Leeds United took the three points at Huddersfield Town to return to the top of the Championship thanks to goals from Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez.
Injuries and suspensions had Leeds playing a back-line made up of full-backs, while Ben White sat in a back-three for much of the match.
Huddersfield started well, frustrating the Whites and causing problems from set-pieces. Leeds’ first chance came from a corner kick of all places, with Hernandez’s low delivery catching out the crowd of striped jerseys as Poland international Mateusz Klich curled his run before his strike clattered off the outside of the post.
Kiko Casilla was forced into a great stop on 20 minutes, as Steve Mounie met the delivery from the free kick. His floating header was dipping over the keeper before his out-stretched arm managed to push the ball behind for the corner kick.
Huddersfield pressed Leeds high, as the gap left by Kalvin Phillips’ suspension was not being filled, and late-on in the half Kiko Casilla just about did. Casilla came far from his goal-line in a bid to clear the ball. It dropped for Karlan Grant 20 yards from goal, whose strike was diverted away from goal thanks to Luke Ayling.
The break came at the perfect time, Leeds’ set-up needed adapting and Huddersfield were growing in confidence. Leeds came out and scored a crucial goal five minutes after the restart. The delivery from the corner was headed away at the near-post, Alioski latched onto the clearance on the edge of the box, and whacked a volley low into the back of the net.
Now that’s how you score in a Yorkshire derby!!! pic.twitter.com/Wj7Ltsmpd2— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 7, 2019
Leeds had a Patrick Bamford goal wrongly ruled out for offside soon after, as the game began to finally settle down. Huddersfield struggled going forward, as Leeds dominated possession and looked significantly more solid in the second half.
Leeds doubled the lead with twelve minutes to go, as the Whites explosively countered down the left-hand side. Jack Harrison delivered a peach of a cross to the back-post, as Pablo Hernandez arrived to nod the ball home to give Leeds all three points.
Pablo Hernandez goal Leeds vs Huddersfield 2-0 #LUFC pic.twitter.com/9EfTDhYohO— zwodde (@zwodde11) December 7, 2019
Huddersfield came back following this goal, with a handful of chances not being taken by Daly, Grant and Mounie. Questions will now be asked of the defensive setup at set-pieces, with Kiko Casilla providing a massive save to hold onto the clean-sheet.
And to finish, a massive congratulations to Oli Casey, who made his Leeds United debut today.