Leeds United 4-0 West Bromwich Albion: Patrick Bamford double and Pablo Hernandez scorcher help Marcelo Bielsa’s men return to the top of the Championship

1 Mar

Patrick Bamford struck twice for Leeds United as they moved back to the top of the Championship after a 4-0 demolition of West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies made the worst possible start at Elland Road as Pablo Hernandez sent a scorching strike past the despairing dive of Sam Johnstone within 16 seconds.

Hernandez celebrates scoring after 16 seconds

Bamford got his first of the evening when he lost Craig Dawson in the box to double Leeds’ lead, netting again in the second half when the former Chelsea striker was played clean through Tyler Roberts.

And the scoreline was made even more emphatic when Alisoki was given a simple tap in by Jamie Shackleton in stoppage time.

Norwich City can reclaim top spot with a win at Millwall on Saturday, but the Whites will enjoy their return to the Championship summit, regardless of how long it lasts.

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

The Spaniard slams home his shot from outside the box

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.

Bamford showed incredible composure to slot home his first goal of the night

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.

The race to reach the Premier League is hotting up

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.