Leeds reclaim top spot with West Brom mauling

Leeds returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship after an impressive 4-0 win over promotion rivals West Brom at Elland Road.

Pablo Hernandez gave the Yorkshire side a dream start when he opened the scoring after just 17 seconds.

Patrick Bamford doubled the advantage during a brilliant first half from the hosts and the striker deservedly wrapped the points up midway through the second half after his deflected effort beat Sam Johnstone.

Ezgjan Alioski then rubbed further salt into the Albion wounds when he tapped home a fourth three minutes into injury time at the end of the game, helping Leeds reclaim top spot off Norwich ahead of their trip to Millwall.

It was just reward for a tenacious display from Leeds which saw West Brom fail to live with their high tempo.

Hernandez found the top corner from the edge of the box inside the first minute to get Leeds off to a flyer.

Tyler Roberts then missed a great chance to double the home side’s lead after 12 minutes when he fired straight at the keeper.

Kiko Casilla confidently claimed a Gareth Barry free-kick before Johnstone gathered Kalvin Phillips’ effort at the second attempt.

But Leeds deservedly doubled their lead before the half-hour when Bamford slotted home from close range after Roberts picked him out.

Casilla did well to tip over a powerful Jay Rodriguez effort as the visitors sought an immediate response and, from the resulting corner, Tosin Adarabioyo missed a great chance to pull a goal back when he headed wide.

Hernandez failed to find the target from 25 yards as half-time approached after Liam Cooper brilliantly won the ball before Bamford fired over from the edge of the box.

Leeds continued to push for a third goal before the interval and Pontus Jansson nearly had a tap-in in after Hernandez scuffed an effort in his direction in first-half stoppage time.

West Brom were on the attack soon after the restart and came close to pulling a goal back when Hal Robson-Kanu headed inches over from Barry’s curling free-kick with Casilla stranded.

Dwight Gayle sent another free-kick crashing into the wall after 52 minutes, before the Baggies won a corner as they continued to set the second-half tempo.

The visitors could not find the breakthrough, though, and Leeds finished them off with a third goal in the 63rd minute.

After Johnstone had saved well from Mateusz Klich, Bamford’s shot left the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper flat-footed at his near post after a great run by Roberts carved open the defence.

Alioski added a fourth late on when he tapped home Jamie Shackleton’s perfect pass as Leeds underlined their promotion credentials in fine fashion.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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