Leeds Utd 1, Brighton 2: next step the play-offs

Our Seagulls correspondent - Patrick Gleeson
Our Seagulls correspondent - Patrick Gleeson

Our correspondent Patrick Gleeson reports on a special day for the Seagulls.

Albion have confirmed their place in the play-offs with a 2-1 victory against Leeds United at Elland Road today.

Will Buckley and Leonardo Ulloa struck for the visitors either side of an El-Hadji Diouf penalty, but the game was marred with a trio of sending offs.

Rodolph Austin’s early red card was followed by Inigo Calderon being dismissed for a poor challenge on Diouf inside the penalty area, but after converting the spot kick the forward was himself sent from the field after gesturing to the away support.

It took just 10 minutes for the in-form Seagulls to take the lead when Will Buckley latched onto a loose Tom Lees pass and slotted neatly past Paddy Kenny.

Leeds were dealt another blow moments later when Austin was judged to have elbowed Ashley Barnes in the face and was given a straight red card.

Bruno, returning to the starting line-up after a lengthy calf injury, then tried his luck from distance but his shot flew wildly over.

Leeds refused to roll over, however, and they almost levelled when a Diouf strike fizzed just wide of the post and then a Ross McCormack flick from a Luke Varney header narrowly passed the goal, but neither had the accuracy to test Tomasz Kuszczak.

Leeds equalised when substitute Inigo Calderon hauled Diouf to the floor, and the Senegalese forward dusted himself off and put the ball past Kuszczak. Calderon, who had been on the field for a matter of minutes, was shown a red card, but Diouf’s tasteless celebrations resulted in the same consequence.

Albion made the most of their numerical advantage when Ulloa met Andrea Orlandi’s sumptuous delivery and nodded past a hapless Kenny to secure Gus Poyet’s side a place in the play-offs.