Raphinha was the star of the show as Leeds moved into the Premier League’s top 10 after cruising to a 3-0 win over Southampton in a thrilling game on Tuesday evening.
After a goalless first half, in which the visitors had a Che Adams strike controversially ruled out, Leeds ran riot in the second period thanks to goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and that man Raphinha.
Diego Llorente was handed his home debut for Leeds for their clash with Saints at Elland Road.
The Spanish defender, who has been restricted to just two appearances since arriving for £18million from Real Sociedad in September, had recovered from his latest muscle strain.
Llorente replaced Jamie Shackleton and was the only change to Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI after last Friday’s defeat at Wolves.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl made three changes from the side which started in Saturday’s home draw against Chelsea, with Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Tella replacing Danny Ings, Takumi Minamino and Moussa Djenepo.
Neither side managed to break the deadlock before half-time, despite both sides creating some clear chances on a difficult playing surface.
Southampton had a penalty overturned by VAR after Tella went down in the box, while Che Adams’ effort from a quick free-kick was controversially chalked off by ref Andre Mariner.
Raphinha went closest for Leeds only to be denied by a superb last-ditch Oriol Romeu tackle.
The opening minutes of the second period were brim full of action, with Nathan Redmond firing straight at Illan Meslier, before the home side took the lead.
Bamford notches again
Southampton failed to close down Tyler Roberts on the halfway line and were made to pay as he played in Patrick Bamford.
The impressive Leeds frontman got between the two Southampton centre-halfs before clinically dispatching his finish beyond Alex McCarthy for his 13th goal of the season.
Saints were almost level immediately when Stuart Armstrong looked to catch out Meslier at his near post, but the Leeds stopper made a superb one-handed save.
Back up the other end, Roberts fired wide of the post after being set up by Raphinha in a thrilling contest.
Bamford should have grabbed his second, and given Leeds breathing room, in the 53rd minute but he fired straight at McCarthy after a great Stuart Dallas run.
Saints boss Hasenhuttl turned to Danny Ings and Takumi Minamino off the bench just before the hour mark, while Mateusz Klich hobbled off to be replaced by Ezgjan Alioski for the home side.
Bielsa’s men were denied again by a flying McCarthy after a first-time Llorente strike, before Bamford was the hero at the other end of the pitch.
The England hopeful was on hand to hack Jannik Vestergaard’s downward header off the line from a corner.
Leeds wrapped up the points with 13 minutes to go when Helder Costa broke clear and found Dallas who toe-poked home despite a heavy first touch.
The gloss was put on the win in the 84th minute when the outstanding Raphinha curled home a beauty of a free-kick from 25 yards.
Costa and Pablo Hernandez both blazed over late on as a relentless Leeds looked for more, but that was the last of the scoring in a breathless clash in west Yorkshire.
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