Leeds United recorded their fifth consecutive home win with a 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle, as United continue to close the gap between themselves and the top two.
Despite being in control of the game for large periods, Leeds had to survive a late scare when Plymouth pulled a goal back late on to threaten a late comeback.
It was Leeds who started the game the better of the two teams. Crysencio Summerville had the first opportunity of the game when he found space at the back post and look poised for a tap in from the looping cross of Dan James, however the Dutchman was denied by the outstretched leg of Julio Plezguezuelo who anticipated the danger well.
Argyle reminded the hosts they were still a threat in transition. Morgan Whittaker found himself in space down the right hand side before he cut the ball back to Finn Azaz on the edge of the box, however Azaz’s strike was easily dealt with by Illan Meslier.
Leeds had a penalty shout just after the 20 minute mark when Georginio Rutter appeared to have been bundled over in the box by Kaine Kesler-Hayden in the box. However, nothing was given and Kesler-Hayden emerged with the ball but was quickly harried off it by Glen Kamara. The loose ball then fell to Dan James on the edge of the box and he made no mistakes as he curled it into the top right corner.
Leeds managed to double their lead just before the half-hour mark through Joel Piroe, who bagged his sixth of the season.
Summerville managed to pinch the ball from the feet Pleguezuelo and drove into the box before picking out Piroe who had provided him with an option on the overlap, before his first time finish went through the legs of Michael Cooper in the Plymouth goal.
Similarly to their game against Huddersfield, Leeds went into cruise control and began to control possession and the tempo of the game at the end of the first half and for the majority of the second.
The Whites had a good chance to add a third and completely kill the game off, but Rutter couldn’t keep his strike down after the ball was laid off to him by Summerville.
The third goal just wouldn’t come for Leeds as they continued to probe and prod at the Plymouth defence. Rutter rolled the ball into the feet of substitute Jaidon Anthony, who shifted the ball onto his right foot before attempting to pick out the bottom right corner, but he was denied by the hand of Cooper.
Argyle wouldn’t leave Elland Road quietly, and managed to pull one back with around five minutes left of normal time. Dan Scarr lofted a ball into the channel which was latched onto by Luke Cundle. Cundle then fired the ball across the box and it was met by Ben Waine who was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net.
However, despite some late pressure, it proved to be too little, too late and Leeds managed to hold on to all three points.
Speaking after the game, Leeds United manager Daniel Farke said:
“I take these three points all day long. If you’d offered me before the game to win 2-1, I’d have signed it. I didn’t speak about it before but I was concerned after a spotlight win – you get praise from everywhere. Normally you are there with a sucker-punch.”
Leeds are back in action next Friday, when they travel to play a struggling Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.