Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United 2 (Wood 55, Doukara 74) Nottingham Forest
Chris Wood’s 20th goal of the season and a wonder volley from Souleymane Doukara secured Leeds United a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.
United head coach Garry Monk shuffled his pack, making three changes from Saturday’s loss at Barnsley, with Pontus Jansson, Eunan O’Kane and Stuart Dallas returning to the starting line-up.
It was the returning Dallas who almost gave Leeds the lead inside 30 seconds of the match, Kemar Roofe put in a wicked cross, but the Northern Ireland international couldn’t make the desired contact at the back post, with the ball going wide.
The visitors almost took the lead through talisman Britt Assombalonga, he superbly turned and shot on the half volley, forcing Rob Green into a top quality save, tipping the ball over the crossbar.
Leeds saw a goal disallowed in the 13th minute. Hernandez won and delivered a free-kick into the box and the ball was flicked on to top scorer Wood who converted the chance, but he was in an offside position.
Hernandez was next to go close, he fired an effort from 25 yards, but it was wide of the target.
At the other end, Assombalonga continued to threat, he found space inside the area, before shooting on the spin, but his effort went over the bar.
Gaetano Berardi then tried his luck, he played a neat one-two with Wood, but his effort sailed over.
Roofe then did well to cut inside and create room for a shot from 20 yards and he came very close to finding the top left corner, but neither side could get the important breakthrough before the break.
Half Time: Leeds United 0-0 Nottingham Forest
Leeds came close to taking the lead after the break, Hernandez put a free-kick into the box, Roofe made contact with a glancing header, but he couldn’t direct it on target.
United took the lead in the 56th minute, Hernandez put in a corner, Kyle Bartley’s header landed at the feet of Wood who fired home his 20th goal of the season from six yards out.
Assombalonga who found himself isolated in the second half, showed his frustration when he shot from 40 yards, but his effort was well over.
United doubled their lead from another corner. The ball was headed out to the edge of the box and substitute Souleymane Doukara unleashed an unstoppable sensational volley which flew into the top left corner, erupting Elland Road.
Wood was given the opportunity to score his second of the match in the 79th minute, he was played through one-on-one with Forest stopper Stephen Henderson and shot from 25 yards, but couldn’t find the target.
Roofe then went close with a volley of his own, Wood teed him up from the edge of the box, but his effort went just wide of the post.
The win was United’s sixth in succession at Elland Road, along with clean sheets, as the Whites move back to third in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Full Time: Leeds United 2-0 Nottingham Forest
United: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, O’Kane (Vieira 75), Bridcutt, Hernandez (Mowatt 80), Dallas (Doukara 72), Roofe, Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Coyle, Phillips, Antonsson.
Forest: Henderson, Lichaj, Pinillos, Mancienne, Assombalonga (Brereton 76), Osborn, Fox, Ward (Bendtner 67), Vaughan, Hobbs (Lam 57), Cash. Subs not used: Stojkovic, Pereira, Carayol, Worrall.
Booked: Ayling (Leeds)
Referee: T. Harrington
Venue: Elland Road