A 2-0 victory against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday provided Leeds United with their first Sky Bet Championship victory under new manager Gary Monk.
Both goals came in the second half for the visitors, courtesy of Marcus Antonsson and Chris Wood.
The defeat marks the culmination of a difficult week for home side, which saw Fernando Forestieri refuse to travel to last weekend’s fixture away to Norwich City. The Argentinian born striker was back in the side today, however, following an apology and received a warm reception from the home fans before kick-off.
It was an even first half with opportunities for both sides. The visitors started the brightest with plenty of possession and pressing in the Wednesday half during the opening period.
The home side’s best opportunity of the first half came through summer signing Almen Abdi when his well struck free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar with experienced goalkeeper Rob Green beaten. Meanwhile, Chris Wood and the lively Hadi Sacko both went close for the visitors before half time.
Leeds took the advantage on 63 minutes after a scintillating counter attack. Following an incisive breakaway, Hadi Sacko found Antonsson unmarked at the far post, who connected with a diving header.
In the hunt to level the game, Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper both had good chances saved by Rob Green.
Recent signing Will Buckley was also introduced for The Owls in an attempt to provide more attacking firepower, replacing defender Jack Hunt in a tactical switch.
Despite the best efforts of Sheffield Wednesday to grab an equaliser, it was Leeds who scored the game’s second goal. Another counter-attacking move saw substitute Kemar Roofe pick out New Zealand international Wood, who headed home from close range to register his third goal in five games.
Carvalhal’s men were certainly not shy on effort and desire, showing plenty of work-rate all afternoon. Nonetheless, quality was absent at key moments in the final third in a frustrating performance.
The defeat marks the second defeat in two games for Sheffield Wednesday, who were also beaten in midweek by Championship newcomers Burton Albion.
The two managers cut opposing figures in their respective post-match press conferences. The downbeat Carvalhal was juxtaposed by Monk, who was delighted with his side’s approach to the game.
Describing their tactical approach as “very good”, the reportedly under-fire boss claimed his side had followed their game plan “to the letter” before refusing to be drawn in on his future. When asked about his job security, Monk insisted “my focus is on football”.
Carlos Carvalhal, described the last 7 days as a “very tough week,” and will undoubtedly be keen to draw a line under events and focus on next week’s trip to Brentford.
The defeat sees The Owls slip to slip one place below Leeds in the Championship table after four games. The Whites move up to 16th place ahead of the rest of the afternoon’s fixtures.