Report from Elland Road.
Leeds United 1 (Bamford 5’ pen)
Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling (c), Struijk, Dallas, Alioski, Phillips, Klich (Shackleton 66’), Harrison, Raphinha (Poveda 70’), Rodrigo (Hernandez 59’), Bamford. Subs not used: Casilla, Poveda, Roberts, Costa, Davis, Jenkins, Casey.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee (c), Brownhill, Wood, Barnes, Westwood, Pieters (Rodriguez 74’), Benson (Stephens 74’). Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Norris, Bardsley, Long, Dunne, Mancini, Mumbongo.
Patrick Bamford’s 10th goal of the season secured another three points for Leeds United, moving them up to 11th in the Premier League table.
Marcelo Bielsa named his starting XI with Pascal Struijk replacing the injured Liam Cooper. Club captain Cooper picked up an abdominal injury in the match against Manchester United a week ago. The other 10 players all kept their place in the starting line-up.
The substitutes bench included a number of attacking options, namely Pablo Hernandez, Helder Costa, Ian Poveda and Tyler Roberts along with youngsters Jamie Shackleton, Leif Davis, Olly Casey and Jack Jenkins - who makes his first appearance in the squad this season.
Returning to Elland Road for Burnley were former Leeds United players Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor named in the starting XI, whilst Bailey Peacock-Farrell was on the bench.
Leeds made a perfect start to the game, taking the lead after just five minutes. Luke Ayling ventured forward and played a ball over the top for Bamford, who controlled and was brought down by Nick Pope.
The forward took the penalty himself and smashed it into the top corner for an early advantage and his 10th Premier League goal of the campaign - the quickest to reach this milestone in his career for the Whites in the least Premier League games.
Next to threaten Pope’s net was Rodrigo, who saw his effort saved well by the England ‘keeper. Raphinha would then go close with a header moments later, the ball going narrowly over the bar.
Burnley then looked to respond and the visiting side felt they should have equalised. A long ball into the United area saw a foul awarded on Meslier as he looked to catch. Ashley Barnes turned the ball into the net, but the whistle had already been blown for the foul, which the Clarets firmly disagreed with.
Leeds would then go close again. A searching ball over the top saw Ben Mee’s attempted clearance land to Raphinha. His shot was low, goal bound and powerful but Pope was equal to it again.
Burnley’s big chance of the half then arrived through former Whites striker, Chris Wood. A cross from the right found the big forward, who saw his close-range header go over the bar. That was a similar story in the final chance before the whistle, Rodrigo doing the same but down the opposite end.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
The Clarets began the second half on the front foot and had a large spell of possession. Bielsa’s side were continuing to play with Kalvin Phillips between Ayling and Struijk at centre-back playing as a three, which was containing Burnley well.
Meslier was called into action early, with defender Matt Lowton having an effort on target. He saved well and it was a good early test in what would be a busy half for the number one, saving again from Josh Brownhill shortly after.
Pablo Hernandez, Jamie Shackleton and Ian Poveda were all introduced from the bench, separately over a 10 minute period in the half. Those changes helped to regain control and get Leeds back on the front foot, but little chances were coming at either end.
That was until Alioski produced an acrobatic clearance, sending Hernandez into space. He pressed towards goal and did have options either side, they proved a good distraction as he was left unchallenged and shot at goal. Pope once again showed his quality, finger tipping the effort wide.
Meslier was then under constant aerial bombardment. Jay Rodriguez was introduced alongside the physical presence of Wood in the frontline, giving Burnley opportunities to use their height advantage.
The Whites’ goalkeeper was however having none of that, coming to claim or punch nearly every ball. His decision making proved pivotal in defending the box, time after time.
Three minutes were added meaning there was a nervy finish at Elland Road, but Leeds were strong enough to hold on to their lead and ran out winners, moving up to 11th in the Premier League table.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
Booked: Tarkowski, Westwood, Barnes (Burnley).
Referee: Robert Jones
Venue: Elland Road