Report: Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United

Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United

Sunderland beat play-off rivals Leeds United 1-0 to claim back-to-back home wins inside a chilly Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening in the Sky Bet Championship.

After a goalless first half despite dominating possession, Jobe’s close-range header inside the final 15 minutes deservedly sealed all three points for the Black Cats.

The win consolidated Sunderland’s position inside the division's top six and handed the visitors their first league defeat in eight.

Mike Dodds opted to freshen up his Sunderland starting XI by making three changes to the side that beat West Brom on Saturday - Alex Pritchard, Abdoullah Ba and Jenson Seelt were all handed starting spots.

Leeds almost took an early lead in the opening minutes of the game if it wasn’t for an alert Anthony Patterson tipping Crysencio Summerville's looping free kick over his crossbar for a corner which came to nothing.  

Alex Pritchard's curling effort from the edge of the box came within inches of finding Illan Meslier’s far post but the ball rolled agonisingly wide for a goal kick.

Pritchard’s set-piece quality had Leeds’ defence scrambling all night,  with the visitors this time frantically clearing his in-swinging free kick off the line and away for a corner.

Seelt rose highest to meet the ball from the resulting corner, but Meslier was aware to pull off a phenomenal full-stretch save to keep the scores level.

The hosts should have taken a well-earned lead into the break, Jobe this time failing to keep his header on target after reacting quickest to get on the end of Pritchard’s pin-point cross inside the Leeds 18-yard box.

Leeds continued to absorb pressure deep inside their final third and Sunderland’s dominance almost paid off when Jack Clarke cut inside from the right but blazed his drilled effort just over Meslier’s crossbar.

The hosts started the second half as they ended the first and came out of the blocks fast, Trai Hume’s edge-of-the-box volley was neatly palmed away from danger again by Meslier.

Summerville’s blistering pace almost caught the Black Cats napping inside the final 20 minutes after the attacker broke from inside his own half, but his left-footed strike was gathered comfortably by Patterson.

Sunderland deservedly broke the deadlock on 77 minutes through Jobe’s close-range header, the makeshift forward nodding home Pritchard’s delivery from four-yard out.

In a manic final few minutes, Leeds came within a whisker of a late equaliser when Joel Piroe thrashed a goal-bound shot through several bodies from a tight angle, but Hume was well positioned on the goal line to hoof the ball away from danger.

The Lads are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City in the Sky Bet Championship.

SAFC XI: Patterson, Huggins, Ballard, O’Nien ©, Hume, Seelt (Ekwah 70’), Neil, Ba (Roberts 59’), Pritchard (Dack 90’), Clarke, Jobe.

Subs not used: Bishop, Triantis, Aouchiche, Burstow, Rusyn, Mayenda.

Leeds XI: Meslier, Gray, Rodon, Struijk ©, Spence (Joseph Fernandez 82’), Kamara (Bamford 81’), Ampadu, James (Anthony 75’), Piroe, Summerville, Rutter (Gnonto 75’)

Subs not used: Ayling, Cooper, Darlow, Gelhardt, Gruev.

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