Match report from Elland Road.
Leeds United 1 (Raphinha 48’)
Everton 2 (Sigurdsson 10’, Calvert-Lewin 41’)
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper (C), Bamford, Alioski (Hernandez 78’), Dallas, Raphinha, Struijk, Harrison (Costa 87’), Phillips, Klich (Roberts 69’). Subs not used: Casilla, Davis, Cresswell, Shackleton, Jenkins, Huggins.
Everton: Olsen, Holgate, Richarlison (Keane 80’), Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson (C) (Davies 89’), Digne, Mina, Doucoure, Iwobi (King 87’), Gomes, Godfrey. Subs not used: Virginia, Delph, Nkounkou, Rodriguez, Bernard, Coleman.
First half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were enough for Everton to take the points at Elland Road, despite Raphinha pulling one back in the second half for Leeds.
It had taken 10 minutes for the first chance of the match to arrive, and it was converted. Lucas Digne broke free down the left-wing and whipped in a low, dangerous cross which found its way into the six-yard box, allowing the onrushing Sigurdsson to tap into the back of the net.
Leeds looked to respond immediately and a quick free-flowing move up the pitch saw Klich presented with a chance to shoot. His curling effort was tipped behind for a corner by Olsen in the Everton net.
A succession of corners arrived in favour of United, who were on the front-foot and looking to level proceedings. Raphinha drilled in one of those set-pieces to the edge of the box, which Gjanni Alioski volleyed first time, hitting the post.
The next effort was from a Kalvin Phillips free-kick. The midfielder whipped it in with pace and Pascal Struijk flicked a header at goal. A slight touch off Calvert-Lewin, combined with an excellent save from Olsen, once again denied Leeds an equaliser.
Back down the other end, Illan Meslier was forced into a good save to deny the visitors a second. Sigurdsson once again was the player threatening, stinging the palms of Leeds United’s number one.
It was a set-piece that would bring the second goal of the game. When Ben Godfrey flicked on a near-post corner, Calvert-Lewin was the most alert to fly in at the back-post and head home at close range and double Everton’s advantage.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-2 Everton
The Whites started the second half in perfect fashion. Jack Harrison showed excellent strength in the box to cause problems, allowing Bamford to pick up the ball. He laid it off to Raphinha and the winger did the rest by sliding it into the bottom corner to reduce the deficit.
A sustained spell of pressure came from Bielsa’s side for the next 10 minutes as the rain lashed down at Elland Road. Despite that though, the Blues were able to regain their foothold in the game and saw out that tough spell.
Olsen, who was impressive when he needed to be in the first half was then even more so in the second. He saved first from Klich’s deflected effort from outside the box, secondly from Raphinha on the follow up, then made it a hat-trick with Harrison’s volley on the next effort.
Bielsa went to his bench and brought on Tyler Roberts, Pablo Hernandez and Helder Costa in an effort to equalise in the game.
With the game entering its final five minutes, the best chance fell to England striker Calvert-Lewin. Phillips in-swinging free-kick was cleared and Abdoulaye Doucoure played in his teammate one-on-one, but Meslier was there to pull off an excellent save.
Leeds continued to pile on the pressure and had chances to equalise just before the whistle through Ayling and Roberts, but the Toffees held out for the three points.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-2 Everton
Referee: Michael Oliver
Booked: Harrison, Ayling (Leeds) Godfrey, Holgate, Olsen (Everton)
Venue: Elland Road