Leeds 0-1 Swansea: Wayne Routledge sends Swans top
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Elland Road
Last Updated: 31/08/19 6:11pm
Steve Cooper's dream start to life in charge of Swansea continued as Wayne Routledge's late goal moved his side top of the Sky Bet Championship following a 1-0 victory over Leeds at Elland Road.
The former England youth coach took over at the Liberty Stadium in the summer, inheriting a squad who finished 10th last season and lost star winger Daniel James and prolific striker Oli McBurnie to the Premier League.
Cooper has fitted in seamlessly and, having soaked up plenty of pressure and seen Leeds miss plenty of chances, substitute Routledge's 90th-minute strike took the Swans two points clear at the summit.
Both teams came into the top-of-the-table showdown unbeaten with 13 points from five games, with Leeds only top on goal difference, but it was United who slipped to their first league defeat of the campaign.
The hosts totally dominated yet, like on numerous times last season during their unsuccessful promotion drive, their finishing let them down.
The Welsh side struggled to contain Leeds early on and Mike van der Hoorn, making his 100th appearance for the club, almost turned a stray Stuart Dallas cross beyond Freddie Woodman and into his own net.
Gjanni Alioski had his two chances at the back post, firing over when unmarked and then acrobatically hooking an effort at Woodman.
Patrick Bamford then headed off target twice, the first when free at the front post, before Swansea showed signs of stirring.
A clumsy foul on the edge of the area by Jack Harrison gave the visitors a free-kick, which former United loanee Matt Grimes curled into the side netting.
A fine flowing move from Leeds finished with Adam Forshaw shooting over, while Kiko Casilla just managed to parry a dipping Grimes drive wide at the other end.
Leeds almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time through fit-again captain Liam Cooper, who nodded a corner against the frame of the goal and then hooked the rebound over.
Marcelo Bielsa's side started the second half how they finished the first.
Bamford sliced an effort wide and Woodman saved a Pablo Hernandez drive from the edge of the box.
The further missed chances saw Bielsa introduce striker Eddie Nketiah on the hour mark.
Chants of "Eddie, Eddie Eddie" rang around the ground and the on-loan Arsenal striker almost made an immediate impact, poking over the top after he latched onto a through ball.
Swansea wanted a penalty when substitute Sam Surridge went down, but referee Darren Bond was unmoved.
Hernandez opted to take too many touches rather than shoot when unmarked at the back post, then blazed a shot just over as Leeds piled on the pressure.
Nketiah almost scored late on, heading wide from Dallas' cross when under pressure from Woodman, but it was Swansea who won it at the death.
Leeds failed to clear a corner numerous times and Routledge fired into the bottom corner.
Marcelo Bielsa: "The individual performance of the players was positive. Our players played a little under the level that they have. We had the ball constantly. We defended well.
"We created enough chances to deserve two or three goals. The chances that the opponent team had was in relation to the corners, and more from the second balls after the corners. We had a high possession of the ball. We attacked with calm. This is the analysis of the game."
Steve Cooper: "It is the perfect result, a clean sheet away from home and scoring one. It is a good return. I'm not going to be too reserved, but there are 40 games left. I feel like we have played 30 already! Of course, it is a good start, encouraging. A good tally so far, no doubt about that.
"But we need to keep going, keep working and get ready for the next game. Six games… it is too early for any mention. I'm not looking at it (the table), honestly. We are pleased with how we are doing, pleased with the progression of the team. We are growing."