Celina special wins game for Blues
Another special goal from Bersant Celina sent Town on the way to three points at a pulsating Portman Road.
The Manchester City loanee had already hit the post in the first-half and looked the likely matchwinner and so it proved with a bullet strike midway through the second-half.
Leeds played for an hour with 10 men after Eunan O’Kane was dismissed after appearing to put his arm into Jonas Knudsen’s face in an entertaining 90 minutes.
Dean Gerken started in the Championship for the first time this season in one of several changes to the side that went out of the FA Cup last weekend, Bart Bialkowski ruled out with a calf problem.
Luke Chambers had to be alert to clear from Pawel Cibicki’s cross, then Joe Garner took a whack in the face in the area as Blues looked for a penalty after Liam Cooper’s challenge.
O’Kane cleared from David McGoldrick’s header back across goal, Myles Kenlock standing up well to rob Cibicki in the Town box after Ezglan Alioski had found him with a crossfield pass.
Celina found space in the left channel but his cross was cleared as Martyn Waghorn threatened, then Cibicki wasted a great chance at the other end after Pablo Hernandez had escaped down the right.
The angle was too tight for Celina to convert at the far post after McGoldrick had crossed from the right, Leeds then forced into a change with Cibicki replaced by Hadi Sacko.
Chambers held firm to smother the danger from Kemar Roofe, the Leeds striker seeing another effort deflected to safety before the visitors were reduced to 10 men when O’Kane was sent-off for an off the ball incident with Jonas Knudsen seven minutes before the break.
Waghorn hit the post with an in-swinging corner, Celina then carved out a chance with a run into the Leeds box but Garner couldn’t find the target from the cross.
Celina was inches away from the opener when he hit the post with a curler from just inside the box, Callum Connolly wide with the follow up shot as Town finished the half on the front foot but without reward.
Leeds made a second change at the break with Conor Shaughnessy on for Alioski, Kenlock doing well to chest the ball away from danger, Gerken holding on from Kalvin Phillips’ effort.
Town responded, Felix Wiedwald beating out Celina’s strike, then Garner blazing wide from the rebound.
Shaughnessy cleared from Kenlock as Town pressed for the opener, Garner forced out, then Knudsen showing a cool head to clear from Sacko.
McGoldrick almost capitalised on Waghorn’s deflected ball through, Celina’s cross then too high for Dominic Iorfa at the far post.
Town got the breakthrough on 67 minutes and it was another fantastic strike from Celina that did the damage, the Kosovo international weaved inside and found the net from 25 yards.
Wiedwald held firm from Garner’s header as Town looked for an instant second, Cole Skuse almost releasing Waghorn after winning possession with a terrific challenge in the middle of the park.
Chambers did well to block Roofe’s effort at the nearpost before Skuse made way for Luke Hyam for the last 15 minutes. Pierre-Michel Lasogga entering the fray in Leeds’ final change.
Cooper couldn’t convert at the far post in a great chance for the visitors, Hernandez just over as Leeds searched for an equaliser backed by 3500 travelling fans and it needed an excellent from Gerken in added on time to prevent them getting it.
Town: Gerken, Iorfa, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Skuse (Hyam 75), Connolly, Celina, Waghorn, Garner, McGoldrick. Subs not used: Crowe, Sears, Drinan, Bru, McDonnell, Smith. Booked: Connolly, Iorfa.
Leeds: Wiedwald, Cooper, Roofe, Anita (Lasogga 78), Alioski (Shaughnessy 46), O’Kane, Jansson, Hernandez, Cibicki (Sacko 29), Phillips, Berardi. Subs not used: Lonergan, Grot, Dallas, Klich. Sent-off: O’Kane. Booked: Jansson, Phillips.