James Ward-Prowse free-kick magic earns Southampton a point at Leeds

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James Ward-Prowse Free-Kick Magic Earns Southampton A Point At Leeds James Ward-Prowse Free-Kick Magic Earns Southampton A Point At Leeds
Jack Harrison had given Leeds a first-half lead at Elland Road. Photo: PA Images
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Mark Walker, PA Sport

James Ward-Prowse produced more free-kick magic to earn Southampton a 1-1 draw at Leeds and halt their four-game losing run.

The England midfielder curled home a trademark free-kick early in the second half after Jack Harrison had given Leeds an interval lead.

Southampton had lost their previous three Premier League games before a thumping home FA Cup defeat to Manchester City and will be happier than Leeds with a point.

The home side, chasing a third straight win in their relegation fight, deserved their half-time advantage, but lost their way after the break before being roared on by their fans for another grandstand finish.

James Ward-Prowse ‘s freekick  beats Leeds keeper Illan Meslier (right) to fire Southampton level in a 1-1 draw at Elland Road (Tim Goode/PA Images).

Leeds, who edged a point further away from the bottom three, had won their last two games with stoppage-time winners, but it was not to be against the Saints, who were good value for a share of the spoils.

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Leeds made their accustomed breakneck start and only Mohammed Salisu’s brilliant last-ditch tackle denied striker Dan James a clear shot on goal.

Diego Llorente headed wide from a corner and Mateusz Klich’s effort was blocked as Leeds laid seige on Southampton’s goal.

Southampton responded and Mohamed Elyounoussi fired straight at goalkeeper Illan Meslier and at the other end Fraser Forster did well to block James’ angled shot after a sweeping Leeds counter-attack.

Leeds fans thought their side had taken a deserved lead when Harrison turned the ball home after Raphinha’s corner had hit a post in the 20th minute, but referee Anthony Taylor had blown for a push by Rodrigo.

Southampton caused several moments of alarm in the home defence as Che Adams’ shot was deflected wide before Llorente made a vital interception inside the area.

Jack Harrison (left) fires Leeds ahead in the 1-1 draw with Southampton (Tim Goode/PA Images).

But few would argue Leeds did not deserve their 29th-minute lead.

Raphinha’s superb cross from the by-line was parried by Forster and Harrison nonchalently stabbed home his sixth league goal of the season.

Leeds preserved their half-time lead, but were indebted to Meslier as his brilliant low save denied Adams before Kyle Walker-Peters fired inches over the crossbar.

The Saints hauled themselves level through Ward-Prowse’s brilliant free-kick, the England midfielder curling his 25-yard effort into the top corner after Luke Ayling’s foul on Walker-Peters.

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Leeds had a real fight on their hands now. Armando Broja fired inches wide as Southampton took control and although Raphinha threatened with a rising drive, the home side were struggling to stem the tide.

Joe Gelhardt replaced James in the 58th minute and Kalvin Phillips received a rousing reception when he replaced Klich soon after for his first appearance in four months.

Leeds began to find their passes again to lift the crowd and Forster palmed away Stuart Dallas’ volley after some frantic Southampton defending.

The home fans screamed for a penalty when Raphinha and Ibrahima Diallo tangled, but Taylor waved away Leeds’ appeals.

It was Southampton’s turn to batten down the hatches as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Taylor turned down another penalty appeal when Gelhardt went tumbling under another timely Diallo challenge, but Leeds failed to work a clear opening despite their late pressure.

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