CLINICAL goals from in-form Dan James and Crysenscio Summerville maintained Leeds United’s Championship promotion push with a 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

“They were ice-cold finishes,” said Whites’ manager Daniel Farke whose men stay in the slipstream of leaders Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

Leeds, unbeaten in seven matches and having won nine from 11, had to dig deep to repel lively Rovers but the Whites attack remains a cut above the vast majority of the sides in the division.

Joel Piroe had already gone close with a free-kick before James opened the scoring on 27 minutes. Georginio Rutter provided yet another assist as he slid a pass across to James who whipped a low drive past Leopold Wahlstedt for his third goal in as many games.

Blackburn put on the pressure in the second half but the 7,337 travelling fans went wild with delight as rising Dutch star Summerville sealed the deal a quarter of an hour from the end. Collecting Archie Gray’s precision through ball he cleverly sorted his feet out to dink the ball past the onrushing Wahlstedt for his ninth goal of the campaign.

Rovers kept plugging away and it needed a brilliant save by Illan Meslier to deny substitute Arnor Sigurdsson to preserve Leeds’ first shutout since their win at Leicester in early November.

Referee Bobby Madley incurred the wrath of the home fans by twice denying their side a penalty, first for a potential handball by Pascal Struijk, then late on when Jake Garrett went down in the box as he tussled with Ethan Ampadu.

The latter incident spared Leeds a tense ending but they saw out a game in which they were never in full control of the midfield.

Farke said: “I’m especially pleased that we travel back with a clean sheet against a really good and dangerous side. We didn’t allow them to have much. They had their spells in possession but in terms of big chances, there was not too much.

“It was important after a few weeks where we have conceded one goal, sometimes even two goals, today to return absolutely rock-solid defence with a clean sheet. It is a really good performance and a massive win for us. I’m pretty delighted.”

Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson, who was missing from the dugout because he was serving a one-game touchline ban for his dismissal at Sheffield Wednesday, tipped Leeds for automatic promotion but the top two show no signs of cracking.

The early Ewood Park kick-off meant Leeds had turned up the heat on Leicester and Ipswich who both responded in style, the Foxes thrashing Plymouth 4-0 and the Tractor Boys winning 2-0 at Middlesbrough.

Leeds will be aiming to keep up the pressure on Tuesday when they travel to Sunderland who moved back into the top six by beating West Brom 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. However, the Whites will be without York-raised Sam Byram because of a hamstring problem which forced him off at Blackburn.