Burton Albion 1 Leeds United 2: Whites raise Roofe on Boxing Day to move five points off second

Leeds United's Kemar Roofe celebrates his winning goal. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Leeds United's Kemar Roofe celebrates his winning goal. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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TWO goals in four minutes from Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe gave Leeds United a dramatic 2-1 victory at Boxing Day’s hosts Burton Albion, taking the Whites to within five points of the Championship’s automatic promotion places.

Leeds dominated the opening exchanges but fell behind in the 29th minute when Tom Naylor capitalised on slack defending to finish at the far post.

Burton then squandered two fine chances shortly after the interval but a superb free-kick from Hernandez levelled matters in the 61st minute and a delightful pass from Ronaldo Vieira then sent Roofe away to score the winning goal just three minutes later.

After half chances for both sides, Leeds squandered the game’s best chance yet in the 17th minute when a fine cross from Pawel Cibicki fell to Hernandez who failed to get the desired connection and sliced his effort well wide.

And United then went mightily close to taking the lead four minutes later when a delightful pass from O’Kane picked out Roofe who escaped his man before firing a low effort inches wide of the left hand post.

Burton looked there for the taking but from Albion’s first attack for some time the Brewers took a 29th-minute lead through Naylor.

From a rare Brewers attack, a cross/shot from Lucas Akins from the left hand flank bobbled across to the far post and poor Whites defending allowed Naylor to slide in and give his side the lead against the run of play.

But Leeds should have gone 2-0 down in the 44th minute when a Whites free-kick taken by Alioski led to a Burton counter two on one.

Sean Scanell played in Allen who had the goal gaping but flashed a powerful effort wide of Wiedwald’s left hand post.

Burton were then straight back on the attack after the intervel and Marvin Sordell went extremely close to making it 2-0 when turning Liam Cooper in the area and curling a fine effort just wide.

Another Brewers chance then went begging in the 55th minute when a Lloyd Dyer free-kick presented Naylor with a free header which was placed straight at Wiedwald who gratefully saved.

But a foul by Flanagan on Roofe on the edge of the Burton area handed Leeds a chance and Hernandez took full advantage by floating a brilliant free-kick over the wall and past a despairing Stephen Bywater.

And just three minutes later United amazingly took the lead when a brilliant pass from Ronaldo Vieira sent away Roofe who raced towards Bywater before calmly slotting home to put United in front.

This time Burton were left flattened but Turner wasted a potential opening in the 72nd minute when his volley from the edge of the box was easily saved by Wiedwald.

Leeds then went mightily close to bagging a third when Roofe raced away on the counter attack and saw his effort deflected narrowly wide.

Burton were then given six minutes of injury time and a 96th minute equaliser looked inevitable from a late goalmouth scramble but Leeds survived to make it 16 points from their last possible 18 and four wins in a row.

Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, Vieira (Phillips 77), O’Kane, Cibicki (Lasogga 75), Hernandez, Alioski (Pennington 90), Roofe. Subs: Lonergan, Anita, Grot, Shaughnessy.

Burton Albion: Bywater, Brayford, Allen, Turner, Scannell (Miller 87), Akins, Dyer, Flanagan, Naylor, Sordell, Buxton. Subs not used: Ripley, Warnock, McFadzean, Palmer, Akpan, Sbarra.

Referee: Darren Bond.

Attendance: 5,612.