LEEDS UNITED bounced back from Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss at leaders Wolves as first-half goals from Samu Saiz and Gjanni Alioski gave the Whites an easy and impressive 2-0 win at Championship hosts Barnsley.
The menacing Saiz fired United into a 23rd-minute lead which was doubled by an impressive effort from Alioski in the fourth minute of first half added time.
Leeds began brightly with lone striker Caleb Ekuban seeing a shot deflected wide for the first of three corners which Barnsley survived.
Pontus Jansson was then booked in only the fourth minute for taking down George Moncur on the half-way line.
But United were on top and Alioski almost gave the Whites an 11th-minute lead when volleying just wide from a Pablo Hernandez corner.
After United’s Luke Ayling was then accused of diving, Ayling and Harvey Barnes were then both booked after a melee involving just about every player.
But Leeds were dominating and the Whites took a deserved lead in the 23rd minute when the Tykes continued to back off the advancing Saiz who drilled home a low shot from 20 yards out into the bottom left corner.
United continued to press and Kalvin Phillips then fired wide before Saiz blazed an effort over the bar.
Barnsley’s efforts were sporadic with Joe Williams slicing a shot wide from a moment of danger.
The home side’s best chance arrived shortly before the break but Liam Lindsay headed wide from a Zeki Freyers free-kick.
But Leeds ended the first half in ascendancy and after Ekuban had seen a shot saved, Alioski doubled United’s lead in the fourth minute of added time.
Ayling got himself into space and fed the Macedonian winger who cut in from the right and steered a brilliant effort into the bottom left corner.
Leeds were then straight on the attack after the break and Hernandez saw his free-kick deflected narrowly wide.
Shortly before the hour, a Saiz cross then almost cannoned back off Lindsay into his own net but Davies gathered just in time.
Ekuban was then handed a golden chance when played through by Hernandez but the striker’s shot from an angle only found the side netting.
Barnsley’s Williams then blazed a wild attempt over before United squandered another chance when Liam Cooper’s header was saved by Davies from a Hernandez free-kick.
Saiz then played in Ekuban who saw another effort saved before Barnsley wasted a good opportunity when Gardner fired straight at Wiedwald.
But Leeds were cruising and Alioski then saw a goal of the season contender fly over the bar before Hernandez curled an effort over.
Barnsley then threatened in the 88th minute but Cooper made an excellent clearance over his own bar.
And United ensured they kept a clean sheet when the recalled Wiedwald made a terrific save to beat away a Hedges volley in the last minute.
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, Phillips, O’Kane (Shaugnessy 58), Saiz, Hernandez, Alioski (Grot 88), Ekuban (Roofe 80). Subs not used: Lonergan, Pennington, Anita, Sacko.
Barnsley: Yiadom, MacDonald, Lindsay, Fryers, Potts, Williams, Moncur (Gardner 45); Hammill (Hedges 75), Bradshaw, Barnes (Ugbo 45). Subs not used: Walton, McCarthy, McGeehan, Adeboyejo.
Referee: Andrew Madley.
Attendance: 16,399 (4,930 from Leeds).
Good Day For: Samuel Saiz. Not especially flattered by the comparison with some of Wolves’ players on Wednesday night but he looks a class apart from so much of the Championship and he was instrumental in picking Barnsley apart. Joe Williams had no idea of how to pick him up.
Bad Day For: Harvey Barnes. Reputed to be one of Barnsley’s better players but he was twice fortunate not to earn a red card in the first half and Leeds had absolutely no problem handing him down the left. Heckingbottom replaced him at the break. Barnsley are usually on the edge on this fixture. On this occasion they looked sedate and awkward amid the pressure of a derby.
Key Moment: Alioski’s strike. That’s four goals in four games for him and his lovely finish in first half injury-time put the game to bed. Barnsley didn’t look much like responding to a 1-0 deficit and they had no way back once Alioski found the far corner. It was, as they say, a great time to score.