Leeds promotion efforts continued with a resounding 2-0 victory over the MK Dons at Elland Road. The victory propels the Whites within a point of the Dons, however victories by Millwall and Peterborough United's upset of Leicester City make their quest for automatic promotion more challenging.
For the match, Simon Grayson utilized the same lineup as last week excluding the return of Jermaine Beckford from suspension and new signing Sam Sodje jumping into the back four replacing an injured Rui Marques. Opening advances by Leeds were easily dealt with by the Dons and excluding Luciano Becchio effort at the twentieth minute and young Robert Snodgrass prospective attempt on the half-hour. Seemingly relegated to long ball advances, the Whites took the 1-0 lead as Argentine maestro Luciano headed-on Ben Parker's free kick to Jermaine Beckford resulting in the strikers classic finish from twelve metres. Leeds narrowly missed doubling the margin soon after but for the balance of the half the match was mostly a midfield joust of little vision or threat.
Nine minutes into the half Robert Snodgrass' creativity resulted in second goal as his provision for Jermaine Beckford saw the striker send the ball in from eighteen metres to bring his astonishing total up to thirty-one. Up by two Ľubomír Michalík came in for Sam Sodje as Leeds looked to lock down the match and take the three points. For the most part that planned was falling in-line however with twenty minutes remaining Roberto Di Matteo's side showed a morsel of life as Jason Puncheon's cross was met by Sam Baldock but his close-range effort was off target. However following that ever so brief threatening interlude, Leeds was able to keep the visitors at bay in route to a 2-0 victory.
For Leeds it was a satisfying victory that typified a very controlled run of play. Whilst the pace and vision of the attack was light years away from my liking or their ability, they were able to greatly limit the opposition in a style conducive to playoff success. Whether that was due to handiwork of the Whites or disintegrating play of the Dons, who have only won once in nine matches, is a debatable point but unquestionably showed the Whites are capable of winning a tight-fisted playoff match. Maybe it's the glint of spring in the air or just the eternal hope that stirs but with performances such as this, Leeds could well be on its way to the Championship.
Leeds returns to play next week against Colchester United.