Whites start 2022 with three points.
Leeds United 3 (Harrison 39, Dallas 77, James 90+2)
Burnley 1 (Cornet 54)
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling (c), Firpo, Forshaw, Koch, Raphinha, Roberts (Gelhardt 58), Llorente, Dallas, Harrison (James 62), Klich. Subs not used: Klaesson, Bate, Hjelde, Summerville, Greenwood, Jenkins, Moore.
Burnley: Hennessey, Lowton, Taylor, Cork, Tarkowski, Mee (c), Gudmundsson (Cornet 45), Wood (Vydra 84), McNeil, Lennon (Rodriguez 80), Westwood. Subs not used: Norris, Stephens, Collins, Pieters, Bardsley, Long.
Booked: Roberts, Llorente (Leeds) Tarkowski (Burnley)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Venue: Elland Road
Attendance: 36,083 (2,605 away)
Leeds United got 2022 off to the perfect start with a 3-1 Premier League victory over Burnley at Elland Road.
The first real effort on goal of the match came from Stuart Dallas. After taking a corner, the ball came back out to the midfielder and he twisted his way into the box, before forcing visiting goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to make a low stop.
Moments later, the Whites came close once again. Tyler Roberts played a neat ball to Raphinha in the middle of the pitch and as the hopeful crowd watched on, the Brazilian’s attempted halfway line lob landed just over the bar.
Raphinha and then Jack Harrison had further efforts on goal as Leeds continued their early attacking presence in the game. The visitors had a couple of set-play opportunities, but they were well dealt with.
With just over ten minutes to go until the interval, the two best chances of the half came at either end. Firstly, Chris Wood found space to flick a volley on target in the box and force Illan Meslier to make a top save, then at the other end Roberts put a header wide of the post from inside the area after Luke Ayling’s cross.
With just over five minutes to go until the break, the Whites did then take a lead that their play had deserved. Harrison charged down James Tarkowski’s clearance, raced into the box and shot.
His first effort was parried by Hennessey in the Burnley goal, but the Leeds United number 22 fired home the first goal of 2022 for the Whites, with his right-foot on the rebound!
Bielsa’s side were then looking to put even more pressure on the Clarets defence. Some superb interplay between Roberts and Junior Firpo saw the fullback have a chance in the box, but his powerful strike went over the bar and Roberts himself forced a save from Hennessey a short time after.
That was to be the last action before the whistle went to signal the end of the first 45 minutes, in a half that Leeds had been on top for, throughout.
Half time: Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
Sean Dyche went to his bench at the interval. He brought on top goalscorer, Maxwel Cornet, as his side looked to get back into the game. The Whites came out with the same team that had started the match.
The Ivory Coast international was causing issues from the restart, with his pace in attacking areas. He won a free-kick high up the pitch and took it himself, curling home beyond Meslier to find the net and level the scores.
Bielsa then made two changes of his own, as Joe Gelhardt and Dan James were brought on in place of Roberts and Harrison.
Both teams continued attacking as they went in search of a winner, and following his introduction, James created a huge chance when looking for one. His cross went all the way across the box and found Raphinha at the back post, but shooting first time on his right foot the Brazilian hit the side netting.
In the 77th minute, Leeds went back ahead in the game, and what a goal it was! Raphinha took a quick corner to Mateusz Klich, who in turn passed to the edge of the box where Stuart Dallas struck home first time left-footed, into the top corner!
Leeds continued to get men forward and were rewarded in stoppage time when Gelhardt put in a lovely cross and Hennessey was unable to keep out James’ header, wrapping up the win and sparking joyous scenes at Elland Road.
Full time: Leeds United 3-1 Burnley