THE Championship’s pacesetters must be glancing over their shoulders to see Leeds United building up a head of steam and moving up the table.

The Whites had to show patience in their 3-0 win against Watford as they recorded their first league win at Elland Road at the ninth attempt.

It took United’s unbeaten run in the second tier to six matches, recording a fourth clean sheet in the process.

Leeds, playing their third game in six days after visits to Millwall and Hull City, made four changes but were soon ticking like clockwork as the Hornets struggled to get out of their own half in the opening 45 minutes.

The visitors would soon have been out of the game but for some fine saves by goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann from Ethan Ampadu and Crysensio Summerville, and a bad miss by Georginio Rutter,

Watford boss Valerien Ismael showed his displeasure with a triple substitution and a change of tactics at the interval but Leeds continued to play some slick football.

Just as the majority of the 36,326 crowd feared they would get no reward United went in front on 67 minutes. Rutter showed strength and skill to send speedster Dan James down the right. The Welshman delivered the perfect cross for Joel Piroe to volley in his first home Leeds goal.

Three minutes later James’ corner was headed in powerfully by former York Schools defender Sam Byram. Signing the former Joseph Rowntree School student on a free transfer has proved a smart piece of business as has been the £7m recruitment of Ampadu who ran the midfield with Glen Kamara.

After that it was the Rutter show. His twists, turns, dazzling footwork, strength and relentless workrate gave Watford nightmares. All that was missing from an outstanding performance was a goal, but he provided the next best thing – a quite brilliant assist weaving past men in midfield at speed before delivering the perfect pass for substitute Jaidon Anthony to mark his home debut with a classy finish on 89 minutes.

Delighted boss Daniel Farke said: “It was definitely the most complex performance in my tenure because we were rock solid in all areas, our pressing and counter pressing were spot on, build up, midfield play.

“We must not forget they’re a pretty good side. To dominate totally throughout is pretty pleasing. We can take lots of confidence out of the performance but it was just one game, just three points.”

He also singled out Charlie Cresswell for praise for his attitude even though the York-raised centre-back was only on the bench and has hardly featured this season.

“He makes sure that he trains each and every training session with a top-class performance and top class mentality.

“Charlie was also singing with the lads in the dressing room and celebrating and this is exactly the mentality. If I had to highlight one player today it would be Charlie Cresswell because this behaviour is crucial if you want to win something.”