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Match Recap: Leeds beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 and go three points clear in second place

Sheffield United giving up a late equalizer to Millwall ensured that Leeds had a chance to put some distance between them and their promotion rivals

Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Due to the result at Bramall Lane, Leeds United knew that a win or draw would see them take sole possession of second place and one of the automatic promotion spots. Millwall’s late equalizer meant that Sheffield United were only level on points going into the evening fixture in the Championship schedule on Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday went into the match needing a win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, but all the focus was on Leeds and the opportunity that they had to take advantage of the stumble by the Blades at home. Leeds captain Liam Cooper had to pull out before the start of the match due to a knock picked up in warm-ups, meaning that Gaetano Berardi had to start in central defence in Cooper’s place and Luke Ayling took the armband.

Leeds went on the attack in the first half hour, with a couple really good chances from Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison both having their shots saved by remarkable efforts by Wednesday keeper Keiran Westwood. Not to be outdone, Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla also kept out a curling effort from Barry Bannon at his far post.

Leeds had a rather extended spell of pressure around the half-hour mark, as for about ten minutes or so the pitch seemed rather slanted towards the Wednesday goal. It was only the combination of great goalkeeping along with some luck that kept Leeds off of the board.

Despite having 14 shots in the first half, Leeds went into half-time without a goal and level with Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds also had six corners in the first half and the great bulk of possession, but were still missing the elusive goal to set their supporters minds at ease at Elland Road.

The second half started like the first half ended, with Leeds creating a number of chances while Sheffield Wednesday merely seemed like they were trying to catch their breath and often just trying to relieve pressure instead of trying to make any effort on the attacking front.

Leeds did everything but score leading up the introduction of Kemar Roofe in the 64th minute, as Patrick Bamford, who had done very well, made way for Leeds’ leading scorer on the season.

Jack Harrison broke the deadlock in the 65th minute after he was picked out by a remarkable pass by Pablo Hernandez. The goal was taken well, as Harrison’s strike found the far post and skipped past the helpless Westwood.

Leeds settled down a little bit as the match progressed, and Adam Forshaw came on for Matuesz Klich in the 77th minute. The pressure continued for Leeds and Wednesday didn’t seem to have any real sense of urgency going forward, despite being down a goal. Roofe had a goal pulled back for offsides in the 80th minute, and Leeds saw the game out without too much trouble. Stuart Dallas was brought onto the pitch late on for Manchester City loanee Harrison, who had one of his better games in a Leeds shirt tonight, and not just because of his game-winning goal.

Leeds win and go three points clear of Sheffield United in the race for second place and the other automatic promotion spot. While most Wednesday fans will be disappointed that their team lost, at least they get the benefit of knowing their cross-town rivals were denied a spot in the automatic promotion spots by the Leeds victory.