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Leeds United gathered a crucial three points when they defeated second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at the Elland Road in the EFL Championship on Saturday night.
It was a cagey affair for large parts of the game, indicating how high the stakes were for both the teams. Brighton had a chance to go two points clear at the top after Newcastle’s 0-0 draw at Birmingham, while the Whites had the chance to close down on third-placed Huddersfield who had suffered a 4-0 defeat to Bristol City.
And Chris Wood’s 26th and 27th goals of his most prolific season till did date did just that for Leeds, keeping them alive and strong in the Championship’s automatic promotion race. The New Zealand international opened the scoring in the 65th minute, heading home powerfully before adding to his tally from the penalty spot, after substitute Souleymane Doukara was felled in the box.
The win sees Garry Monk’s men return to the fourth spot and reduce the gap to Huddersfield to two points. Let’s see how the Leeds players fared on the night:
The 37-year old stopper continues to prove his worth to the side, after he pulled off a string of crucial saves late in the game to keep his team ahead.
Shifted to right-side of the defence, Berardi put in another solid and sound display. Won his battle easily with Jiri Skalak, but was tested by the creativity of Solly March. Held strong.
The centre-back bossed the defence totally. Had Glenn Murray in his pockets throughout the length of the game. Had a shy at goal early in the game.
Surprise inclusion in the team ahead of the brilliant Pontus Jansson. Almost turned the ball into his own net, if not for Green’s amazing reflexes. Grew into the game from there on.
Returned to the line-up and was steady in defence, as he hardly gave Anthony Knockaert an inch on the flank. Reminded everyone of his attacking abilities with a peach of a cross to set Wood up for the opener.
The captain was solid in the middle of the park, guarding his backline well. Did not let the Seagulls to settle in the midfield.
The 18-year old continues to impress with his mature and combative displays in the centre of the pitch. Won the ball back on so many occasions, and was good in possession. Kept the ball alive in the lead up to the opener.
A better display from his recent disappointing outings. However, still doesn’t convince many of his abilities. Was involved and got into good positions, but the end product was never there.
Still not up to his best. Got into pockets of space and tried to make things happen, but couldn’t impose himself for a consistent period in the game.
The youngster is starting to settle in the line-up nicely now. Wasn’t a massive threat, but showed his abilities to beat his man and the appetite to get forward.
Missed out on a couple of opportunities earlier in the game, but opened the score with a deadly header. Made no mistake from the spot to take his tally to 24 goals in the Championship this season. Brilliant.
Looked up for it from the moment he came on to replace Alfonso Pedraza in the 75th minute. Won the penalty after a jinking run into the box.
Replaced Sacko in the 81st minute. Hardly touched the ball.
Replaced Hernandez in the final minute of normal playing time to add solidity to midfield.