Leeds United came into the match looking to leap back into the automatic promotion spots while Preston North End also needed a win to preserve their own playoff hopes. And while Leeds were the the better team overall, a red card early in the second half doomed Preston to a loss and put Leeds back into the automatic promotion spots.
Leeds started the game with a shot on target, as Tyler Roberts hit an improbable shot right at the Preston keeper Declan Rudd. The shot was from an angle that made the attempt on goal speculative, at best, but it was still good to see some attacking intent right away from the start.
Leeds were the better side through out the first half, as they had the bulk of possession and took a number of chances, with plenty of corner kicks and time spent in the attacking zone. Bamford had a decent chance early on, but his shot was always rising and too flight out out into touch.
Matuesz Klich came the closet to scoring in the first half, as his left-footed shot was drug just wide of the far post. Preston had a pair of corners, but they failed to look especially threatening during the first half. Leeds closed out the half with a few more chances, but nothing was especially dangerous and the two sides went into half-time still level.
Preston’s Ben Pearson saw red for a foul after bringing down Patrick Bamford with the Leeds forward clear on goal with no one but the keeper in front of him. Pearson was already on a yellow card, but he got a straight red for his troubles. Kalvin Phillips free kick grazed the top of the netting, but once again Leeds failed to score.
This was largely one-way traffic at 11 v 11 but Leeds are banging on the door constantly now. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 9, 2019
Leeds turned up the pressure after the red card, although all of the pressure didn’t really result in any decent shots on net, despite some really lovely movement and passing moves. Roberts was the most guilty of being wasteful, as he took a few extra touches a couple of times.
Bamford got Leeds in front in the 63rd minute with a brilliant goal from outside of the area. The goal had been coming for some time, and it was good to see the striker, who had been snakebit as of late, finally put a goal in the back of the net.
Bamford made it two in the 76th minute as Leeds finally started to make the scoreline reflect the dominance on the pitch. Another well-worked goal from Leeds meant gave the team a cushion and meant that the team would end the night in the automatic promotion places.
Gaetano Berardi came on for Jack Harrison, and Adam Forshaw came on for the Wales international Roberts. Both were more defensive moves, as Berardi took up the fullback spot on the left, pushing Alioski up to the winger spot, and Forshaw is more defensive oriented than Roberts. Leeds saw the rest of the match out fairly easily, even with Pontus Jansson taking a knock and getting a cut on his forehead.
Bamford looked as if he was going to get a hat trick late on, but the ball was just taken off of his feet at the last moment and no foul was called despite him getting spilled in the box. Kemar Roofe came on for Bamford right afterwards to see out the six minutes of stoppage time.
Leeds will now have to see what kind of result that Birmingham City can get against Sheffield United to see if they will go into the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday in the automatic promotion places or not. Perhaps the Owls will let Leeds win to annoy their crosstown rivals, right?