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Leeds 1-0 Watford: Llorente finish ends winless run

Diego Llorente’s close-range finish helped Leeds avoid failing to win their first seven league games for the first time ever.

Leeds United v Watford - Premier League
Llorente and Cooper celebrate Leeds’ first half goal.
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Leeds United ended their winless run in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Watford ar Elland Road thanks to a first-half finish from Diego Llorente.

Raphinha’s corner deflected off Watford defender Juraj Kucka, allowing Llorente - returning from a three-match injury layoff - to volley the Whites ahead from close range. It was his second goal since arriving in West Yorkshire in last year.

Leeds dominated the match and should have scored one or two more; Raphinha fed Rodrigo through into the box for a golden opportunity but a heavy first touch let him down.

Stuart Dallas and Raphinha contributed with plenty of shots between them, but struggled to hit the target.

Summer signings Dan James and Junior Firpo both made arguably their best appearances yet in a Leeds shirt; the former should have been awarded a penalty in the first half after he was brought down by William Troost-Ekong in the area, but the referee and VAR let the Hornets off.

Watford thought they had equalised with 20 minutes to go after Illan Meslier, who had little to do overall, dropped a corner into his own net, but the visitors were penalised for a foul on Liam Cooper, sparing the goalkeeper’s blushes.

Pascal Struijk made his return to first team action after coming off the bench in the dying moments, but there will be concerns surrounding Dallas, who came off injured with 10 minutes remaining.

The deserved victory boosted Leeds out of the relegation zone and up to 16th in the table with six points. Bielsa’s side are next in action away at Southampton after the