Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds United 2: Whites excel to get Monk up and running

Chris Wood is hauled back by Sam Hutchinson.
 PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Chris Wood is hauled back by Sam Hutchinson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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LEEDS UNITED bagged their first league win under head coach Garry Monk by excelling in a 2-0 win at Saturday’s lunch-time hosts Sheffield Wednesday.

After creating a host of chances, United deservedly took the lead three minutes after the hour through Marcus Antonsson and victory was then guaranteed when Chris Wood tucked away Kemar Roofe’s cross with five minutes left.

Leeds began brightly with a Wood cross just evading Antonsson before Hadi Sacko found Charlie Taylor whose shot from outside of the area was blocked.

Wednesday then had their first chance when Liam Cooper took down Steven Fletcher 25 yards from goal but Ross Wallace’s free-kick was hammered straight into the wall with his follow up attempt comfortably saved by Rob Green.

Fernando Forestieri then fired wide from range before Jack Hunt’s cross was also headed wide by Alemen Abdi as Wednesday pressure began to build.

And the Owls then squandered two fine chances just after the quarter hour mark with Forestieri handed an opening after a mix up between Liam Cooper and Charlie Taylor, only to drag his shot wide of the right hand post.

Seconds later, the striker again raced in on goal and rounded Rob Green but his effort was headed off the line by Cooper.

But United then began to threaten themselves and Chris Wood was handed a free header from Alex Mowatt’s left flank cross but sent his effort wide of Keiren Westwood’s left hand post.

United then squandered an even better opportunity moments later when a superb pass from Ronaldo Vieira found Hadi Sacko who rounded Westwood but ran the ball out of play.

Marcus Antonsson then fired just wide from outside the area as Leeds began to dominate and the impressive Sacko then skinned Barry Bannan to race free down the right wing before crossing to Wood who took two touches before seeing his volley blocked by Jack Hunt.

But Wednesday then came the closest so far to breaking the deadlock four minutes before the interval when Cooper conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Abdi’s set piece cannoned off the crossbar and over.

Leeds, though, ended the half in the ascendancy with Sacko again skinning the Owls defence and seeing his cross hacked away for a corner which was cleared.

At the other end, an Abdi free-kick was slammed straight into the wall, allowing Leeds to break but Vieira’s shot was deflected wide.

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal brought on Gary Hooper for Abdi during the half-time break but it was Leeds who again went close five minutes into the second half when Wood wriggled free in the Wednesday area and saw his shot deflected just wide.

Then, just before the hour, Antonsson’s left flank cross found Sacko who fired over from an angle.

United were creating so many chances that eventually one surely had to stick and that’s exactly what happened three minutes after the hour through a clinical counter attack.

Taylor performed heroics to burst out of defence down the left wing and his pass found Wood who played in Sacko with Luke Ayling bursting alongside on the overlap.

The duo played a lovely one two and Sacko’s peach of a cross picked out Antonsson who had the simple task of guiding the ball home into an empty net.

The goal sparked bedlam in the away end but Wednesday almost immediately equalised with Green saving a close-range shot from Hooper before the ball was hacked away for a corner.

The Owls then saw strong claims for a 76th-minute penalty waved away when Ayling barged into Sam Hutchinson.

Hooper then blasted over from outside the area before Green eventually gathered Forestieri’s low effort despite initially fumbling the ball.

Hooper and Steven Fletcher then narrowly failed to make the breakthrough with a clever one-two, before Hooper then fired wide from 12 yards.

But Leeds continued to threaten on the counter attack and after substitute Souleymane Doukara fired just wide, the Whites bagged a killer second goal with five minutes left.

Another lovely move saw the ball worked out wide to Kemar Roofe who produced a composed cross to pick out Wood who produced a deft finish in front of an ecstatic away end.

The goal caused a mass Hillsborough exodus and it was Leeds who went closest to bagging the game’s third goal, first through Sacko who fired wide and then through Taylor whose curler was off target.

Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Cooper, Bartley, Taylor, Bridcutt, Vieira, Mowatt (Roofe 77), Sacko (Phillips 88), Antonsson (Doukara 69), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Coyle, Bamba, Hernandez.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Pudil, Hunt (Buckley 72), Lees, Hutchinson, Lee, Abdi (Hooper 45), Bannan, Wallace (Jones 63), Forestieri, Fletcher. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Palmer, Sasso, Joao.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

Attendance: 29,075.

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