Ipswich 4 Leeds United 1: Redfearn refuses to blame Cellino saga for defeat

United's dejected players.
United's dejected players.
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Mick McCarthy hailed Ipswich Town’s emphatic 4-1 win over Leeds United as his side’s best yet this season.

Ipswich remained second in the Championship thanks to a comfortable three points over a woeful Leeds side.

For a few brief minutes, a shock looked on the cards after the visitors took a surprise fourth-minute lead, Mirko Antenucci tapping into the empty net after Stephen Warnock’s cross.

But the lead lasted just eight minutes and by half-time, Ipswich were 3-1 up.

They equalised through a powerful header by in-form Daryl Murphy before strike partner David McGoldrick stroked home a penalty after Warnock needlessly bundled over Paul Anderson.

Just before half-time, Murphy burst clear to fire low under Marco Silvestri before a fourth duly followed just three minutes after the restart, Tommy Smith credited with the goal despite Christophe Berra possibly getting the final touch to his goalbound header.

McCarthy beamed: “That was as good as we have played all season for a number of reasons.

“We went 1-0 down and had to recover against a team who are playing well. We scored four goals and our all-round performance was very good.

“The goal just after half-time (Ipswich’s fourth) was the crucial one.

“You are always on red alert as you don’t want to concede, but I actually got a bit cold in the last five minutes. It was nice not to be biting my nails at the end for a change.”

A dismal week for Leeds, which saw owner Massimo Cellino asked to step down by the Football League after breaching its owners’ and directors’ test, got worse on the pitch.

They were hit by goals either side of half-time and offered little in a dismal second-half performance which saw Ipswich comfortably stride to an impressive three points.

Leeds boss Neil Redfearn refused to use matters off the pitch as a reason for his side’s poor showing.

When asked about Cellino, Redfearn said: “That would be an excuse. We have had all week to prepare and whatever happens (with Cellino) is for the powers that be at Leeds United.

“After such a great performance against Derby last week (winning 2-0), it is disappointing to come back down to earth with a bump.

“Our performances were gradually picking up week-on-week, but today was an off day.

“Ipswich are a good side, they are second in the table for a reason. We started brightly with a well-taken goal but we took our foot off the pedal for whatever reason.

“You can’t come to places like Ipswich Town and give sides a leg-up - but that’s what we did.”