Leeds United 2 Stoke City 0: Klich and Hernandez give Whites cushion at the break

Leeds United open the scoring at Elland Road.
Leeds United open the scoring at Elland Road.
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Leeds United headed into the half-time break two goals to the good as Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez gave the Whites a 2-0 lead over Stoke City at Elland Road.

The opening chance of the game fell to the hosts following a succession of corners the ball made its way out to Ezgjan Alioski who swung in an inch perfect cross to find Kemar Roofe all alone in the area.

Roofe met the delivery with a fine volley but the point blank effort was straight at Jack Butland in the visiting goal and after a scramble the ball was eventually cleared.

Just minutes later and Leeds would be ahead.

Samuel Saiz collected the ball in midfield and after some fancy footwork disguised a lovely through ball which split the Potters defence in half leaving Mateusz Klich to slot home past the onrushing Butland and send Elland Road into raptures.

After a spell of pressure from the hosts Tom Ince almost stunned the 34,000 strong crowd into silence.

The new arrival from Huddersfield Town strode into the United half and struck a speculative effort from 25-yards which clipped the top of Bailey Peacock-Farrell's goal.

Gary Rowett's men then had a glorious chance to level proceedings as Gaetano Berardi was caught napping in defence allowing James McClean to burst through on goal.

Instead of opting to shoot the winger squared to forward Benik Afobe but Liam Cooper's outstretched boot was enough to block the pass before Peter Etebo mustered a tame effort which was well saved by Peacock-Farrell.

The Whites smelled blood and a clever flick from Pablo Hernandez found Alioski alone in the box but his thunderous volley was matched by Butland this time.

Roofe and then Alioski once more saw efforts fall agonisingly wide of the post but it was playmaker Pablo Hernandez who added a second in stoppage time of the opening half.

The Spaniard picked his spot and drilled a low effort goalwards which crept under Butland and into the bottom corner of the net to give Bielsa's men a cushion at the break as they left the field to a standing ovation.