Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1: Dominant Leeds spoil Monk’s return

Ezgjan Alioski
Ezgjan Alioski
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GARRY MONK’S Elland Road return proved a disappointing one as Leeds United claimed the points in a breathless encounter to secure their first victory in five matches.

Goals in each half from the impressive duo of Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski did the damage and despite Boro setting up a dramatic finale after pulling one back 13 minutes from time when Britt Assombalonga netted a hugely controversial penalty, the hosts held out for a famous win.

Leeds were a dominant force in the first period and merited their lead provided to them when Hernandez showed a striker’s instincts to net at the far post 25 minutes in.

It arrived after Kalvin Phillips’ flicked on Alioski’s searching cross, with Hernandez staying alert to steer the ball high past Darren Randolph after Boro’s defence switched off.

On the restart, Leeds showed similar intent and a lovely team goal arrived on 54 minutes when fine play from Kemar Roofe and Hernandez ended with Alioski steering the ball home.

Samuel Saiz went close to a third when his low drive struck the post and Liam Cooper headed an golden opportunity wide before Boro - spearheaded by substitute Adama Traore - awoke from their slumber in the last twenty minutes.

Assombalonga pulled one back from the spot after referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot after consultation with a linesman after a foul by Luke Ayling on Daniel Ayala, although the initial indiscretion appeared to come from the Boro defender.

Boro pressed with Martin Braithwaite coming close and Ayala spurning a late headed chance but it was Leeds’s day.