MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 14:03:28
Oct 24, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Elland Road (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 29,082
LeedsLeeds United
2-0
IpswichIpswich Town
Roofe (22'), Cooper (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Leeds return to top after easing past struggling Ipswich

Result: Leeds return to top after easing past struggling Ipswich
© Reuters
Kemar Roofe and Liam Cooper grabbed the goals for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Pablo Hernandez showed his class as Leeds returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 victory over struggling Ipswich at Elland Road.

United’s progress under Marcelo Bielsa had stalled in recent weeks with just two wins in eight outings without the playmaker in their starting line-up.

But the fit-again Spaniard returned with a bang, laying on goals for Kemar Roofe and Liam Cooper to ensure Leeds got their promotion drive back on track.

The defeat cranked up the pressure on Ipswich boss Paul Hurst.

Town are rooted to the bottom of the table, winning just once this term, and appeared out of their depth in front of a crowd of 29,082 in Yorkshire.

One of three changes made by Bielsa, Hernandez had the first chance of the game.

The 33-year-old blasted a volley over after Roofe charged down nervy goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s clearance.

Ex-Leeds loanee Matthew Pennington almost returned to haunt his former side, heading tamely at Bailey Peacock-Farrell from Adetayo Edun’s free-kick in the 16th minute.

But it was Leeds who took the lead six minutes later following a superb flowing move.

Several slick passes led to Hernandez collecting the ball on the right and delivering a pinpoint cross that Roofe headed in from close range for his first goal since August.

Leeds sensed blood and piled forward at every opportunity, with Gjanni Alioski firing off target and the returning Luke Ayling having a shot deflected over.

With midfielder Kalvin Phillips dictating play from centre-back, United continued to dominate at the start of the second half.

Stuart Dallas, on for the injured Gaetano Berardi, sliced an Alioski cutback wide and then had a shot deflected behind.

Roofe could not divert a header on target, but Leeds got the second goal they deserved after 66 minutes.

Hernandez was the architect as he danced into the box and passed to Phillips, who stepped over the ball, allowing centre-back Cooper space to side-foot into the top corner with his right foot.

Winger Alioski was pushed further up-field when recognised left-back Tom Pearce was introduced on the hour mark and the Macedonian almost scored a third, firing an effort against the post.

Bialkowski prevented Ipswich from falling further behind as the one-way traffic continued, tipping substitute Adam Forshaw’s shot behind and beating out Alioski’s fierce drive.

Town almost sneaked a way back into the game with eight minutes remaining, but Peacock-Farrell was alert to push away Jon Nolan’s low effort.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds27166546281854
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27155746281850
3Norwich CityNorwich27148549351450
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby CountyDerby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Birmingham CityBirmingham2791263930939
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2791263931839
10Hull City27116103933639
11Queens Park RangersQPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea CitySwansea27107103632437
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke CityStoke2781183134-335
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston North EndPreston2779113944-530
19Wigan AthleticWigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2739152246-2418

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