Leeds United 1 Watford 0 - Diego Llorente strike brings huge relief to Elland Road and gets Whites up and running

Leeds United finally bagged their first win of the new Premier League season at the seventh attempt as Diego Llorente's strike from a corner sealed a 1-0 victory against Watford at Elland Road.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 5:16 pm

The returning Llorente bagged the only goal of the game in the 18th minute when hooking home a finish from close range after a Raphinha corner.

The victory took Leeds out of the drop zone and on to six points after seven games played, three points clear of the bottom three and in 16th place heading into the October international break.

Leeds created their first real chance in the seventh minute when Raphinha worked an opening on the edge of the area but saw his shot blocked.

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Diego Llorente celebrates putting Leeds United in front. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Dan James, on the follow up, also saw his shot blocked but excellent pressing from the Wales international winger then created a chance for Stuart Dallas whose low attempt was saved by Ben Foster.

Dallas was again teed up on the edge of the box in the 17th minute but walloped his shot over but Leeds went ahead two minutes later when a Raphinha corner was headed across goal by Watford' s Juraj Kucka and Llorente hooked the ball home from close range.

Leeds immediately pushed on looking for a second and Rodrigo played in James who was blocked by William Ekong for what looked like a penalty but referee Simon Hooper waved played on.

A Mateusz Klich effort was then saved by Foster before a heavy touch let down Rodrigo after he was played in by Raphinha who later rounded Foster but took the ball wide and found the side netting.

Leeds were let off the hook in the 29th minute when Llorente was dispossessed at the back and Ozan Tufan could only blaze a wild effort over the bar.

From another Whites attack, a Jamie Shackleton cross flew through the area and Leeds threatened again in the 39th minute only for Raphinha to send a curler into the South Stand.

A fine volleyed attempt from Mateusz Klich then flew narrowly over the top right corner before Watford striker Josh King was forced off injured after an earlier collision with Llorente and replaced by Ken Sema, shortly after Ismaila Sarr sent a curled attempt well over as the last chance of the half.

Leeds should have doubled their advantage two minutes after the restart as Rodrigo broke away and the ball was eventually played in to Dallas whose shot was smothered by Foster.

Raphinha sent a free kick over the bar one minute later and Leeds continued to dominate, Dallas firing another effort over from the edge of the box.

A Raphinha corner was then clawed away under the bar by Foster and Watford then lost a second player to injury as Franciso Sieralta appeared to pull his hamstring and had to be replaced by Christian Kabasele with 21 minutes left.

Watford gradually began to threaten and an Emmanuel Dennis attempt from a tight angle was sent over by Illan Meslier.

The Whites survived a major scare in the 74th minute when Meslier dropped a corner and the ball trickled over the line but referee Hooper awarded Leeds a free-kick for a foul in the box.

Back came Leeds and Jamie Shackleton sent an attempt well over, shortly before Dallas was forced off inured and replaced by Tyler Roberts who broke clear down the right within minutes of coming on but saw his cross looking for Raphinha cleared.

The Whites should have been out of sight and Roberts was then denied by the crossbar after an acrobatic strike to follow up an effort from a free-kick that was cleared off the line.

James was then sent tumbling in the area for a second time to no avail and Leeds had to see out four minutes of stoppage time but did so without alarm to bring a huge roar upon the full time whistle at Elland Road.

Leeds United: Meslier, Shackleton, Llorente, Cooper, Firpo, Phillips, Dallas (Roberts 78), Klich (Struijk 90), Raphinha, James, Rodrigo. Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Hjelde, McKinstry, Harrison, Greenwood, Gelhardt.

Watford: Foster; Femenia, Sierralta (Kabasele 68), Troost-Ekong, Rose; Kucka, Sissoko, Tufan (Pedro 59); Sarr, Dennis, King (Sema 45). Subs not used: Bachmann, Ngakia, Cleverley, Masina, Gosling, Hernandez.

Referee Simon Hooper.

Attendance: 36,261.

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Thank you Laura Collins