30 November 2019 22:32
• Mateusz Klich scores a goal in each half for Leeds • Jonathan Woodgate: 'Leeds are best in Championship' Jonathan Woodgate has no doubts that Leeds are the best team in the Championship. The former Leeds defender saw his Middlesbrough side outclassed at Elland Road. Two goals from Mateusz Klich and one each from Patrick Bamford and Hélder Costa sealed a fifth straight win for Leeds, who returned to the top of the table – at least until West Brom visit Preston on Monday. The Teessiders remain a point above the relegation places. Woodgate said: "Leeds are a really, really good team – the best in the Championship, without a doubt.
But credit to my players. They kept going until the very end. The positives are that we had eight academy lads in the squad. Football League and FA Cup: Josh Dasilva treble caps Brentford's 7-0 romp Read more "Conceding so early was a killer for us and then their second was a turning point. But they gave me everything they had.
Leeds dominated the rest of the half but had to wait until stoppage time for Klich to double their lead, the Pole's effort taking a nick off a defender. That crucial second gave the hosts breathing space and they came out in ruthless mode after the interval. After some close chances Costa made it 3-0 when he rifled home from the edge of the area in the 67th minute and Klich saved the best until last when he curled home a superb shot with 17 minutes left. Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds manager, said: "We defended very well. There was a moment in the middle of the first half when Middlesbrough created a lot of chances. "We recovered the ball fast but they had two good strikers and those two players didn't have an impact on the match. Maybe it's because we recovered the ball quickly and they didn't have many balls." Bielsa remains coy on their chances of promotion at what is still an early juncture in the season. "It is important [to be top now] but there is a long way forward. We have to give some value to the current position because in a league like this, the future is built match by match. "But the most important is the regularity in every match to make a difference. We cannot talk about regularity if we don't let the league go more forward. You have to analyse how you win every match." Sky Bet Championship Leeds United 4 (Bamford 3, Klich 45+3, 73, Costa 67) Middlesbrough 0 Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips (Berardi 83), Klich, Hernandez, Costa (Alioski 76), Harrison, Bamford (Nketiah 79). Subs not used: Miazek, Douglas, Clarke, Stevens. Boro: Pears, Ayala, Fry, Saville, Wing (Liddle 70), Bola McNair, Howson, Tavernier, Fletcher (Walker 90), Assombalonga (O'Neill 77). Subs: Mejias, Clayton, Wood, Reading. Booked: Bamford, Phillips (Leeds), McNair, Ayala, Howson (Boro) Referee: K. Stroud Venue: Elland Road Attendance: 35,626 (1,806 Boro) Leeds United ran out 4-0 winners against Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship, recording a fifth straight victory in the division. The Whites made a blistering start to the match, with Luke Ayling firing an early warning with a curling effort from the edge of the box with his weaker left foot which went narrowly wide of the post. Leeds took the lead inside three minutes, Middlebrough goalkeeper Aynsley Pears could only spill a Patrick Bamford header following a cross by Jack Harrison and Pablo Hernandez dinked the ball back into the danger zone, allowing Bamford to head home against his former side. Soon after Boro defender Mark Bola sliced a clearance, giving Bamford another opportunity to strike, but this time he was denied by a good save from Pears. Ayling again went close when he controlled well and fired at goal from just inside the Middlesbrough box, but this time his attempt went just over. Lewis Wing shot wide for the visitors after being set up by George Saville, before Harrison whipped in a cross which Bamford did well to get anything on, with his header saved by Pears. The Whites extended the lead three minutes into stoppage time when a Bamford cross deflected into the path of Mateusz Klich whose deflected strike found the back of the net. Half time: Leeds United 2-0 Middlesbrough Four minutes into the second half a Stuart Dallas cross was headed out to Harrison who saw an effort brilliantly saved by Pears and from the resulting corner, following a neat routine, Klich fired just over. Daniel Ayala headed over at a Boro corner, before Dallas played Bamford into the box with a neat pass, but he couldn't get the better of Pears. Helder Costa saw a shot well blocked after good play from Klich and Harrison, whilst Dallas fired over from the edge of the box. Leeds went further ahead in the 67th minute, when Costa showed decent skill to work his way into the area, before firing home his first league goal for the club. Kiko Casilla was called into action to deny a Marcus Tavernier free kick, before Leeds added a fourth. Following another well worked corner, the ball was played out to Klich on the edge of the box and he found the top corner with a fabulous finish. Kalvin Phillips almost added a fifth with a free kick, but an unbelievable save by Pears prevented him from doing so. Saville struck an effort over for the visitors late on as Leeds saw out the remaining minutes to move back to the top of the table. Full time: Leeds United 4-0 Middlesbrough Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images. Roberts injured his hamstring in the first half of Tuesday night's win at Reading with Costa coming on in his place and the the Portuguese winger now starts as the only change made by Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Arsenal loanee striker Nketiah also returns to the bench after a lower abdominal injury after coming through 45 minutes for United's under-23s on Friday. There is also a place on the Leeds bench for Jordan Stevens while Kamil Miazek is the replacement 'keeper and not Illan Meslier. STARTING: Helder Costa. Picture by Simon Hulme. Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter The i newsletter cut through the noise Thanks for signing up! Sorry, there seem to be some issues. Please try again later. Submitting... Jamie Shackleton is missing altogether while Adam Forshaw had already been confirmed as still out with a hip problem. Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has made two changes to his side with Marc Bola and George Saville replacing Anfernee Dijksteel and Hayden Coulson. Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Costa, Harrison, Hernandez, Bamford. Subs: Miazek, Douglas, Alioski, Berardi, Stevens, Clarke, Nketiah. Middlesbrough: Pears, Howson, Ayala, Fry, Bola, McNair, Wing, Saville, Tavernier, Fletcher, Assombalonga. Subs: Mejias, Wood, Reading, Liddle, Clayton, Walker O'Neill. Follow @insidefutbol Fixture: Leeds United vs Middlesbrough Competition: Championship Kick-off: 15:00 (UK time) Leeds United have revealed their starting eleven and substitutes to welcome Jonathan Woodgate's Middlesbrough side to Elland Road for a Championship meeting this afternoon. Marcelo Bielsa's side are on a good run of form and have won their last four games on the trot, as they look to press the accelerator at a crucial stage of the season. Bielsa must make do without Tyler Roberts, who has picked up a hamstring problem. The Leeds boss has Kiko Casilla in goal, while at right-back he picks Luke Ayling, with Stuart Dallas slotted in as left-back. Central defence sees Bielsa pair skipper Liam Cooper with loanee Ben White, while Kalvin Phillips will look to protect the defence. Mateusz Klich plays, while Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Pablo Hernandez support Patrick Bamford. Bielsa has options on the bench to shake things up, including Eddie Nketiah and Jack Clarke. Leeds United Team vs Middlesbrough Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Harrison, Costa, Bamford Substitutes: Meslier, Douglas, Alioski, Berardi, Stevens, Clarke, Nketiah