Hull City 0-4 Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa’s side run riot in the Yorkshire derby to extend gap in the fight for automatic promotion to eight points
- Luke Ayling’s deflected 25-yard shot gave Marcelo Bielsa’s side an early lead
- Pablo Hernandez slotted home the second for Leeds United after 47 minutes
- Substitute Tyler Roberts fired twice as the visitors took an emphatic victory
Promotion-chasing Leeds United made an emphatic statement in Saturday’s lunchtime kick off with four goals and a clean sheet for teenage goalkeeper Illan Meslier on his Championship debut.
Luke Ayling, Pablo Hernandez, Tyler Roberts (2) all scored as Marcelo Bielsa’s side chalked up their fourth consecutive victory to take them eight points ahead of third-place Fulham.
Meslier also impressed with his handling. The Frenchman, who turns 20 on Monday, was playing because regular ‘keeper Kiko Casilla was handed an eight-match ban on Friday for racially abusing Charlton’s Jonathan Leko earlier in the season.
Leeds United continued their recent good form with an impressive win in the Yorkshire derby
Luke Ayling scored after just five minutes when his 25-yard shot deflected off a defender
Leeds ran riot in the second-half after Hernandez doubled the lead after 47 minutes
Tyler Roberts was brought on as a substitute and scored two goals in five second-half minutes
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Hull (4-3-3): Long 7.5; McKenzie 6, Pennington 6, McLoughlin 6, Elder 5; Honeyman 6.5, Stewart 6.5, Lopes 5 (Batty 63 5.5); Wilks 5.5, Magennis 5 (Balogh 63 6), Samuelsen 5.5 (Maddison 76 6)
Subs not used: Ingram (Gk) Tafazolli, Ingram, Kingsley, Irvine
Booked: McLoughlin, Magennis
Leeds: Meslier 7; Ayling 7.5, White 7, Cooper 6.5, Dallas 6; Phillips 6; Costa 7.5, Harrison 6.5 (Alioski 88), Klich 7, Hernandez 8 (Shackleton 88); Bamford 6 (Roberts 67 7)
Subs not used: Caprile (Gk) Douglas, Berardi, Stevens
Goals: Ayling 5, Hernandez 47, Roberts 79, 83
Referee: Keith Stroud 6
Meanwhile, Hull are without a win in 11 games and hurtling towards the relegation zone following the January departure of Jarrod Bowen to West Ham.
Leeds haven’t been in the Premier League for 16 years but their push is gaining unstoppable momentum.
Bielsa’s team had won their previous three games 1-0 and they were ahead at the KCOM Stadium after only five minutes when right-back Ayling broke forward and hit a powerful strike from 30 yards that deflected off Callum Elder into the top corner.
Hernandez almost made it 2-0 soon after when his curling shot from 18 yards crashed off the crossbar.
Meslier, on loan from Lorient, was well protected though he made comfortable saves to deny Kevin Stewart and Sean McLoughlin and gathered crosses well. His only previous first-team game for Leeds had come in the FA Cup against Arsenal.
Bielsa used the interval to tell his players to finish the job off and Leeds went through the gears in the second half.
Ayling’s third goal of the season gave Leeds the best possible start over their Yorkshire rivals
The second goal arrived after 48 minutes when Jack Harrison’s cross was nodded on by Elder to Helder Costa, whose pass inside to Hernandez was neatly despatched by the Spaniard.
Leeds could have added more. Ayling hit the woodwork with another long-ranger and Hull ‘keeper George Long made two great stops to deny Costa.
Hull’s only threatening moment came through substitute Norbert Balogh who struck the outside of the post.
Pablo Hernandez was played in and the Spaniard coolly slotted home the visitors’ second goal
In the last 10 minutes, Leeds scored twice more, Roberts coming off the bench to fire home and then guiding Mateusz Klich’s cross into the net with a clever header.
Leeds fans who’d made the relatively short trip east sang the name of the disgraced Casilla along with the name of goal hero Hernandez.
They’ve so often choked at the final hurdle in promotion races, but this time Bielsa seems to have found the winning formula.
Roberts celebrates with Ben White after he guided a header past the Hull City goalkeeper
Illan Meslier kept a clean sheet on his Championship debut after replacing Kiko Casilla