Barnsley 0-2 Leeds: Super-sub Eddie Nketiah helps send Leeds top
Report from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Oakwell
Last Updated: 15/09/19 11:38pm
Leeds left it late at Barnsley but returned to the top of the Championship with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Oakwell.
Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah was the star of the show after coming off the bench with 20 minutes remaining. He opened the scoring in the 84th minute before winning a penalty five minutes later, which Mateusz Klich converted to make sure of the points.
Both teams passed up numerous chances to score in an entertaining and often frenetic Yorkshire derby, but a combination of top goalkeeping from Brad Collins and Kiko Casilla, plus wayward finishing meant a long wait for the opener.
It was harsh on Barnsley's young side, with the entire starting line-up aged 24 or under, but they remain winless since the opening day and sit just one place above the drop-zone.
How Leeds were made to wait
The opening ten minutes saw both goalkeepers called into action. First Collins was alert to deny Patrick Bamford with his feet, before Casilla pushed away a Malik Wilks effort from the edge of the box.
Next Casilla was needed to push Luke Thomas' effort away, while Bamford stung Collins' gloves when perhaps he should have crossed for team-mates with 36 minutes on the clock.
Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel made four changes to the side that drew at Wigan last time out, with Mowatt, Brown, Woodrow and Jordan Williams returned with Thiam, Bahre and Chaplin dropping to the bench, while Ben Williams is suspended.Leeds made just one change as Jame Shackleton came in for Adam Forshaw. Tyler Roberts returnsed to the bench.
An end-to-end final ten minutes of the first-half saw Pablo Hernandez fire over from the edge of the box, Cauley Woodrow blaze an effort over the bar and Wilks drag a shot wide of Casilla's left-hand post.
Jack Harrison then passed up the best opportunity of the first-half as the clocked ticked into stoppage-time. A near-post corner was flicked on by Ben White and into the path of Harrison. From five yards out he could only smash his effort against the post.
The opening stages of the second-half were even busier. Bamford scuffed an effort at Collins, before Jacob Brown tested Casilla with a fierce drive from range. Bamford then thought he had opened the scoring on the 50-minute mark as he converted from Helder Costa's cross, only for the assistant's flag to rule the strike out as Costa was offside in the build-up.
Alioski for Leeds and Wilks and Woodrow for Barnsley passed up yet more opportunities before the hour-mark, as did Klich, Halme and Bamford after it in a game that looked destined to go-down as one of the most entertaining 0-0 draws you'll see.
But Nketiah, sent on for Bamford in the 70th minute, made sure not to pass up his first chance. Kalvin Phillips whipped in a free-kick from the left and Nketiah lost his marker to pounce at the back post and send 4000 travelling Leeds fans wild.
He then made sure it'd be his name that Leeds fans were singing at the final whistle, when he was fouled by Halme in the box, just after the Barnsley centre-back had nearly equalised for the hosts. Klich stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards, calmly rolling the ball into the bottom corner after sending Collins the wrong way.
Man of the match - Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah was only on the pitch for 20 minutes, yet he proved the difference at Oakwell and kept his cool in-front of goal when nobody else did.
He showed his predatory instinct to open the scoring, losing his marker and finishing smartly on the volley at the back post, before showing his strength to win the penalty minutes later.The Leeds fans serenaded their latest hero at the end and he'll be pushing Bamford hard for a starting spot next week.
Daniel Stendel: "I'm proud. We played as well as we can. When you created so much against Leeds it's a really good game. Not easy, but you need to take your chances in the right moment. Not happened today. Second half the pressure came from Leeds, but we had big chances too. Ten minutes missed to take one point. You can see why they have ambitions to win promotion this year. Disappointed, but this is how we need to play every week and score."
Marcelo Bielsa: It was a match we deserved win, but could have lost and drawn. Very good opponent, we have to say it. A young team. They ran a lot, Always trying to play. I think the team is better than the addition of each player they have. Congratulations to their manager and players as well. An honest team. Honestly, it's incredible this league. It's so special to me that one team like this is at the bottom of the table.
"He [Nketiah] is a striker with goals. Some players are involved a lot before the finish, before the chance. Nketiah is more involved in the end of the action, not in the creation. Anyway, he has good characteristics to combine with team-mates. Give options to the team. Complete player."
Leeds host Derby County live on Sky Sports Football next Saturday lunchtime, while Barnsley have a trip to Nottingham Forest later that afternoon.