Leeds United made it back to back wins and back to back clean sheets as they won their West Yorkshire derby 3-0 at Huddersfield Town.
Two goals in first half injury-time by strikers Mirco Antenucci and Chris Wood proved crucial and another stunning strike by Alex Mowatt after the break made sure Leeds beat their West Yorkshire rivals for the fourth successive time.
In the process they were achieving two successive wins for the first time since March, but the final score did not tell the full story.
In a first half made 10 minutes longer by several injuries, including a six-minute stoppage before United defender Liam Cooper was stretchered off after getting knocked out in an accidental head clash with team-mate Scott Wootton, it looked like neither side knew the way to goal.
The only action of note was Joe Lolley having a shot blocked by Cooper and Harry Bunn forcing the first save with a low shot in the box. For Leeds, Antenucci and Wood had shots blocked and Mowatt hit a snap shot wide from inside the box.
But the game suddenly came to life in added time after Wootton made a second foul and avoided a red card having earlier been booked despite Huddersfield players trying to influence referee Graham Scott.
To add to the home side’s anger within a minute Wootton played the ball forward, Stuart Dallas combined nicely with Wood to get clear down the right and his cross was volleyed home by Antenucci for the opening goal.
Three minutes later Antenucci raced clear and rounded the keeper only to go too wide to score. But his cross was not cleared and fell invitingly for Wood to put away an easy chance to make it 2-0.
Right on half-time Mark Hudson became a second player to avoid a red card after catching Luke Murphy with his studs in a dangerous tackle.
Huddersfield were much improved at the start of the second half as Nahki Wells mis-kicked in front of goal meeting Lolley’s low cross-shot then raced clear only for Sol Bamba to make a great recovery tackle in the box.
Murray Wallace headed wide from a corner then Silvestri was forced to make two saves to deny Bunn and Kyle Dempsey.
Leeds survived then hit the hosts with a classic sucker punch as Mowatt followed up his spectacular winner against Cardiff in midweek with an equally superb strike as he smacked the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out.
To Huddersfield’s credit, they kept going despite being three down and Silvestri had to make two terrific saves to keep out shots from James Vaughan and Bunn.
Vaughan turned and shot over and Bunn saw another effort saved by Silvestri as Wootton was looking vulnerable down the Leeds right as he dare not mistime any challenge.
But head coach Steve Evans moved to shore up United’s defence with Tom Adeyemi put on to play right-back and they saw out the final 15 minutes comfortably.
Indeed it was Leeds who came closest to a goal in the closing stages when substitute Jordan Botaka saw a shot tipped over by Joe Murphy after going on a clever run.
Huddersfield Town 0
Leeds United 3
(Antenucci 45+4, Wood 45+7, Mowatt 54)
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Sky Bet Championship
Huddersfield: Murphy, Cranie, Hudson, Wallace, Davidson, Dempsey, Whitehead, Billing (Huws 31), Lolley (Holmes 72), Wells (Vaughan 57), Bunn.
Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton (Adeyemi 72), Bellusci, Cooper (Bamba 18), Berardi, Dallas (Botaka 82), Murphy, Cook, Mowatt, Antenucci, Wood.
Referee: Graham Scott.