Burnley 1 Leeds United 0: Wasteful Whites winless streak continues
LEEDS United's winless streak continued with Saturday lunch-time's 1-0 loss at Championship leaders Burnley who scored the only goal of the game after 59 seconds.
Slack Whites defending allowed Scott Arfield acres of space on the left flank with the winger easily firing past keeper Marco Silvestri.
But Leeds were much improved after the interval with Chris Wood guilty of missing two free headers from close range.
Whites head coach Steve Evans made three changes to his starting line up with Giuseppe Bellusci dropped at centre back for Sol Bamba.
Liam Bridcutt missed out with a thigh injury and was replaced by Toumani Diagouraga in midfield while Marco Silvesti returned from suspension in goal at the expense of Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
And within one minute Silvestri was picking the ball out of his net as United got off to a disastrous start after just 58 seconds.
Sol Bamba came racing out in an attempt to win a header but Sam Vokes beat him to the ball and nodded on to Andre Gray who fed Arfield on the left flank.
Arfield was left in acres of space and easily despatched a low effort into the bottom right corner past Silvestri.
Leeds attempted to make an immediate response as Bamba’s low effort was parried away by Tom Heaton for a corner.
But from that corner the Clarets scythed Leeds open on the counter attack and Silvestri was required to get down low to keep out a goal-bound effort from Matthew Lowton inside the box.
United then began to respond with Mustapha Carayol looking threatening down the left flank but the best effort United could muster was Luke Murphy’s long range effort which was sliced wide.
And Leeds narrowly avoided going 2-0 down on 23 minutes when George Boyd was found in an identical position to which Arfield scored from and went mightily close to applying a similar finish with the ball whizzing just past the post.
United’s next attempt came from Chris Wood who fired over from 25 yards with the striker’s weak header from a 30th-minute corner then saved.
But Burnley continued to look dangerous and Joey Barton and Sam Vokes both had attempts blocked and saved before a heavy touch let Wood down in a promising United counter that followed.
Gaetano Berardi then fired wide from range but Burnley looked firmly in control with Toumani Diagouraga and Charlie Taylor getting themselves in a pickle at the back but Gray unable to capitalise.
Bamba was then presented with a decent chance from a 45th-minute corner but his effort was blocked by Stephen Ward and that proved the last action of note in an uneventful first half.
Evans resisted any temptation to make any changes during the break and the second half began in slow fashion with Wood firing United’s first half chance over on 53 minutes.
But the striker then missed a glorious opportunity four minutes later when Carayol’s left flank delivery presented him with a free header which the forward put inches wide from point blank range.
The game began to open up with end to end football but another promising Leeds move ended with Stuart Dallas blazing over from range.
Evans then brought on Mirco Antenucci for Carayol six minutes after the hour and Antenucci immediately had half a chance which he fired wide.
Luke Murphy then entered referee Lee Mason’s notebook for hauling down Joey Barton who was himself booked earlier for a late challenge.
And Wood then missed another golden opportunity when putting another totally free header wide after a delicious delivery from Taylor.
The Clarets were under the kosh but then countered in the blink of an eye with Liam Cooper forced to clear Gray’s cross over his own bar.
At the other end, Cook’s long range effort was easily held by Heaton but United’s best chances had already come and gone.
Evans called for Tom Adeyemi and then Alex Mowatt in an attempt to create one last opening but Burnley had rode the Leeds storm and held on for all three points.
Indeed, the home side should have bagged a second in the fourth minute of injury time but Ashley Barnes fired wide of an open goal from seven yards out.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Boyd, Jones (Marney 76), Barton, Arfield, Vokes (Barnes 71), Gray (Taylor 89). Subs not used: Robinson, Tarkowski, Dyer, Darikwa.
Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga (Adeyemi 82), Murphy, Cook, Dallas (Mowatt 87), Carayol (Antenucci 66), Wood. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Phillips.
Referee: Lee Mason.
Attendance: 18,229 (2,188 Leeds)