Leeds beat Hull City 1-0 despite looking second best for much of the match, keeping another clean sheet. Felix Wiedwald provided a number of heroic saves for his ninth clean sheet on the season, and Pablo Hernandez’s cheeky chip in the first half, following an embarrassing goalkeeping error by Hull’s Alan McGregor, was the difference as Leeds left with a 1-0 win that puts Leeds back into the playoff places.
couldn't have placed that shot much better from 20 yards. Great reaction from Wiedwald.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 23, 2017
Hull City started the match brightly, with a number of good chances that Leeds United goalkeper Felix Wiedwald did very well to save. Wiedwald made an absolutely brilliant save in the first minute of play to deny a good shot on net from Grosicki, and Hull followed up it with another good chance after nine minutes.
After Leeds had put their first decent chance in the box in the 11th minute, Dicko shot an absolute blinder of a shot that Wiedwald had no business getting near, much less saving and the match stayed 0-0, with Hull City battering the Leeds midfield, winning possession back and seeming to always get to loose balls before the Leeds players, as Seb Larsson chased down a ball into the right corner of the Leeds end that Luke Ayling did too much to defend, flinging himself at the Hull midfielder, and Larsson would have felt unlucky that his ball into the box bounced out for a corner.
In the 30th minute, Hull City keeper McGregor had a nightmare of a miss-hit clearance, as the ball went straight to Pablo Hernandez, who was completely unmarked about 30 yards from goal. Pablo chipped the ball into the back of the net past the helpless keeper, giving Leeds a totally unearned 1-0 lead on the afternoon.
OFF THE POST: Phillips fail to cut out a ball across the face of the box, Toral strikes left-footed and beats Wiedwald but strikes the outside of the post. 1-0 on 35 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 23, 2017
In the 34th minute, Toral hit the post after an extremely well struck shot that really should have gone in and every Hull fan in attendance or watching at home would have wondered what they had done in a past life to deserve having three or four sure goals gone wasted by the visitors.
CHANCE: Ayling cross finds Cibicki at the back post, his header down is perfect for Alioski but his volley smashes against McGregor's legs. Leeds' best move by a mile so far. 1-0 on 44 mins.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 23, 2017
The best Leeds chance, apart from the cheeky goal from Hernandez, came in the 44th minute as Alioski was at the end of the some brilliant build-up play and took a very powerful shot that McGregor somehow managed to stop by sticking out his foot. Leeds was extremely unlucky to not score, but given the gift of the earlier goal, no Leeds fan would feel too upset by the half-time scoreline.
Wiedwald & a moment of brilliance from Hernandez betray the fact Hull City have looked the more potent side. #lufc— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) December 23, 2017
Hull once again started out well in the second half, putting more pressure on the Leeds end. Kalvin Phillips was subbed off at half-time, replaced by Eunan O’Kane.
Hull wasted a free kick in the 62nd minute as Stewart’s free header went over the bar. The Hull offence didn’t get very many good clear chances in the second half as the Leeds defence seemed to lock down the match, especially in the final half-hour of the match.
One of the better chances for Leeds came in the second half fell to Kemar Roofe, as he got the ball played in at his feet from Pawel Cibicki, as the former Malmo player had gotten free enough to send in a quick ball cut back into the path of Roofe.
CHANCE: Lasogga on the turn from miles out, McGregor dives to beat it away. 1-0 on 90+3— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 23, 2017
Roofe was subbed off for Lasogga in the 76th minute, and Matthew Pennington came on in the 90th minute as Leeds looked to close out the match. Leeds showed some attacking intent late in the second half, but it was always obvious that the team was more concerned about grinding out a clean sheet in an afternoon that probably should have gone the other way.
Hull City might feel hard done by in the match, as the visitors showed much more attacking intent and had the bulk of possession and chances on net, especially in the first half hour of the match.
Leeds pulled this result out, even if the team didn’t play its best. It’s been said before, but teams that want to get promoted need to grind out 1-0 wins at home even if they’ve been second best all match. All’s well that ends well, and another good victory for Leeds.