Leeds United 1 (Sollbauer O.G. 28) Barnsley 0
Leeds United recorded another crucial win in the Sky Bet Championship, to move within a point of promotion to the Premier League, with a 1-0 victory over Barnsley at Elland Road.
Ahead of kick-off, those present at Elland Road fell to silence, to remember the late, great, Jack Charlton.
After early pressure from Leeds, Barnsley had the first opportunity of the match. Jacob Brown broke into the Whites box, latching onto Conor Chaplin’s pass, but he couldn’t get the better of Illan Meslier from a narrow angle.
Cauley Woodrow tried his luck from range in the 17th minute, but he was unable to find the target from distance.
Leeds had a great opportunity three minutes later when Mateusz Klich flashed a lovely ball across the face of the Barnsley goal, but no Leeds player could get on the end of it.
The visitors had a great chance in the 27th minute from a corner. Callum Styles delivered and Mads Andersen met it with a diving header, but he put the opportunity wide.
Less than a minute later, Leeds took the lead. Patrick Bamford did well down the right and his cut-back was met by Barnsley defender Michael Sollbauer who put the ball into his own net.
Soon after, Leeds had a chance from a corner with Ben White seeing his glancing header cleared following Jack Harrison’s cross.
Just before the break, Harrison played a dangerous ball across the face of goal and only a last ditch challenge from Jordan Williams, prevented Helder Costa from converting at the back post.
Half time: Leeds United 1-0 Barnsley
Leeds introduced Pablo Hernandez at the break, but it was Barnsley substitute Luke Thomas who almost made an immediate impact, forcing Meslier into a good stop from the edge of the box.
Gaetano Berardi forced a save from Walton with a 25 yard header following a free-kick, before Chaplin struck just wide for the visitors.
Luke Ayling lost possession close to his box in the 51st minute and Styles nearly benefitted, striking just wide from 20 yards.
Sollbauer met an Alex Mowatt cross forcing Meslier into another stop, before Leeds had a chance to add a second. Substitutes Pascal Struijkk and Ezgjan Alioski combined, with the latter crossing for Bamford, but he was denied by a fine stop from Walton.
Meslier was again called into action to prevent Woodrow’s shot on the turn, from just inside the Leeds box as Barnsley continued to throw the kitchen sink at the Whites.
In stoppage time, Leeds almost sealed it, when Bamford played in Stuart Dallas, but once more he was stopped by Walton.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side then saw out the closing stages, to hang on for the three points. The result means now Leeds could be promoted to the top-flight for the first time in 16 years, should Brentford or West Bromwich Albion drop points, prior to Sunday’s fixture with Derby County.
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Berardi, Cooper, Dallas, White, Klich, Harrison (Struijk 61), Costa (Alioski 49), Roberts (Hernandez 45, Shackleton 90+3), Bamford. Subs not used: Casilla, Douglas, Poveda, Stevens, Casey.
Barnsley: Walton, J. Williams (Oduor 84), Andersen, Halme (Thomas 45), Sollbauer, Styles, Mowatt, Ludewig, Brown (Schmidt 78), Chaplin, Woodrow. Subs not used: Collins, B. Williams, Bahre, Ritzmaier, Wolfe, Marsh.
Booked: Hernandez (Leeds), Sollbauer (Barnsley)
Referee: J. Gillett
Venue: Elland Road
Full time: Leeds United 1-0 Barnsley