EFL

Leeds keep promotion charge on track with routine win at Sheffield Wednesday

By Sports Desk March 08, 2024

Leeds climbed back into the automatic promotion places after winning 2-0 at Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Patrick Bamford struck in first-half stoppage time and Willy Gnonto added a second after the break as Leeds extended their unbeaten league run in 2024 to 12 matches.

Daniel Farke’s side are two points behind Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester after leap-frogging Ipswich, with their promotion rivals, including Southampton, due to play on Saturday.

Wednesday missed the chance to climb out of the bottom three for the first time since August, having won five of their previous six league matches, and their four-game winning run was halted.

The Owls were eight points adrift of safety after losing 4-0 at Huddersfield at the start of February, while the gap had been 12 points in November.

Owls fans will have observed a looming fixture against another local rival in Leeds with a sense of foreboding, but after Tuesday’s home win against Plymouth, this derby clash could not come soon enough.

Leeds looked to subdue a partisan home crowd by hogging the early possession, but Wednesday were first to carve out the first scoring chance.

Anthony Musaba pounced on a loose ball in the area following a corner and the Leeds goalkeeper brilliantly saved with his legs.

Leeds’ best effort before the goal fell to Georginio Rutter, whose lob having beaten the offside trap was saved by on-rushing Wednesday goalkeeper James Beadle.

Rutter then headed Crysencio Summerville’s corner narrowly over as Leeds pressed for the opening goal and their patient probing paid off in the fifth minute of added time at the end of the first half.

Junior Firpo whipped in a superb low ball across the face of goal from the left and Bamford finished at the far post for his seventh league goal of the season.

Leeds went straight on the offensive at the start of the second period as Rutter’s low shot forced Beadle into a low save and they doubled their lead in the 58th minute.

Rutter threaded a pass through for Gnonto after Bamford’s deft flick and the assistant referee’s flag stayed down as the Italy forward ran on to shoot beyond Beadle from just inside the box.

Leeds sliced through the home side’s defence again soon after, with Summerville thwarted by Beadle’s superb save, but the visitors were then indebted to skipper Ethan Ampadu.

The Wales defender cleared Owls substitute Michael Smith’s effort off the goal-line and blocked Djeidi Gassama’s shot as the Owls threatened for the first time in the second half.

Wednesday defender Marvin Johnson’s 20-yard effort flew narrowly over and at the other end Leeds substitute Connor Roberts’ low shot was inches wide as the visitors secured their first win at Hillsborough since 2016.

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