Gulf Today

Ipswich stay top of Championsh­ip after Leeds draw with Watford


LONDON: Ipswich were let top of English football’s second-tier Championsh­ip on Friday ater Leeds missed the chance to regain first place as they drew 2-2 at Waford.

Conor Chaplin scored the only goal in the ninth minute as Ipswich won 1-0 away to Blackburn at Ewood Park following the internatio­nal break, the midfielder starting and finishing a well-worked move.

“Fantastic result, you have to enjoy every win you get in the Championsh­ip,” said Ipswich manager Kieran Mckenna.

“The performanc­e was mixed. I thought first half we started ever so well, big credit to the way we came out, especially ater internatio­nal duty, we imposed ourselves really well on the game.”

Victory took Ipswich two points clear of Leeds, who could have recaptured top spot in the late kick-off.

Instead Leeds had to twice come from behind at Vicarage Road to secure a draw that let them one point behind Ipswich and one ahead of third-placed Leicester in the race for promotion to the Premier League.

Vakoun Bayo opened the scoring for Watford in the 31st minute before Leeds hit back six minutes later thanks to a superb finish from Crysencio Summervill­e.

Waford regained the lead before half-time with another fine goal from Emmanuel Dennis.

Leeds’s pressure was rewarded five minutes from time when Mateo Joseph’s goal ensured a share of the spoils.

“I will take this point all day long,” said Leeds manager Daniel Farke, whose side featured a trio of Wales players who had suffered the heartache of failing to qualify for the European Championsh­ips following a penalty shoot-out loss to Poland. “I am really happy and proud of the boys.”

The German added: “We had the worst possible internatio­nal break. For us three players came back injured and three Welsh players had the disappoint­ment of not being allowed to go to the Euros. We had not one first-team training session as a team.”

Earlier, Leicester’s hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League suffered a fresh setback with a 1-0 loss away to Bristol City.

City’s Anis Mehmeti struck 17 minutes from time at Ashton Gate with a let-footed shot into the roof of the net.

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