Leeds United 4 Middlesbrough 0 - Whites mastermind stunning Elland Road display to hit Championship summit
Leeds United hit top spot in the Championship with a stunning victory over Middlesbrough at Elland Road
Leeds United hit the summit of the Championship on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa was forced into one change with Helder Costa replacing the injured Tyler Roberts in LS11.
Eddie Nketiah also made a welcome return to the Whites bench following a month-long lay-off with youngster Jordan Stevens included in the matchday squad.
United started the game on top and opened the scoring through Boro old boy Patrick Bamford after just three minutes.
The striker saw an initial header saved by Aynsley Pears before Pablo Hernandez picked him out at the back post with a dinked cross on the rebound as he made no mistake at the second attempt.
Leeds threw themselves forward again from kick-off as Luke Ayling and Bamford again went close.
Lewis Wing fired a shot wide for the visitors as they wasted a rare opportunity before United doubled the lead in the third minute of first half stoppage time.
Jack Harrison picked out the run of Bamford over the top with Middlesbrough caught short at the back.
Bamford collected the loose ball and crossed for Mateusz Klich who took a touch out of his feet before seeing his effort take a wicked deflection off the retreating Daniel Ayala and into the back of the net to hand Leeds a cushion at the break.
United started the second period much like the first as they dominated possession and chances.
Harrison forced Pears into another good save before Klich fired over the bar from the edge of the box following a short corner.
Bamford tested the finger tips of the Boro stopper once more with Costa also seeing a chance blocked with the visitors penned in.
The latter finally added a third with his first goal for the club with a fine solo effort as he barged through the visiting defence to rifle a thunderous shot into the back of the net.
Bielsa's men added a fourth as they again tried a clever short corner routine.
Kalvin Phillips found Hernandez who returned the favour to the midfielder before Klich picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a wonderful shot into the top corner of the net to spark wild celebrations.
There were late cameos for Nketiah, Gjanni Alioski and Gaetano Berardi from the bench but the game was up as Leeds once again leapfrogged West Brom into first place in the Championship standings.
Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips (Berardi 83), Klich, Costa (Alioski 77), Harrison, Hernandez, Bamford (Nketiah 79) Subs: Miazek, Douglas, Berardi, Stevens, Clarke, Nketiah
Middlesbrough: Pears, Howson, Ayala, Fry, Bola, McNair, Wing, Saville, Tavernier, Fletcher, Assombalonga. Subs: Mejias, Wood, Reading, Liddle, Clayton, Walker O'Neill.