Leeds United continued their rich vein of form as they continued their domination of another league rival.
The Whites entered the pot for the second round of the Carabao Cup as they brushed aside Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Elland Road.
The home side dominated the first half but a spirited second half from the visitors meant the result was closer than many expected.
Marcelo Bielsa shuffled his pack for the visit of their Lancashire rivals. Bielsa gave competitive debuts to Jamal Blackman, Jack Harrison, Lewis Baker, Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford for the cup tie. Youngster Jamie Shackleton was given his debut after signing a three year contract with the club.
Leeds started well with Samu Siaz pulling the strings in midfield and it wasn’t long before debutant Patrick Bamford had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring when put through on goal. Unfortunately, the striker put his effort wide of the post.
He also put another shot passed the post with Mathews scrambling across his goal along with another chance as Jack Harrison was next to get a chance but again the chance was passed up.
The home side deservedly went in front on 27 minutes when Samu Siaz found Bamford via a deflection. The striker ‘nutmegged’ a Bolton defender and finished superbly.
The lead was then extended on 35 minutes when Lewis Baker broke away and found Siaz, the Spaniard made space for himself before slotting the ball past Mathews and into the corner of the net. A good half by Leeds.
The second half in comparison was a little disappointing as Bolton took the game to their hosts. The slick passing of the first half was missing and it was no surprise when Bolton’s Oztumer reduced the arrears on 52 minutes, they could have even have equalised but for a horrendous miss by Wildschut.
The Bolton midfielder then had another chance when put through but Blackman was not to be beaten. Leeds had opportunities to increase their lead but wayward finishing was their downfall.
It was a little like ‘after the Lord Mayor’s parade’ after the storming win at Pride Park. However, it was a win and nearly twenty thousand fans went home happy.
Performances from Samu Siaz, Kalvin Phillips were the main takeaways of the game along with youngster Jamie Shackleton, who excelled on his debut.
The on target Patrick Bamford will also be happy with his debut goal, in the hopes he will improve with more minutes he gets on the pitch. Leeds will hope for a good home draw when the draw is made on Thursday.
The club are now focussed on a Yorkshire Derby on Saturday, having broken a record standing since 1974 winning their first three matches in a row.
By Keith Ingham