Leeds 0-1 Birmingham

Leroy Lita
Leroy Lita

Leroy Lita's brilliant 30-yard drive clinched a late victory for struggling Birmingham at Leeds.

Neither side impressed in a dull game at Elland Road before Lita's strike handed the perfect 40th birthday present to Blues boss Lee Clark.

It was only Birmingham's second away win in 11 months and helped move them further away from the bottom three.

Leeds' best chance fell to El-Hadji Diouf whose point-blank header was saved by England keeper Jack Butland.

For long periods it had looked as though a goalless draw would be the outcome of this Championship clash, with opportunities scarce and only Birmingham's Ravel Morrison and Leeds' Diouf looking dangerous.

Leeds were as uninspired as they were in their 1-1 draw with Charlton and failed to find their fluency.

Former Whites player Steven Caldwell snapped a volley over in the second minute, before Curtis Davies headed wide from a Nathan Redmond free-kick.

Leeds finally woke up from their slumber when Sam Byram cut in to drive a firm shot against the legs of Blues defender David Murphy.

But Birmingham were the more accomplished side, with Morrison impressing with his roaming runs, before Lita's moment of brilliance sealed victory 14 minutes from time.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark: "The beer will certainly taste sweeter tonight, that's for sure.

"I have family and friends coming down and they were hoping I would get a good result because they know what I am like when we lose. They didn't want a soppy faced 40-year-old hanging around them.

"The first half set the tone. We dictated the tempo and did what we set out to do by nullifying the crowd. Leeds came at us a bit more in the second half but the lads stood strong and defended well."

Leeds manager Neil Warnock: "The lads gave a much better performance in the second half. We lacked a bit of pace in the final third but I enjoyed it more than the other night when we drew with Charlton.

"The final pass was missing today and there were too many free-kicks into the keeper's hands.

"You need a bit of luck. Their keeper didn't even see Rodolph Austin's shot which hit his leg in the first half as he was moving the wrong way.

"Then we were beaten by a world-beater. You don't expect someone to shoot from there.

"The players gave me everything. It may not have been good enough at times but I have no complaints."

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