Leeds United returned to the top of the Championship with a brilliant victory over struggling Middlesbrough, as Bamford scored against his former side, Klich scored two and Helder Costa grabbed a long overdue league goal.
Leeds started brightly, with Luke Ayling coming close within sixty seconds, as he found himself bearing down on the penalty area through the middle. Ayling shifted the ball onto his left as a few red jerseys were arriving to press, his weak-footed strike curled just wide of the post.
But the opener was not far away, as two minutes later Patrick Bamford’s header at the back post was well saved, breaking to Hernandez on the other side of the goal area. His ball back in found the head of Bamford again, and the former Boro man headed home to give Leeds the lead on three minutes.
Ayling almost scored soon after, just about making a carbon copy of his earlier chance on the edge of the penalty area, as the Whites continued to mount the pressure on their visitors.
The rest of the first half was a rather baron spell in the match, as Boro were looking to get a grip of the ball, while Leeds were looking to breakdown a Boro back five who had found momentary organisation. That was until Leeds struck again on the stroke of half-time, as Bamford broke down the left channel, his ball back across deflected into the path of Mateusz Klich, whose shot deflected off a defender and bounced into the net to double Leeds’ goal tally.
Leeds 4-0 Middlesbrough FT:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) November 30, 2019
Top of the Championship
BIGGEST win since February
FIVE consecutive wins
Unbeaten in 7 matches v Boro
3 consecutive clean sheets for the first time in 2019
THE MOST DEVASTATING PERFORMANCE WE'VE CRAVED ALL SEASON. pic.twitter.com/C85ga8dbo4
Leeds kept up the pressure going into the second half, and tested Pears between the sticks once again five minutes into the second half. Stuart Dallas’ cross met a defensive header which landed in the path of Jack Harrison, whose spinning volley might’ve burst the net had it gone in, a strong hand from the Boro keeper prevented the third.
But the away side could only delay the third from going in, as Helder Costa worked his way inside from the right. He persevered through several bodies, and with a bit of luck managed to open a scoring chance, which he took by smashing the ball through the keeper and into the net.
Leeds finished Boro off by scoring from a corner kick of all places. Phillips played a one-two with Pablo Hernandez before finding a reverse pass into Klich on the edge of the box. His trademark curling strike gave Pears no chance, securing Leeds with the three points.