Leeds United: Important win sees Whites in seventh heaven

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Marcelo Bielsa described it as an "important win" as Leeds United made it seven victories on the trot with a 2-0 success against Hull City at a wet Elland Road.

Conditions were not good for football with driving rain at times and a swirling strong wind and the Whites were nowhere near their best, but managed to get over the line with the help of an own goal and an Ezgjan Alioski strike eight minutes from time.

The value of the win could be seen as it took Leeds back to the top of the Championship and took them 11 points clear of third-placed Fulham, who lost for the second game in a row.

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"Hull City were not the best team to come here this season at the beginning of the game, but in the end this has been a very important win for us," said United head coach Bielsa.

Helder Costa gets in the cross that led to Leeds United's opening goal against Hull City.Helder Costa gets in the cross that led to Leeds United's opening goal against Hull City.
Helder Costa gets in the cross that led to Leeds United's opening goal against Hull City.

"It was a game of two different halves. Our first half was very good. We faced an opponent that has a very attractive style, with good attackers, midfielders that want to play.

"In the first half we were superior, in the second half they balanced the match, it was more even.

"They have had chances and we couldn't stop them. We kept on the offensive but it was more difficult to defend.

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"After we scored the second we started to manage the game. But there was a moment (before) where we risked the result.

"We had a lot of crosses and chances and the conclusion is that we deserved the victory."

The game hinged on a big turnaround in the 82nd minute with Leeds leading 1-0, but defending a Hull corner.

The visitors saw Tom Eaves' header well saved by Kiko Casilla and cleared in a goalmouth scramble. Kalvin Phillips released Mateusz Klich down the right and the midfielder ran 50 yards into space before delivering a low cross to Patrick Bamford, who then hit the post with the goal gaping. The ball rebounded to Alioski, however, who netted from a tight angle to make it 2-0 and seal the points.

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The move took less than 20 seconds and was a killer blow for a Hull team who had looked worthy of taking home a point.

They sat deep at times, but played some good football through midfield when they could and went closest to a goal in the first half-hour as Eaves sent a near post header into the side netting from a corner.

Prolific scoring winger Jarrod Bowen sent a 25-yard shot wide while Leeds had plenty of good positions only to spoil them with poor final passes and crosses.

Gaetano Berardi did send a near post volley into the side netting from a Whites corner and Bamford should have done better with a 29th minute header when he was well placed in the area to meet Helder Costa's cross.

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But their first 45 minutes was summed up when Pablo Hernandez made space well in the area only to curl his shot over.

The first shot on target did not come until the 57th minute when Eaves was put through, but could not beat Casilla.

Two minutes later Leeds had the ball in the net with Costa turning in Jack Harrison's cross, but the latter had been flagged offside - wrongly as replays have shown.

It was Hull's turn to be aggrieved when their best player on the night, Leonardo Lopes, went a great run into the box and went down, but no penalty was forthcoming from referee David Webb.

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The game had really opened up now and United could have scored when Bamford's pass found Harrison in space and his goalbound shot was well blocked.

They did break the deadlock when Hernandez's superb pass put Costa in down the right and the winger's cross was diverted into his own net by Hull defender Jordy de Wijs.

Jackson Irvine shot over from the edge of the area as Hull looked to hit back and the visitors were still in the game until that amazing turnaround for the second Leeds goal.

It was finally comfortable for United from this point and they could have added to their lead when Bamford ran onto Alioski's superb ball over the top of the Hull defence, but keeper George Long saved.

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Leeds are now unbeaten in 10 Championship matches, conceding just three times in this run, and have played more than six hours of football without letting a goal in.

Match facts

(de Wijs og 73, Alioski 82)

Hull City 0


Attendance: 35,200

Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, White, Berardi, Dallas, Phillips, Costa (Struijk 90), Klich (Douglas 90+4), Hernandez, Harrison (Alioski 69), Bamford.

Hull: Long, Lichaj, Burke, de Wijs, Elder (Lewis-Potter 85), Lopes, Batty (Bowler 75), Bowen, Irvine, Grosicki (Honeyman 90+2), Eaves.

Referee: David Webb