Leeds United 2 Hull City 0
Two goals in the last 17 minutes stretched Leeds United’s winning run to seven matches after Yorkshire rivals Hull had threatened to make it a frustrating night for Marcelo Bielsa’s team.
Leeds kept Hull’s in-form Jarrod Bowen quiet and controlled possession for long periods but such chances as they created had been wasted and the match entered its final phase with the visitors threatening to dent the home side’s momentum in what is evolving as a straight fight between themselves and West Bromwich Albion at the top of the Championship.
But after an unlucky own goal by Hull’s Jordy de Wijs handed them a 73rd-minute lead, a breakaway attack eight minutes later sealed the points as substitute Ezgjan Alioski brilliantly steered home a rebound from a tight angle after Patrick Bamford had hit the post from a Mateusz Klich cross.
The result again means West Bromwich, who regained top spot from Leeds with their sixth win in a row on Sunday, have to play catch-up again at Wigan on Wednesday evening.
Leeds dominated the opening half but rarely tested George Long, in the Hull goal. Pablo Hernandez produced a wonderful dip of the shoulder to go past his man inside the Hull box on 35 minutes but curled his shot beyond the far post. Earlier, Bamford, on the end of a smart first-time cross by Helder Costa, had glanced a header wide.
Hull, rarely forward in the first half, threatened more after the break. Kiko Casilla had to dive to his left to deny Tom Eaves and it took a timely block by Ben White to thwart Kamil Grosicki.
When Costa turned home a Jack Harrison cross only for Harrison to be judged offside it seemed Leeds’s luck was out, so when the deadlock was broken it was tough on Hull, who had defended almost flawlessly. As Costa tried to find Bamford with a low cross from the right, De Wijs stuck out a foot and in doing so deflected the ball towards his own goal and, despite Long’s best efforts, it crept over the line.
Then, after a superb save by Casilla kept out an Eaves header, Klich led the lightning break from defence that ended with Alioski securing the win.
Leeds United (3-1-2-3-1): Casilla; Ayling, White, Berardi; Phillips; Dallas, Klich (Douglas 90 6); Costa (Struijk 90 1), Hernandez, Harrison (Alioski 69); Bamford.
Substitutes not used: Miasek (g), Nketiah, Gotts, Clarke.
Booked: Phillips, White.
Hull City (4-2-3-1): Long; Lichaj, Burke, De Wijs, Elder (Lewis-Potter 85); Batty (Bowler 74), Lopes; Bowen, Irvine, Grosicki (Honeyman 90 2); Eaves.
Substitutes not used: Ingram (g), Tafazolli, Kingsley, Pennington.
Referee: David Webb (Lancashire).