MX23RW : Sunday, February 17 18:56:32

Result: Leeds outclass struggling Hull to return to Championship summit

Roberts scored a superb goal from distance.

Leeds returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a deserved 1-0 victory at troubled Hull.

Tyler Roberts' terrific goal from distance after 51 minutes was reward for a swashbuckling start to the second half as Marcelo Bielsa's team won at a canter against limited opponents.

By contrast to Leeds' enterprise, Hull looked short of ideas and low in confidence.

They have now gained just one point from their last four games and remain in deep relegation trouble, whereas Leeds supporters left East Yorkshire with far loftier ambitions.

In a sign of things to come, the visitors – unchanged for a fifth consecutive game – were sharp and alert in the early exchanges, and Mateusz Klich should perhaps have scored after just seven minutes.

Gianni Alioski teed up the Poland international on the edge of Hull's penalty area, but Klich screwed a curling shot wide of the left post.

But the home team gradually edged into the game, and did well to put the brakes on a Leeds midfield that had started with such intent.

Indeed, Nigel Adkins' men might even have taken the lead had Tommy Elphick's goal-bound volley from Kamil Grosicki's corner not struck the backside of Chris Martin.

Despite having lost Jackson Irvine to injury after 27 minutes, Hull still looked a relative threat on their fleeting advances into their opponents' half.

Yet there was nothing sleek about their other chance of the first half when Eric Lichaj's free-kick from deep inside his half was not claimed by Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Jarrod Bowen controlled Lichaj's speculative punt but scuffed a shot at the legs of Peacock-Farrell, who was badly out of position.

Leeds soon regained focus, though, and created the best opportunity of the first half after 36 minutes.

Roberts was given too much space inside Hull's penalty box and threaded a deft flick to Alioski, who scuffed a left-footed shot wide from eight yards.

Luke Ayling and Barry Douglas also gave Hull moments of concern as Leeds finished the first period in control.

It was a similar story after the restart. Roberts forced David Marshall into an intelligent parry three minutes into the second half, while Ayling's lob from a tight angle hit the roof the Hull net moments later.

Hull could now not live with Leeds, who charged into the lead thanks to Roberts' fine finish.

The Wales international drifted into space 25 yards from goal and had the time to direct a perfect low strike into Marshall's bottom-left corner.

Hull responded meekly – substitute Nouha Dicko's late flick was easily saved by Peacock-Farrell and was as good as it got – as Leeds closed out the game with plenty in hand.

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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured in August 2018
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
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15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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