James goal enough as Leeds overcome Stoke

5 March 2024 0 By Total Football News

Dan James has scored 11 goals for Leeds United this seasonDan James has scored 11 goals for Leeds United this season

Dan James’ first-half strike was enough to give promotion-chasing Leeds United victory over struggling Stoke City at Elland Road.

The win was Leeds’ 10th in 11 league matches, but they had to withstand a spell of second-half pressure from the relegation-threatened visitors, who ended the match with 10 men after Ben Pearson was sent off late on.

And second-placed Ipswich coming from behind to beat Bristol City meant Daniel Farke’s side remain third in the Championship table, two points behind the Tractor Boys and five behind leaders Leicester.

Stoke stay third from bottom and have now lost seven of their past nine matches.

Leeds dominated from the start and were unfortunate not to be awarded an early penalty when keeper Daniel Iversen seemed to clip James as the forward tried to get to Ki-Jana Hoever’s weak backpass.

The home side continued to attack and created two chances in quick succession, with Patrick Bamford seeing a low effort pushed away by Iversen after being put through by Georginio Rutter, who then headed Connor Roberts’ right-wing cross over the bar.

Iversen then kept out two attempts from James, but was finally beaten shortly after the half-hour mark.

James linked up with Rutter near the right-hand edge of the penalty area and evaded Lynden Gooch and Wouter Burger before firing into the far corner of the net with the help of a deflection off Stoke defender Ben Wilmot.

Leeds keeper Illan Meslier was called into action before the interval, tipping over Lewis Baker’s long-range effort, and Stoke were much improved after the restart.

There were anxious moments for the hosts, with Meslier producing another save to deny Baker and keeping out an effort from Tyrese Campbell before Hoever sent a first-time shot wide of the target after being found by Gooch’s cross.

Leeds did threaten on the counter-attack and substitute Mateo Joseph rounded Iversen only to be denied by Wilmot’s goalline clearance.

Stoke’s hopes of a comeback were crushed when Pearson, also on as a substitute, was dismissed after an off-the-ball shove on James earned him a second yellow card.

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Leeds:

“I’m pretty proud. For me it’s our best win in 2024 because everyone expects us to win this home game and sometimes there’s a spotlight.

“We didn’t have a dip in form at Huddersfield, but we had a dip in result with the draw after winning nine, and then the next game is only two and a half days later, also against a side fighting with everything they have got against relegation.

“Everyone expects that at Elland Road we beat each and every opponent and that, against a team not in the best position in the league, that it should be an easy win, and it feels a bit like that in the stadium instead of this explosion we had against Leicester when everyone was on it.

“In this type of game, to dig in and grind out a result is important to us.”

Stoke City head coach Steven Schumacher told BBC Radio Stoke:

“We’ve shown some really good signs of what a team should look like. We stuck together through the hard periods, especially in the first half when Leeds put us under pressure and we didn’t buckle. We stood tall.

“Then in the second half we played really well, got on the ball, had loads of possession and had brilliant chances but unfortunately just didn’t have enough to make one of them count and get the equaliser.

“I think the players deserved something from the game. If there’s ever a way to lose a game of football, that was probably it. We showed resilience and character.

“That should give us some confidence. If we play like that going forward then we’ll be fine.”

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 33Roberts
  • 14Rodon
  • 4Ampadu
  • 25ByramSubstituted forFirpoat 88′minutes
  • 44GruevBooked at 90mins
  • 8KamaraSubstituted forGrayat 87′minutes
  • 20James
  • 24RutterSubstituted forPiroeat 71′minutes
  • 10SummervilleSubstituted forGnontoat 80′minutes
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forJosephat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Firpo
  • 5Cresswell
  • 6Cooper
  • 7Piroe
  • 22Gray
  • 28Darlow
  • 29Gnonto
  • 30Gelhardt
  • 49Joseph

Stoke

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Iversen
  • 17Hoever
  • 5Rose
  • 16Wilmot
  • 2Gooch
  • 28LaurentBooked at 37mins
  • 6BurgerSubstituted forPearsonat 54′minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 8BakerSubstituted forCundleat 84′minutes
  • 42ManhoefSubstituted forHaksabanovicat 78′minutes
  • 14EnnisSubstituted forCampbellat 54′minutes
  • 22BaeSubstituted forCunha Vidigalat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Pearson
  • 7Cunha Vidigal
  • 10Campbell
  • 13Bonham
  • 20Haksabanovic
  • 25Cundle
  • 26Clark
  • 27Léris
  • 35Lowe
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
36,118

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Leeds United 1, Stoke City 0.

Second Half ends, Leeds United 1, Stoke City 0.