Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds overcome Burnley for huge victory to ease relegation fears

Dan Burnham
Jack Harrison celebrates his goal for Leeds vs Burnley, January 2022

Leeds United picked up a big three points as they overcame fellow relegation-threatened side Burnley at Elland Road.

Defeat was a nightmare scenario for the Whites so Jack Harrison’s first-half strike was a relief. The Clarets struck back through Maxwel Cornet, but Stuart Dallas and Dan James netted to draw their side eight points clear of the drop zone.

Marcelo Bielsa brought Junior Firpo and Diego Llorente into the Leeds side which were thumped 4-1 by Arsenal over two weeks ago.

Sean Dyche, meanwhile, named an unchanged side from Thursday’s 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

While both sides may have lacked in quality this season, they each started lively and with positive intent.

Tyler Roberts was perhaps a little too hyped up, though, when he caught Matthew Lowton late and picked up an early booking.

The forward showed better judgement to intercept and set up a counter-attack which resulted in a corner, from which Dallas forced a save from Nick Pope stand-in Wayne Hennessey.

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The goalkeeper was helpless when Raphinha attempted an audacious 40-yard lob which nearly crept under the crossbar.

Firpo was next to have a shot saved before drawing a yellow-card challenge from James Tarkowski.

Tyler Roberts and Ben Mee battle for the ball during Leeds vs Burnley, January 2022

Both sides had chances to take the lead with Chris Wood seeing his volley saved and an unmarked Roberts heading just wide.

But it was the hosts who found the opener, with Harrison converting with his right after his initial left-footed attempted had been saved and rebounded to him.

Leeds pushed for a second before the break. Burnley lost possession in their own half, allowing Raphinha to push forward and have a shot blocked. The subsequent corner ended with another shot which went over.

Roberts also had a chance before the whistle. He capitalised on Ben Mee’s dawdling and fired straight at Hennessey.

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Burnley fight back after break

Dyche made a half-time change, with Cornet returning from injury in place of Johaan Gudmundsson.

And that substitution changed the game completely. The forward first got Llorente booked by referee by Paul Tierney.

Then he curled a free-kick from 25 yards out past Illan Meslier in the Whites goal to level the match.

In response, Bielsa made his own changes. Joe Gelhardt and James came on for Roberts and goalscorer Harrison.

Maxwel Cornet celebrates his goal during Leeds vs Burnley, January 2022

The fresh pair nearly combined for an instant impact. James’ cross nearly picked out his young team-mate, but Hennessey was out quickly to claim the ball.

The visitors went close themselves when Ashley Westwood’s corner was flicked narrowly over the crossbar.

Raphinha spurned a golden chance when a James cross found him free at the back post from where he hit the side-netting.

But the Brazilian’s blushes were spared by Dallas, who precisely found the top-left corner with his shot from the edge of the box.

Dyche made his remaining subs with Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra replacing Aaron Lennon and Wood.

It was Leeds who pushed forward and scored again in stoppage time, though. James headed home Gelhardt’s cross despite Hennessey’s best efforts to keep it out.

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