Somma brace downs Lions
Leeds bag first Championship win against Millwall
Last Updated: August 21, 2010 2:50pm
Somma: Hero off the bench
Substitute Davide Somma was the hero as his brace off the bench gave Leeds United a fully-deserved 3-1 success over Millwall at Elland Road.
The Lions drew first blood with defender Richard Naylor's own goal putting the visitors in front with 15 minutes played in West Yorkshire.
Lloyd Sam maintained his scoring streak to bring Leeds level and the score remained the same until Somma's (79, 90) late brace clinched Leeds' first Championship success since promotion.
The defeat ended Millwall's superb 100 per cent start to the campaign while Simon Grayson's Leeds now have four points from their opening three league games.
Kenny Jackett's men arrived in fine form after impressive 3-0 and 4-0 wins over Bristol City and Hull, but Leeds offered the greater goal threat for much of the game and nobody impressed more than Sanchez Watt.
The on-loan Arsenal winger, 19, was pivotal throughout and had already had three attempts on goal by the time Millwall hit Leeds with a sucker-punch.
Steve Morison's high cross from the right was hopeful at best but Naylor, under minimal pressure from Kevin Lisbie, headed the ball straight into the top corner past Kasper Schmeichel.
Yet Leeds fashioned an impressive response, with Watt and homegrown midfielder Jonathan Howson at the heart of their best moves.
In the 23rd minute, Howson teed up Luciano Becchio for a shooting chance from 10 yards but the Argentinian could only blaze wildly over the crossbar.
Three minutes later Howson burst into the box and showed some delightful footwork to engineer the space to rifle a low shot against the outside of a post as Millwall survived.
The Lions' goal began to lead a charmed existence and after Sam had a shot cleared off the line in he 27th minute, he drew Leeds level five minutes later.
Watt drifted across the face of Millwall's penalty box before finding Becchio. He kept the move flowing with a neat touch into the path of Sam, who struck a fierce low right-footed shot past Forde and into the bottom right-hand corner.
The goal poured confidence into Leeds and they could have been comfortably ahead by half-time.
Defender Neil Collins headed wide when he should have hit the target, Watt shot weakly wide at David Forde when well placed, and he then produced a fine save to tip Howson's 20-yard strike around a post.
From the resultant corner by Neil Kilkenny, Collins headed the ball against a post as Millwall were again rescued by the woodwork.
Millwall improved vastly after the break but genuine chances were scarce for both teams. Leeds always looked the more likely to claim maximum points and so it proved as Somma struck with 11 minutes remaining.
More intelligent play by Watt saw him drive a low cross across the face of goal and Somma was perfectly placed to smash the ball into the net from 10 yards.
Schmeichel then produced a fine stop at the other end to preserve Leeds' advantage before Somma reclaimed centre stage in added time.
Somma showed brilliant footwork to engineer the space to hit a superb left-footed shot past Forde from 12 yards.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 21st Aug
Coventry2 - 1Derby
Leeds3 - 1Millwall
Bristol C3 - 3Barnsley
Burnley3 - 0Leicester
Cardiff4 - 0Doncaster
C Palace1 - 2Ipswich
Hull City0 - 0Watford
Norwich2 - 0Swansea
Preston1 - 0Portsmouth
QPR2 - 0Scunthorpe
Reading1 - 1N Forest
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||19||39|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|