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Match report: Leeds United 1, Burnley 2
THE solidity which had been the hallmark of Leeds United’s early-season matches evaporated at Elland Road.
The Whites slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to surprise package Burnley, who moved into second place in the Championship.
Leeds had been solid, rather than spectacular recently, grinding out games rather than playing with flair.
Against the Clarets, Brian McDermott gave his side a more attacking shape but they looked vulnerable.
Burnley flowed from the first whistle and kept Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny busy before Leeds fashioned the best opening, Luke Varney heading over.
Moments later Burnley were ahead, Scott Arfield beating Kenny at his near post from close range. The lead was doubled just before half-time when former Leeds loanee Sam Vokes rammed the ball home after Kenny saved his initial header.
In between, Leeds had created chances but failed to take them while the home defence was being offered little protection by a static midfield.
Leeds continued to huff and puff as the visitors soaked up pressure. On the rare occasions they did get something on target, Tom Heaton dealt with it, a one-handed athletic save low down to deny El Hadji Diouf being the highlight.
Within five minutes of his introduction, the towering Matt Smith reduced the arrears with a 79th-minute header, but despite the inevitable late cavalry charge, Burnley held on.
McDermott said: “We need someone to grasp the nettle and take up the responsibility of scoring. We haven’t scored enough goals, especially at Elland Road.”
Leeds United: Kenny, Byram (Green 56), Wootton, Pearce, White, Austin, Tonge, Murphy (Poleon 56), McCormack, Diouf, Varney (Smith 74). Subs (not used): Cairns, Hunt, Brown, Mowatt. Cautions: Tonge, Poleon.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Jones (Edgar 68), Marney, Arfield, Kightley (Stock 82), Ings, Vokes. Subs (not used); Cisak, Lafferty, Stanislas, Treacy, Long. Caution: Jones.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire). Crowd: 26,465.
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