Summer signing Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United as they claimed a 1-0 victory against Everton at Goodison Park.
The attacking midfielder was making just his second start in the Premier League. His previous one was in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal, a game in which both sides paid for missed chances.
Things looked to be following a similar pattern at Goodison Park, as Everton and Leeds both had numerous opportunities. In the end, though, Raphinha’s goal in the 79th minute separated the two sides.
Leeds started the game on the front foot but it was Everton who arguably should have gone in front. Illan Meslier had to produce a strong one-handed save to deny Abdoulaye Doucoure a tap in.
Next, it was Leeds’ turn to rue a missed chance. Raphinha exploited some space on the right wing – with Everton missing Lucas Digne through injury – before setting up Jack Harrison, whose shot trickled wide.
Everton keeper Jordan Pickford then denied Patrick Bamford with his feet as both sides continued to ask questions of one another.
At the other end, Everton thought they had the lead in the 24th minute. James Rodriguez brought the ball down and finished from a tight angle, but was offside.
Pickford was called into action again, this time using his outstretched arms to deny Leeds. The England keeper got his finger-tips to prevent a header from Raphinha going in, before Ben Godfrey cleared the ball off the line after another shot from Harrison.
Meslier was also being kept busy, and had to save efforts from Mason Holgate and Richarlison as the half-time whistle approached.
He was unable to keep out Richarlison’s next effort in the 43rd minute, though, as the Brazilian headed it past him. Fortunately for Meslier, the goal was disallowed, as Godfrey was obstructing him from an offside position.
Harrison then went close for Leeds again, crashing a header against the crossbar. Next, just before half-time, Mateusz Klich curled a shot narrowly wide of Pickford’s posts.
Raphinha breaks deadlock in second half
The end-to-end nature of the game continued after it resumed. Klich curled another shot over for Leeds, before James Rodriguez tried to catch Meslier out at the other end.
The Leeds keeper had given the ball away, but managed to scramble back onto his line in time to keep out Rodriguez’s chip.
Allan then took it upon himself to up the momentum from the hosts, surging through the Leeds defence but shooting wide, via a small deflection.
In the 67th minute, Leeds had a disallowed goal of their own. Bamford put the ball in the back of the net, but Ezgjan Alioski, who had set him up, was offside.
Leeds finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, courtesy of Raphinha. The Brazilian curled the ball home from outside the box with his left foot for his first Leeds goal.
Pickford had to make himself big to prevent a second Leeds goal in stoppage time, as he thwarted Helder Costa. By that point, though, the game had already gone – Leeds held on to their lead to pick up their first win in over a month.