Leeds 0-1 Wigan: Marcelo Bielsa’s promotion chasers lose to Latics again as West Brom move back to the top
- Traumatic does not do justice to the impact on Leeds United of Wigan’s last visit
- Paul Cook’s men won here on a fatal day last April and they repeated that trick
- Joe Williams’ corner was deflected into his own net by Leeds’ Pablo Hernandez
Traumatic does not do justice to the impact on Leeds United of Wigan’s last visit to Elland Road as Paul Cook’s men won here on a fatal day last April.
Remarkably, they repeated that trick as Joe Williams’ left-wing corner was deflected past Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and into his own net by Pablo Hernandez in the 59th minute.
Once again, Cook’s side turned the Championship table on its head by slaying Marcelo Biela’s promotion hopefuls and simultaneously boosting their survival prospects.
Joe Williams’ corner was deflected into his own net by Pablo Hernandez in 59th minute
Wigan beat Leeds at Elland Road last season and achieved the same result on Saturday
Leeds’ Hernandez looks dejected during their 1-0 defeat by Wigan in Championship clash
Let it be remembered that Leeds never recovered from their shock 2-1 home loss to the Latics on Good Friday last term.
From that point, automatic promotion slipped through their fingers and an Easter Monday defeat at Brentford two days later effectively condemned them to the dreaded play-offs.
The rest, as we know, is history as the Whites lost to Derby over two legs and were left locked out of the Premier League for a sixteenth consecutive season.
Leeds (4-3-3): Casilla 5; Ayling 6, Cooper 6, White 6, Alioski 6 (Roberts 64min, 6); Klich 6, Dallas 7, Hernandez 5; Costa 6, Bamford 5, Harrison 6.
Subs (not used): Meslier, Poveda, Berardi, Shackleton, Stevens, Casey.
Wigan (5-3-2): Marshall 7; Byrne 6, Kipre 7, Dunkley 7, Naismith 7, Pearce 6 (Jacobs 84); Morsy 7, Williams 7, Evans 6; Massey 6 (Lowe 69, 6), Moore 8. Booked: Massey, Naismith.
Subs (not used): Jones, Macleod, Roberts, Gelhardt, Garner.
Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland) 6.
Bielsa deemed new signing Jean-Kevin Augustin was not ready for his debut and Leeds toiled in vain all afternoon in front of goal with no reward.
They went close twice inside the opening exchanges of a first half which saw them, typically, dominate possession and create chances but fail to make them pay.
In the fifth minute, winger Helder Costa cut inside from the right flank and hit a fierce left-foot shot which drew a smart stop from Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall.
Two minutes later, on-loan Manchester City midfielder Jack Harrison showed impressive footwork to engineer the space to hit a low shot which rebounded off a post.
Patrick Bamford reacts after he tried to get a goal for Leeds and earn a point for the hosts
It was a major let-off for Wigan but they steadied themselves and managed to keep Leeds at bay before going close at the other end in the 21st minute.
Latic captain Sam Morsy neatly worked himself into a shooting position which saw him hit a well-struck right-foot effort from around 25 yards. Casilla could only parry the ball and was left grateful that no Wigan player was on hand to tuck away the rebound.
At the other end, chances continued to proliferate as Bamford had a right-foot shot saved at the near post before he mishit Mateusz Klich’s cross and then Costa smashed a follow-up effort narrowly over the crossbar.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa issues instructions from the touchline during the tight clash
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In the 33rd minute, Harrison went close again after good work by Costa and Bamford as the game remained goalless at the break in front of another capacity crowd of 35,162.
Five minutes after the restart, Costa delivered a hanging cross but Bamford sent his header wide.
Shortly before the hour mark, Wigan struck the killer blow when Williams’ left-wing corner skimmed off Hernandez and past a helpless Casilla, whose attempts to keep the ball out came to nothing.
Leeds soon brought on Tyler Roberts and they continued to probe as Bamford failed to convert another header before Roberts saw a shit deflected wide.
At the other end, Wigan twice went close on the counter-attack through Kieffer Moore, whose shot was blocked by Ben White, before Leeds old-boy Tom Pearce was denied by Stuart Dallas’ vital intervention as he shaped to shoot after breaking clear.
In the fourth and final minute of added time, Wigan’s Cedric Kipre headed off the line to keep his side’s lead intact and seal a famous victory at Leeds’ expense. Another one.