Leeds United scraped their way to a 1-0 victory over Yorkshire rivals, Barnsley.
Barnsley caught Leeds by surprise with just how expansive and quickly they set-up, and it was the away side who created the first chance. Jacob Brown was put through on the left, with every yard making his angle tighter and tighter. His right-footed shot ended up wayward of goal but sent an early message to say that they had arrived to attack.
From the 15 minute mark, Leeds had a flurry of promising moments in and around the box before Barnsley had another big chance come their way. From a corner kick, Andersen beat his marker before planting a diving header just wide of the box from 8 yards.
And soon after, Leeds took the lead. Klich found a great ball between the lines to Bamford, whose shot across goal was blocked at close range before he managed to keep the ball in play, putting the ball into the danger area where Sollbauer was battling to intervene. The ball came off his foot, skewing into the goal and giving Leeds the lead just before the half-hour mark.
LEEDS LEAD!— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) July 16, 2020
An own goal puts Leeds ahead just seconds after Barnsley miss a huge chance to go in front themselves
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But it was to be a game of frustration and confusion in terms of how to combat Barnsley’s formation and style, which proved to be problematic for the entire game, As the back three of The Whites turned into a back four, with Berardi moving to left-back and Dallas advancing into the midfield.
But Barnsley came into the second half with a fiery approach, with Chaplin coming very close when hitting across goal . They came again just moments later, catching Ayling in possession and attacking in a 3V2. Styles decided to shoot himself from a similar position, and outcome from the edge of the box.
Leeds created a good chance on the counter attack on 67 minutes, with substitutes combining as Strujik played in Alioski on the left side, who put the ball across to Bamford first time. Bamford’s first time shot toward the near post was saved by the keeper as Leeds opened a rare opportunity in-behind the Barnsley defence.
For the rest of the game, The Whites were on edge as they tried to hold onto the lead, while Barnsley were taking control and bringing serious danger going forward. But Leeds managed to hold out in what was a crucial three points.
Leeds now look ahead to Sunday’s match with just two games to go.