If we are to succeed and gain promotion this year, we need to win games when we are not at our best; and on Saturday, that's exactly what we did. Burton Albion caused Leeds United a few problems, but in the end, quality shined through and the Whites stretched their undefeated streak at Elland Road to 7 games.
Both teams started well, taking the game to each other and trying to take the lead early on.
The first chance of the game came when a Burton corner met the head of Turner, which was cleared off the line by O'Kane on 2 minutes.
Leeds’ first attacking threat came from a short corner which fell to Ayling whose volley was blocked by Jackson Irvine on 9 minutes.
As we got towards the end of the first 20 minutes, both teams had decent passages of play without either team able to take advantage. Leeds seemed to struggle, as they have all season, in getting going early on in the game.
On 25 minutes, Sacko got free and the cross was spilt by the Burton keeper but Wood couldn't get there and the ball was cleared by the Burton defence.
As we passed the half hour mark, the game was wide open and both teams were very much in it.
After some really nice play from Leeds, Taylor whipped the ball to the back post but Sacko header was over the bar on 33 minutes.
Burton's best chance came in on the 35 minute mark as, once again, another decent set piece from Burton was crossed into the box and the header came off the bar.
Rob Green's goal posts, the real MVP. pic.twitter.com/qjzGanOWli— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) October 29, 2016
The last ten minutes of the first half was lacklustre from both teams. Philips had a half chance but dragged his shot wide on 41 minutes.
As the half-time whistle went, Leeds were the happier of the sides as Burton created the best chances in the first half and really caused Bartsson and company problems from set-pieces throughout the half.
As the team came out for the second half, Leeds were unchanged, but Burton made their first change as Jamie Ward, who was Burton's best player in the first-half, was replaced by Stuart Beavon.
The second-half started in the same vain as the first, nothing really in the game and both sides were plodding along.
Burton had the best chance of the game so far after a great play from Beavon. A cross to the back post was knocked towards Turner by O'Grady, but Turner couldn't convert the header which was harder to miss on 50 minutes.
Burton were the team in the ascendency and Leeds started to struggle as we crept towards the hour mark.
On the hour mark, good play by Hernandez and Ayling on the counter attack gave Roofe a chance but his shot went agonisingly wide of the bottom left corner of the Burton goal.
Leeds had a good 5 minutes after the Roofe chance and played some lovely football, and after some good build play, Roofe had another chance but his shot was straight at McLaughlin in the Burton goal.
Leeds kept up the pressure and Hernandez had two good chances on 69 minutes after better play by Leeds.
Leeds made their first change on 73 minutes after Souleymane Doukara replaced Roofe... which would be the pinnacle moment of the game.
Less than ten minutes later, in the 82nd minute, superb vision by Pablo Hernandez gave Leeds the break they needed. Doukara found his chance to break, and Pablo hit him with a beautiful pass. Doukara was taken down by Turner for a Leeds penalty.
Chris Wood smashed the penalty home and gave Leeds the lead on 84 minutes.
Leeds had had the better of the second-half and probably deserved the lead as we went into last 5 minutes.
Leeds started to sit back as Burton pushed for the equaliser but a chance for Turner went just wide on 88 minutes.
Vieira replaced Hernandez on 89 minutes and made a silly tackle in the 94th minute, as Leeds held on for dear life. However, the Burton free-kick was poor and after the ball bounced around the box, Leeds broke out on the counter attack. Big Douks then put the game away, scoring to seal the victory with a goal he truly deserved after his performances this week.
Man of the Match: Luke Ayling. While Doukara proved the difference in the end, Ayling had a great game for 90 minutes. He showed his defensive duty to the highest order. He also was fantastic going forward creating chances for the team. When Bartsson had an off day, Ayling stepped up and took charge.
Overall, the win today was so important, especially with the Norwich game next week. We needed to carry the momentum gained over the last week, and we have certainly done that. Credit to Burton, they caused Bartsson problems all game and for the first time made them both look very ordinary.
So far this season, especially in September and October, the team have shown true grit and team spirit. We are moving up the table, and Norwich better be ready as we will be waiting come next weekend. MOT