Goals from Mirco Antenucci, Chris Wood and a 25-yard beauty from Alex Mowatt earned Leeds an impressive 3-0 win at derby rivals Huddersfield Town.
Town, with new manager David Wagner watching in the stands, had the better of the early exchanges.
But the match swung dramatically in Leeds’ favour when, during first-half injury time, tap-ins from Antenucci and Wood caught Huddersfield cold and gave the visitors a 2-0 lead going into the interval.
Huddersfield started the second half brightly, but it was Leeds who scored again when Mowatt lit up the John Smith’s Stadium with the goal of the game; the midfielder firing a bouncing ball into the top corner from 25 yards out to send the 4,000 travelling Leeds fans into raptures.
Victory is Leeds head coach Steve Evans’ second in five games in charge and gives fans something to cheer as the on-going saga revolving around embattled chairman Massimo Cellino and whether he is going to sell the club rumbles on.
Wagner will consider his new club unlucky to have been on the wrong end of such a scoreline, with Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestre producing fine saves to deny substitute James Vaughan and Harry Bunn.
Leeds were dealt a blow in the 18th minute when defender Liam Cooper was stretchered off after colliding with team-mate Scott Wootton. Sol Bamba, surprisingly named on the bench after serving a one-game ban, stepped in to replace him.
Midfielder Luke Murphy came to Leeds’ rescue in the 25th minute when Joe Lolley was poised to pounce on a loose ball in the penalty area and Bunn forced a low diving save from Silvestre after racing on to a neat flick in the area.
Referee Graham Scott added eight minutes of added time at the end of the first half and after Wootton was lucky not to have been given a second yellow card for his foul on Town substitute Emyr Huws, who had replaced the injured Philip Billing, Leeds struck twice in the space of two of them to snatch control.
Out of nowhere Leeds strung together a sweeping move as Wood set Stuart Dallas free down the right and the winger’s raking cross was turned home first time by Antenucci in the fifth minute of added time.
Leeds struck again two minutes minutes later. Antenucci pounced on Town defender Martin Cranie’s dithering and – after rounding goalkeeper Joe Murphy – cut the ball back for Wood to steer home from eight yards.
Town’s response at the start of the second half lifted the home fans. Lolley fired straight at Silvestre, defender Murray Wallace headed wide and both Bunn and Kyle Dempsey rattled in shots on target.
But Town were staring at a three-goal deficit in the 54th minute when Mowatt, whose spectacular effort clinched Leeds victory against Cardiff in midweek, lashed in another fine finish from the edge of the area in front of the away following.
Town’s perseverance will have impressed former Borussia Dortmund II coach Wagner. Lolley went close after a mazy run and Wallace headed a corner just wide, while Bunn and substitute James Vaughan saw goal-bound shots brilliantly saved by Silvestre.
Midfielder Dean Whitehead’s thunderbolt was inches away from reducing Town’s deficit before Leeds substitute Jordan Botaka’s angled shot was turned away by Murphy at full stretch.
In time added on, Dempsey’s wayward pass inside the area to Vaughan, who would have had a tap-in, summed up Town’s day.
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