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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Dec 15 at 17:41 PM

Charlton 0 Leeds United 0

Olly Groome reports from The Valley

Charlton climbed out of the bottom three with a hard-fought point against Leeds United at The Valley on Saturday.

The Addicks began the game well and enjoyed the better chances in the first-half before the visitors got on top for a spell after the break, with Tom Adeyemi hitting the post with the most clear-cut opportunity of the afternoon.

But with both sides seeing chances come and go, the goalless draw was, in truth, a fair result on the balance of play.

The hosts made two changes to the side which fell to defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion seven days earlier with skipper Johnnie Jackson recovering from his hamstring complaint to return to the starting XI.

That saw Alou Diarra move back to the centre of defence to replace the suspended Patrick Bauer, while Tareiq Holmes-Dennis started at left-back, with Morgan Fox dropping to the bench.

Once again, Charlton began with an attacking 4-3-2-1 formation and a cagey opening period saw the Addicks carve out the first opportunity with 10 minutes played.

Ricardo Vaz Te’s intricate through-ball was threaded round the back of the Leeds defence and read brilliantly by Reza Ghoochannejhad.

The Iranian latched onto the pass and beat keeper Marco Silvestri from a tight angle, but could only watched as it bobbled along the goal-line and millimetres wide of the upright.

The Addicks’ number 16 came close again moments later, this time trying his luck from 20 yards, with his effort dipping over the bar.

It had been a positive start from the home side and it was not long before they created another opening via the lively Ademola Lookman.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson opened play up with a smart cross-field pass from right to left and the 18-year-old picked it up before beating an opponent and rifling a shot towards the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box.

Silvestri, though, got down well to tip the ball away from danger.

Leeds’ first effort on goal came in the 21st minute when Alex Mowatt stood over a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

The youngster had punished Charlton with a pair of long-range belters when the sides met at Elland Road last season, but Henderson was equal to this one – plunging to his left to make the save, while Lewis Cook’s curled shot wide was as close as the visitors came to troubling the Irishman.

There was still time for Gudmundsson to send a piledriver over the bar at the other end, while Ghoochannejhad tested Silvestri’s reactions with a low shot before the sides retreated to the dressing rooms all square.

The second period began with a higher tempo as Leeds looked to get a grip on the game, but it was the Addicks who again created the first chance when Lookman dragged a shot wide.

And moments later, a fantastic, flowing, passing move forward resulted in Vaz Te laying off Ghoochannejhad, but with Lookman open to his left, the striker opted to take on the shot himself, which trickled harmlessly wide of the post.

Charlton continued to create and went close on the hour mark when Holmes-Dennis provided a dangerous low ball into the box which was nicked off the toe of Ghoochannejhad in the middle.

The ball found its way back to the left-back and this time, he skinned a yellow shirt before cutting another cross into the box, but Leeds got their bodies in the way as Jackson’s shot was tipped away.

Nine minutes later, the Addicks had their best chance yet when Ghoochanejhad squared for Vaz Te inside the box. The former West Ham United man toed a powerful shot towards the bottom right corner, but Silvestri, once again, hit the deck to get a finger on in to turn it away for a corner.

On 73 minutes, Lookman was upended 25 yards from goal and Vaz Te was next to test the goalkeeper - his curling effort towards the bottom left-hand corner was kept out by the Italian.

From that, Leeds went down the other end to create their own opportunity, pouncing on some hesitancy from Holmes-Dennis as Cook stole the ball and crossed for Adeyemi, who stretched to send a shot wide.

Then, the hosts would have United’s Chris Wood to thank for denying his own side a certain goal when Cook’s shot came back off the New Zealand international on its way in.

The visitors were enjoying their best spell of the game and should have g one ahead with 12 minutes remaining.

After referee Andy Davies had inexplicably awarded the Yorkshiremen a free-kick, they took it quickly to leave Charlton back-peddling.

With the ball falling to Adeyemi six yards from goal, he someone skewed his shot off the outside of the post as the reds blew a huge sigh of relief.

Although it was Leeds who were on top, Henderson was yet to be called into action. That was until the 82nd minute when Charlie Taylor fired a left-footer towards the bottom corner which the stopper reacted brilliantly to.

Both sides swapped possession as the ball flew from end to end in the closing stages of the game, but neither could make the break through as the spoils were, quite fairly, shared.

Charlton: Henderson; Solly, Holmes-Dennis, Diarra, Lennon; Gudmundsson, Cousins, Jackson (Makienok 81); Ghoochannejhad (Ba 81), Vaz Te (Ahearne-Grant 88), Lookman.

Subs (not used): Pope, Sarr, Bergdich, Fox.

Booked: Cousins 48 (foul on Adeyemi), Ghoochannejhad 52 (foul on Beradi), Ba 81 (foul on Berardi)

Leeds United: Silvestri, Wootton (Berardi 48 (Byram 90+4)), Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Cook, Adeyemi, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Botaka 64), Wood.

Subs (not used): Peacock-Farrell, Murphy, Doukara, Antenucci.

Booked: Wooton 2 (foul on Vaz Te), Mowatt 56 (foul on Solly), Bridcutt 62 (Foul on Holmes-Dennis), Bellusci 72 (foul on Lookman), Cook 90+1 (foul on Cousins)

Referee: Andy Davies

Att: 15,867 (3,129)

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