PHOTOS: Leeds United 2 Birmingham City 0: Saiz and Dallas fire thriving Whites to top spot

Samuel Saiz celebrates his opening goal. Picture Bruce Rollinson.
Samuel Saiz celebrates his opening goal. Picture Bruce Rollinson.
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LEEDS United moved top of the Championship as strikes from Samu Saiz and Stuart Dallas gave the thriving Whites a thrilling 2-0 victory against Birmingham City at Elland Road.

United took a 17th-minute lead when a thunderbolt effort from Pierre-Michel Lasogga was parried by David Stockdale into the path of Saiz who gratefully blasted the ball home from close range.

Luke Ayling and Samuel Saiz break forward.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Luke Ayling and Samuel Saiz break forward. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

And after surviving a flurry of chances for Birmingham, United made absolutely sure of victory in the second minute of second half stoppage time when substitute Dallas finished off a flowing counter attack.

Leeds now sit one point clear of Cardiff City who dropped to second after being beaten 3-0 at Preston North End.

Birmingham caused plenty of problems and a dangerous early attack was only ended by a hard tackle by Vurnon Anita on Sam Gallagher for which Birmingham wanted a penalty.

From a 14th minute corner, Birmingham’s Michael Morrison then looped a header inches wide and only a superb block from Pontus Jansson kept out a firm shot from Gallagher moments later.

Kalvin Phillips holds the ball as Cheikh Ndoye and Emilio Nsue close in.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Kalvin Phillips holds the ball as Cheikh Ndoye and Emilio Nsue close in. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

But Leeds went close one minute later when a Pablo Hernandez effort was cleared and in the very next minute United took the lead.

Lasogga made the goal by chasing a long ball and unleashing a fierce effort from a tight angle at Stockdale who could only parry the ball into the path of Saiz who smashed the ball home.

Leeds then immediately went close to adding a second as Lasogga headed a chance on to the roof of the net but Birmingham remained a threat and Jeremie Boga blasted a good opportunity wide from a tight angle before another fine tackle from Jansson denied the same player soon after.

At the other end, a right wing cross from Saiz fell to Hernandez in the box but the Spaniard hammered a low shot just wide.

Samuel Saiz is pulled down by Cheikh Ndoye.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Samuel Saiz is pulled down by Cheikh Ndoye. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

But only a sensational goal-line clearance from Luke Ayling denied Birmingham a certain equaliser on the stroke of half time after Maxime Colin’s header had beaten the onrushing Wiedwald.

Birmingham continued to attack after the break but Leeds almost doubled their lead when Lasogga nearly connected with a Hernandez cross.

A superb clearance from Anita then denied the Blues as Colin’s cross caused havoc but Lasogga then looked certain to double United’s advantage when racing on to Colin’s poor back pass but Stockdale somehow got their first.

Gallagher then wasted another chance for Birmingham when dragging his shot wide but Leeds wasted a fine opportunity on the counter attack as Saiz attempted a dummied Hollywood finish that backfired and United lost captain Liam Cooper to injury shortly after as Gaetano Berardi was introduced and Ayling moved to centre back.

Full time celebrations as Leeds go top of the Championship.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Full time celebrations as Leeds go top of the Championship. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Birmingham continued to bomb forward and Colin wasted an opening when shooting straight at Wiedwald but Stockdale then produced a fantastic one-handed save to keep out a stinging effort from Saiz.

Wiedwald then held firm for a low shot from Liam Walsh and Leeds then had to survive five minutes of added time.

Yet United were able to double their lead and make absolutely sure of victory when the Whites surged forward on the counter attack through Lasogga and Dallas who cut in from the right side and unleashed a fierce low shot that beat Stockdale all ends up.

Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper (Berardi 68), Anita, O’Kane, Phillips, Alioski (Roofe 60), Saiz, Hernandez (Dallas 80), Lasogga. Subs not used: Lonergan, Vieira, Cibicki, Grot.

Birmingham City: Stockdale, Nsue, Morrison, Dean, Colin; Davis (Maghoma 80), Lowe, Ndoye, Boga, Jota (Walsh 80), Gallagher (Adams 68). Subs not used: Grounds, Roberts, Jutkiewicz, Kuszczak.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Stuart Dallas fires in Leeds' second goal.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Stuart Dallas fires in Leeds' second goal. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Attendance: 31,507.

Samuel Saiz celebrates at full time.
Leeds United v Birmingham City.  SkyBet Championship.  Elland Road.
12 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Samuel Saiz celebrates at full time. Leeds United v Birmingham City. SkyBet Championship. Elland Road. 12 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

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