ENGERGISED Leeds United’s priceless 3-1 Premier League victory against fellow strugglers Burnley came at a cost.

Bookings for Diego Llorente and Tyler Roberts will rule them out of the Whites’ next Premier League fixture at West Ham on January 16.

With several key players still missing through injury it is two more absences that Marcelo Bielsa could do without.

Both yellow cards were contentious with Llorente’s punishment also leading to a well-struck free-kick by substitute Maxwel Cornet for Burnley’s 54th minute equaliser.

Roberts’ suspension may yet prove immaterial as he limped off with a calf strain to join United’s lengthy injury list.

It comes at a time when the Welsh international has had a decent run in the team and his tireless pressing gave the Clarets a difficult afternoon before his premature exit.

His finishing is still not up to standard but played a key role in a vital win which lifted United eight points clear of the relegation zone.

With talisman Kalvin Phillips not expected to return until March at the earliest, added responsibility was heaped on the shoulders of Adam Forshaw in midfield and he responded with a fine performance in a good all-round vibrant team display.

The unchanged Burnley made the better start but Leeds gradually seized control. The home breakthrough came on 39 minutes when Jack Harrison shot inside the near post after Wayne Hennessey blocked his initial shot.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche responded by sending on Ivory Coast international Maxwel Cornet and he soon made an impact with his fine equaliser.

During Burnley’s prolonged goal celebrations, defender Matt Lowton was hit by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd and required treatment before the game restarted.

Despite the setback, Leeds, after an enforced Covid and injury two-week break, looked full of running. Raphinha, who came close to scoring in the first half with an outlandish effort from halfway, somehow missed from close range shortly before Stuart Dallas marked his 250th appearance for the Whites by curling home with his left foot with 14 minutes remaining.

For Dallas and Harrison it was their first goals of the campaign after scoring eight apiece last season.

United stood up well to Burnley’s expected aerial threat and sealed the points in added on time when Joe Gelhardt put in a superb cross for fellow substitute Dan James to head in.

Bielsa said: “It was a necessary victory in a game that’s very important at this stage of the season. It was very difficult to win but the victory was deserved.”

He warned: “It’s a step forward but it’s insufficient if we don’t give consistency to the performances.”

Patrick Bamford was still not fit enough to return to action after his hamstring injury but may start at West Ham in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, although Bielsa may keep him under wraps for the return journey to the London Stadium the following week.

Young Gelhardt also advanced his claimed for a start in East London. Already in his fledgling Premier League career he has scored at Chelsea, won two penalties and provided an assist.

He is a player who makes things happen in attack for Leeds who ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats with victory against Burnley.