Birmingham 1-2 Leeds: Noel Whelan's instant reaction

Birmingham City Shirt

Leeds battled to a surprise win over Birmingham at St Andrew's.

Leeds United effectively ended Birmingham City's fading play-off hopes with a surprise win at St Andrew's.

Steve Evans' side battled to a 2-1 win, their first victory since before the international break.

Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan was impressed, and told BBC Radio Leeds: "It was massively needed. 

"We carried on the way we finished against Burnley in the first 45 minutes, then there was the brilliantly taken goal from Dallas who was exceptional, then we ran out of steam a bit. We do make things difficult for ourselves.

"We showed a lot of intensity to our game, it was one touch, good movement off the ball, we just dominated the game. We knew there would be a reaction in the second half but we showed we can dig in.

"All in all it was a win, which was all we were looking for, but there was a good performance too."

Northern Ireland international winger Stuart Dallas scored both of Leeds' goals, putting the side ahead with a long range effort early on, before doubling their lead five minutes into the second half with an even better strike.

Birmingham hit back swiftly, with Clayton Donaldson pulling one back, and he also had a striker disallowed for offside with 15 minutes remaining.

Leeds had dropped Middlesbrough loanee Mustapha Carayol for the fixture, with March Football League player of the month nominee and top scorer Mirco Antenucci picked instead.

Birmingham started Kyle Lafferty up front, a player who is on loan from Norwich City, who had been strongly linked with signing for Steve Evans' Leeds side before he struck a deal with the Blues. Former Leeds loanee Will Buckley, now at Birmingham on loan, did not feature.

Leeds Substitute Alex Mowatt was sent off in injury time, given a straight red for a bad challenge.

Leeds had gone into the game without a win in four matches, while Birmingham had won just one of their last six matches, beating Reading at the weekend.

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