Leeds distance themselves from relegation zone with Burnley win

Jack Harrison, Stuart Dallas and Dan James cancel out Maxwel Cornet’s superb free-kick

Leeds 3 Burnley 1

Leeds United moved eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone after a thoroughly deserved victory against a Burnley side who remain entrenched in the bottom three.

Second half goals from Stuart Dallas and Dan James were enough to consign Burnley to another defeat, and leave them with just a solitary win to their name in the league this season. They had levelled courtesy of a magnificent free-kick from Maxwel Cornet after Jack Harrison's opener, but there was little doubting which side deserved to go on and win the game in the final minutes after that equaliser from Cornet.

Having dominated the majority of a pulsating opening 45 minutes at Elland Road, Leeds will have been disappointed to have only led by a solitary goal at half-time. That came courtesy of Harrison, who finished on the rebound after his initial strike had been saved by Wayne Hennessey. However, there were a litany of other chances for the hosts which came and went.


By the time Harrison opened the scoring, Tyler Roberts perhaps should already have done so himself, diverting a header from a Luke Ayling cross just wide. Raphinha almost came close to catching Hennessey out from long range and when Harrison did eventually put Leeds in front, it was no less than they deserved.

Sean Dyche’s response at half-time was to introduce Cornet and, just as he has whenever he has been on the pitch for Burnley this season, the Ivory Coast international had an impact. Cornet’s sublime free-kick curled past Illan Meslier to make it 1-1 and, in the ensuing celebrations from the Burnley players, Matthew Lowton was hit by a bottle from the home support which required the defender to receive medical attention.

Cornet’s strike was his sixth in only 11 Premier League appearances since joining in the summer, and the important role he plays in this Burnley side will be of great concern given that he now heads to the Africa Cup of Nations. Without him, Burnley could sink further into trouble at the bottom.

However Leeds responded well from that setback, taking control of the contest once again and going back ahead when a clever short corner from the hosts fell at the feet of Dallas. He curled a superb effort into Hennessey’s goal to put Marcelo Bielsa’s side back into the lead.

Burnley pressed for a second equaliser, with Cornet at the heart of their endeavours. But he was powerless to prevent Leeds securing all three points in stoppage time when Joe Gelhardt’s cross was met by the head of fellow substitute James. Hennessey could only parry James’s effort into the net, guaranteeing a win for Leeds and ensuring Burnley remain two points adrift of safety. - Guardian