Leeds – Burnley was a game of two halves, as the hosts started well and grabbed the only goal of the game early on.
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Patrick Bamford’s penalty kick was enough to win it for Leeds, as Burnley huffed and puffed in the second half and were unhappy with refereeing decisions throughout.
With the win Leeds momentarily moved up to 11th place as they continue to wrack up points in their first season back in the Premier League. Burnley are hovering just above the relegation zone.
Three things we learned
1. Wasteful Leeds, again: The amount of chances that Leeds create per game is quite incredible. The amount of chances that Leeds do not finish off per game is quite incredible. Consistently they’ve been ripping opposition defenses apart this season (and over the last two seasons in the Championship) and the only thing stopping them from mounting a serious challenge for European qualification is putting them away. Patrick Bamford is doing his best but it is more about attacking midfielders being more clinical as Rodrigo, Jack Harrison and Raphinha all missed good chances. Bielsa-ball is working and if they can spend big on quality finishers, they can kick on.
2. Burnley on wrong end of close calls: The Clarets were not happy with the officiating throughout, and they have a point. Nick Pope brought down Patrick Bamford early on and although he got plenty of the ball, he also caught Bamford. It was a 50/50 decision and it went in Leeds’ favor. They were then denied what was a perfectly good goal as Ben Mee was clattered by Ilan Meslier and Ashley Barnes lashed home the loose ball, but Leeds were awarded a free kick. VAR didn’t check the latter incident as the referee blew his whistle, and that was a huge let-off for Leeds.
3. A rare clean sheet shows way forward for Leeds: This was Leeds’ second shutout at home this season, and just their fourth overall through 15 games. Bielsa’s side sat back deeper in the second half and showed maturity to keep hold of their early lead. This has to be the way forward. Their cavalier play is fun to watch but grinding out wins like this will push them up the table. A slightly more pragmatic Leeds side is needed against bottom half teams like Burnley.
Man of the Match: Raphinha – Brilliant surging runs as he cut in from the right and was a constant threat.
Leeds took an early lead as Bamford got in-behind the Burnley defense and was caught by Nick Pope as he rounded the goalkeeper.
Bamford slammed home the spot kick emphatically to set Leeds on their way. Rodrigo had a shot on goal which Pope saved and Burnley failed to get going in the first half as Leeds set the tone.
A real moment of contention then arrived as Ilan Meslier spilled a free kick and Ashley Barnes smashed home on the turn, but a free kick was given to Leeds as they were let off the hook.
Raphinha was causing havoc with his surging runs and he raced clear of several tackles as Mee made a mistake, then set up Jack Harrison but Pope saved. Raphinha then forced Pope into a good stop down low and Rodrigo headed off target as Leeds were dangerous on the break.
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Burnley were more dangerous in the second half as they piled the pressure on Leeds’ goal with plenty of crosses coming in.
Substitute Pablo Hernandez surged forward and forced Pope into a low save as the hosts just couldn’t finish the game off.
Burnley sub Jay Rodriguez blazed a shot over the bar at the back post and Barnes was denied by Meslier at the near post, as the Clarets couldn’t break through late on and Leeds secured their first shutout home win of the season.