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KALVIN PHILLIPS’S equaliser deep into lengthy stoppage time rescued a point for Leeds United against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, but the afternoon was marred by their midfielder Jack Clarke collapsing on the bench late in the game.
Lewis Wing had given Boro a lead just after half time, but they sat deep as the game went on and invited pressure before being punished for a lapse in concentration.
Marcelo Bielsa claimed his side should have won the game despite “suffering” at times.
“We suffered in the first half as the opponent was dangerous,” Bielsa said. “But the end of the first half and the second half were good.
“We could have won the game. If we take into account the 15 minutes of the first half where we were not at ease, apart from this segment I think we dominated and created chances.
“We deserved to score this goal and deserved to score other goals.”
Leeds went close first in the game, with Mateusz Klich shooting over on the half volley from the edge of the box.
At the other end, the home side’s first real sight of goal came in the 15th minute when George Saville stung the palms of Kiko Casilla, but the January signing from Real Madrid was able to gather at the second attempt with minimal fuss.
Saville was again involved moments later, picking the ball up centrally before unleashing another powerful effort.
Casilla parried, and the rebound went too wide for Jordan Hugill to finish; he won a corner which almost resulted in Aden Flint heading the hosts into the lead.
Flint then headed wide again before Ryan Shotton failed to connect with a cross just yards out. After a shaky start, Boro appeared to be taking control.
Chances kept coming and going, with Wing shooting wide just before the half-hour mark. He gave Boro the lead three minutes into the second half, calmly slotting home George Friend’s cross.
Leeds soon upped the pressure and should have levelled when Kemar Roofe was denied twice by Darren Randolph and former Boro striker Patrick Bamford somehow missed the target six yards out with the goal gaping.
Play was stopped for a while after Clarke was taken ill after 81 minutes. Once it resumed, Phillips broke Boro hearts as he bundled home a poorly defended corner in the 11th of 12 added minutes to snatch a point for Leeds.
The club released a statement thanking the medical teams for their response and the 18-year-old was later sent home. He had been substituted at half time, but that was unrelated to the incident.
Tony Pulis said he was disappointed his “fantastic” team couldn’t get the win.
“It was disappointing because it comes late and when it comes late in a game it’s always hard to take,” admitted Pulis.
“I thought we were fantastic first half, I thought our midfield players were top drawer. [John Obi] Mikel was the best player on the pitch by a mile for me.”
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