Daniel Farke on 'over-emotional' and 'over-aggressive' Leeds United, but also pride after tense win over Middlesbrough FC
Five goals arrived in a rip-roaring first half, with three coming in the first seven minutes.
Emmanuel Latte Lath gave Boro a shock lead with a fine strike, but Leeds immediately roared back to lead, thanks to rare headed goals from Dan James and Cree Summerville.
Chances came and went at both ends in a half when both sides creaked defensively before Joel Piroe extended the hosts’ advantage from the spot on 37 minutes after substitute Matt Clarke fouled Georginio Rutter.
Boro weren’t finished with Latte Lath notching his second goal shortly before the interval.
The visitors were reduced to ten men on 63 minutes when Anfernee Dijksteel received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Yet Leeds could not put the game to bed and had a late scare when substitute Sammy Silvera hit the post for Boro.
But the points were banked by Leeds, who registered a seventh successive home win in the top two tiers for the first time in 24 years and extended their unbeaten league sequence at Elland Road to 11 games.
Farke said: “It was a tough game for us and I couldn’t be happier and prouder of my boys today. It was our third game in eight days against a really good side in Middlesbrough.
"They have had fantastic spells during the season. I judge them as one of the main competitors for the top-six positions. They are a really good side and it was important to be brave and press with intensity.
"Sometimes, we were perhaps a bit over-aggressive and over-emotional. It is always important you are fully committed in your work against the ball against Middlesbrough, otherwise you are punished.
"But we credited so many good situations and moments in the first half and it was a sign of our willingness and how desperate and greedy we were.
"With our first goal, it was a great finish after the block in winning the ball back and the next goal, we again won the ball back.
"We were committed to win duels.
"Sam Byram scored a big willingness to get to the byline and put the cross in (for the first goal) and Dan is not a natural born header of the ball and he won the duel and the second goal was more of the same.
"Summerville, while not known as the best header in this league, was fully committed to his header and wanted to score the goal.
"We showed how desperate we wanted to win this game and it was top-class in the first half. The problem was we were a little bit overdriven in our emotions in possession. We had too many unnecessary losses of the ball and we gave so many moments away in a high-intensity game against a really good side.
"We made little mistakes.”