2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Kemar Roofe (24')
  • Ezgjan Alioski (87')

Leeds continue impressive start under Thomas Christiansen with victory at Forest

Thomas Christiansen's Leeds continued their fine start to the Championship season with a 2-0 triumph over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The recently appointed Danish head coach sent out his side to deny Mark Warburton's side the room to play their flowing football - and his plan was perfectly implemented as a 24th-minute header from Kemar Roofe and a clinical strike from Ezgjan Alioski three minutes from time secured a third straight away win.

Forest could not get into their rhythm, and slipped to a first home defeat of the campaign, without really threatening the visitors' goal.

Leeds had got their tactics spot on in the first half, pressing high and stifling Forest.

And, while the visitors did not have endless chances of their own, they were ruthless when the opportunity arose.

Leeds' Samuel Saiz had come close with a dipping shot and Pablo Hernandez had threatened with a volley that dipped wide.

But Roofe, who netted a hat-trick in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Newport, showed his predatory instincts again when he headed home from close range, after Liam Cooper had headed a half-cleared free-kick back into the danger zone.

Forest's main chance in the first half arrived when Kieran Dowell drove in a low free-kick which fizzed across the face of goal to the far post, where Daryl Murphy was inches away from getting the touch that would surely have ended in a goal.

Felix Wieldwald did have to make brave saves from both Ben Osborn and Murphy, as the Forest men both looked to get onto the end of balls into the box. But the Leeds goalkeeper was largely untroubled, with an audacious lob from Dowell dropping onto the top of his net.

Forest made a change six minutes after the break, with Ben Brereton introduced to add more attacking threat.

And the home side did begin to find just a little momentum, with Murphy crowded out as he looked to shoot in the box, following good work from Barrie McKay.

Joe Worrall also flicked a header wide of the target - but Forest were struggling for anything more than half chances, even after adding further substitutes Zach Clough and Jason Cummings to their attacking options.

Leeds substitute Stuart Dallas went close to doubling their lead when he flashed a vicious shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide.

And the second goal did arrive in the 87th minute when Eunan O'Kane found Alioski in space on the edge of the box and the Macedonian took full advantage as Forest backed off, driving a low, unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.

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English League Championship Standings

1 Sheffield United 12 +8 25
2 West Bromwich Albion 12 +14 24
3 Leeds United 12 +13 23
4 Middlesbrough 12 +8 22
5 Nottingham Forest 12 +4 19
6 Sheffield Wednesday 12 +1 19
7 Brentford 12 +6 18
8 Derby County 12 +2 18
9 Norwich City 12 0 18
10 Blackburn Rovers 12 -1 18
11 Swansea City 12 +3 17
12 Wigan Athletic 12 -2 17
13 Bristol City 12 +2 16
14 Stoke City 12 -1 16
15 Aston Villa 12 0 15
16 Bolton Wanderers 12 -5 15
17 Birmingham City 12 +1 14
18 Queens Park Rangers 12 -10 14
19 Rotherham United 12 -10 11
20 Millwall 12 -6 10
21 Reading 12 -5 9
22 Preston North End 12 -6 9
23 Ipswich Town 12 -7 9
24 Hull City 12 -9 8

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