Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa’s side strengthen position at top of table

Leeds have now won seven of their past nine Championship matches

Leeds United strengthened their position at the top of the Championship table with a resounding victory at Blackburn Rovers.

The visitors took an early lead when Mateusz Klich tackled Lewis Travers 30 yards from goal and slipped the ball through for Patrick Bamford to slot home.

Lewis Holtby thundered an effort against the post for Rovers before Kalvin Phillips curled in a superb 25-yard free-kick to give the Whites a 2-0 lead at the break.

Adam Armstrong halved the deficit soon after half-time with a wonderful free-kick of his own, but Klich quickly restored the two-goal advantage with a shot that Rovers keeper Christian Walton probably should have done better with.

Leeds, who remain six points clear of third-placed Brentford, had been frustrated in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with struggling Luton Town but took an early lead through Bamford’s 15th of the season.

Sam Gallagher wasted a brilliant chance to quickly level after Elliot Rothwell played him in with a well-measured pass through the defence and, moments later, Holtby saw his effort come back off the post following Gallagher’s clever ball.

In an open first 45 minutes Bamford’s low effort came back off the post and Luke Ayling drew a good reaction save from Walton after a Barry Douglas corner.

Phillips put Leeds in total control shortly after with a beautifully-struck free-kick.

Armstrong’s 14th of the season briefly got Tony Mowbray’s men back into the match but Klich’s effort from the edge of the area went through Walton’s dive just five minutes later to end any hopes of a Rovers fightback.

Douglas forced a fine low save from Walton with another free-kick as Leeds comfortably saw out the rest of the game.

A third successive defeat for Blackburn leaves them eight points adrift of the play-off places.

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray: “I think we made a game of it, especially in the first half when we missed a one on one and hit the post.

“They scored at strange times with soft goals and their third goal killed it.

“They come with an attitude and belief that they are going to win but I don’t think it was a vintage performance from them.

“They’re a good side with a world-class coach. The football world is looking forward to seeing how they’ll get on in the Premier League against genuine class opposition. They’re a club I like and I hope they do well because it will be exciting for the English game for them to be back in the Premier League.”

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa: “Mateusz Klich did a great match for us, he unbalanced the game in our favour.

“Kalvin has very good quality and it was a beautiful goal.

“Every match in this period is very important and we need to stay focused.”

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