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Billy Sharp hits winner as Leeds beat Ipswich 2-1 in Championship

Billy Sharp hit the winner as Leeds beat Ipswich 2-1 in their Sky Bet Championship clash at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri redeemed himself in the most dramatic of fashions as his side saw off Town. 

The Italian fumbled a Freddie Sears shot into his own goal to cancel out Alex Mowatt's fine opener, and then breathed a sigh of relief when Billy Sharp's stunning volley put Leeds back in front.

Silvestri's ultimate redemption came in the 84th minute, though, when he flung himself to his right to push a Daryl Murphy penalty onto the post and earn Leeds a win which keeps Ipswich out of the play-off places.

It was an incredible finish to a game that until Mowatt's 71st-minute free-kick had been one to instantly forget, with Silvestri and Sharp the match-winners, with the striker's contribution particularly poignant as he almost joined Ipswich in January when he thought his days with Leeds were numbered.

It was a former Leeds striker who had Ipswich and the game's first chance as Luke Varney, hugely unpopular amongst home fans during his two-year stint with the club, thought he had silenced the boo-boys early on with a fourth-minute header, but as he began his celebration he looked up to see a raised flag.

Leeds took over slightly after that, Sharp going close to making it two goals in two games when his half-volley off a Lewis Cook cross beat Bartosz Bialkowski but not the covering Tommy Smith on the line.

Sharp was appealing for a penalty just after the half-hour, claiming he was shoved by Smith when heading over a Sam Byram cross. No decision came from referee Mark Brown, although Sharp continued to appeal the call through to the half-time whistle.

Ipswich's best chance before that came saw Chris Wood drive into a crowd of Leeds defenders after Silvestri flapped at a cross.

The Italian keeper was far more assured straight after the restart, though, diving to his right to push away a Tyrone Mings header from a Luke Chambers cross, while at the other end Sharp should have done better with a close-range hit that was easy for Bialkowski.

It was going to take something special to change the game and Mowatt produced it 71 minutes in. He lined up a free-kick in the right channel, 25 yards out, and whipped it beyond Bialkowski at his near post for a brilliant opener.

Leeds had no time to consider protecting their lead, though, for three minutes later it was gone. Sears drilled in a low shot from the left of the box and Silvestri was unable to gather it, allowing it to go through his hands and into the bottom corner.

But as soon as he had picked himself up his side were ahead again. Byram got away down the right and, although his cross was a little behind Sharp, the striker adjusted his body accordingly to crack a fine 77th-minute volley beyond Bialkowski.

The drama was not done there. Sears made his way into the box and tried to flick in a cross, but Bamba raised his arm above his head as he tried to block it. Brown spotted it and gave Murphy the chance to level but he found Silvestri determined to atone.

Headlines for Ipswich this week

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  • Billy Sharp hits winner as Leeds beat Ipswich 2-1 in Championship

  • Billy Sharp hit the winner as Leeds beat Ipswich 2-1 in their Sky Bet Championship clash at Elland Road on Wednesday.

  • Neil Redfearn praises Leeds pair Marco Silvestri and Billy Sharp in win over Ipswich

  • Neil Redfearn praised Marco Silvestri and Billy Sharp after the pair united to earn Leeds a 2-1 win over Ipswich in a frantic finish at Elland Road.

  • Leeds will be without Rodolph Austin for clash against Ipswich

  • Leeds will be without midfielder Rodolph Austin when they take on Ipswich on Wednesday.

  • Norwich beat Ipswich 2-0 with Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban goals

  • Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban scored to earn Norwich a 2-0 win over East Anglia rivals Ipswich in the Sky Bet Championship at Carrow Road.

  • Norwich manager Alex Neil warns against complacency after Ipswich win

  • Alex Neil warned against complacency after Norwich climbed to third in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 derby win over Ipswich at Carrow Road.

  • Alex Neil looking forward to 'biggest East Anglia derby for years'

  • Norwich manager Alex Neil is relishing his first East Anglian derby when Ipswich visit Carrow Road for the Sky Live Championship clash on Sunday.

  • Transfer news: Leicester striker Chris Wood joins Ipswich Town on loan

  • Ipswich have signed striker Chris Wood on loan from Leicester until the end of the season.

  • Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland believes derby with Norwich comes at a 'bad time'

  • Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland admits his former club may be playing Norwich at ‘a bad time’.

  • Regional Rumours in the Press: Lampard move worry

  • Frank Lampard's New York move is in fresh doubt, while Sheffield Wednesday could join Brentford and Ipswich in entering the loan market.

  • Regional Rumours in the Press: Trio eye Donsah

  • Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham are monitoring Cagliari starlet Godfred Donsah, while Tyler Blackett could leave Manchester United.