phillips forced the Luton keeper into another good save from a free-kick on the edge of the area, with Leeds failing to bundle home a rebound as Luton threw bodies on the line.
Pressure was growing, though, with an equaliser coming not long after the hour. Alioski had injected a little bit more purpose on Leeds’ left edge and his clever ball into the area found Dallas, with the Northern Irish international providing the calm finish Leeds needed to draw level.
Alioski was heavily involved again moments later, but he opted to try and catch Sluga out with a header at his near post rather than find a teammate better placed. The Macedonian’s natural width almost brought a goal for Bamford, but the striker was the wrong side of Sluga’s post with his flicked finish as we entered the final 15 minutes.
Harrison’s turn of pace sent Luton into panic and his clipped cross looked perfect for Bamford, but the striker appeared to lose the flight of the ball and another good chance was wasted.
Clear-cut chances were really evading Leeds as stoppage time approached and at the other end of the field, Cornick was looking to nick a winner for the away side, who for spades of the second-half were under the cosh.
Costa let a cross from the left slip off the top of his head as six minutes of injury-time were played out, with Leeds failing to find the crucial winning goal that would’ve made their position at the summit of the Championship table look that bit more convincing.
Bielsa’s side are another game closer, though, whilst Luton continue to make a real fist of staying in the Championship under the motivated Jones.
Full-time: Leeds United 1-1 Luton Town.