Leeds United back on top after ending Wigan's unbeaten home run
Leeds United came from behind to win a game for the first time under Marcelo Bielsa as they ended Wigan's unbeaten home record with a 2-1 success at the DW Stadium.
Wigan were looking to give their long-time owner, Dave Whelan, a big send off after it was announced he had sold the club this week and their unbeaten home record stretched back 14 matches.
But they were second best for much of the contest as United went back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
Leeds were stunned early on as Wigan’s first attack brought them a goal. Liam Cooper’s strong tackle was punished with a free-kick on the edge of the box and from it Reece James scored as his shot beat Bailey Peacock-Farrell who appeared to have been in a poor starting position to make a save.
The response was instant as the Whites quickly fashioned a chance with Barry Douglas - back from injury - setting Mateusz Klich free in the box and his low pull back was put away from close range by Pablo Hernandez.
Leeds went onto establish control with their usual big share of possession, although clear chances proved hard to come by in the opening half.
Adam Forshaw did see a 25-yard shot tipped over by keeper Christian Walton and Pontus Jansson sent a far post header over from a corner.
Near the end of the half Hernandez came up with a clever run into the box, but his left foot shot flashed wide.
Wigan struggled to create anything of note after their goal and it was 1-1 at half-time.
United made a flying start to the second half as Hernandez’s low cross somehow squirmed under Walton and left Roofe with a simple tap in to make it 2-1 just 40 seconds into the half.
They could have added to their lead soon after when Roofe’s clever flick fell just behind Klich in the area and his shot was deflected wide.
Wigan did manage a rare shot as James came forward from right-back, but his effort from range was well off target.
At the other end Roofe made space well on the edge of the area only to shoot just wide with his left foot.
Hernandez then sent an ambitious volley wide after meeting a crossfield pass with a first time hit.
There was one alarm at the back for the Whites as home substitute Callum McManaman turned well in the area and sent a curling shot inches over.
A draw would have been a travesty, however, and Leeds were unlucky not to score again in added time when intricate passing ended with Hernandez hitting the post with a shot and the rebound falling to substitute Jamie Shackleton only for the youngster to see his effort blocked on the line.
Head coach Bielsa was pleased with the performance.
He said: “We defended well, we built well from the back and maybe we lacked a little bit of finishing.
“It’s hard to concede a goal at the beginning of the game. But the fact we scored a goal immediately after neutralised the negative effect of conceding a goal at the beginning.
“We will reach our goals according to how we play the rest of the season.
“I would like to underline the sporting aspect of our opponent and their staff. They were lacking many offensive players and they played at a good level.
“They were without their number 11, 9, 17 and 24 so that we knew the opponent didn’t count on all their forces.”
Wigan Athletic 1
Leeds United 2
(Hernandez 9, Roofe 46)
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Sky Bet Championship
Wigan: Walton, James, Kipre, Burn, Robinson, Byrne, Gibson (Vaughan 85), Morsy,Naismith (Lopes 70), Windass, Garner (McManaman 64).
Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Dallas, Jansson, Cooper, Douglas, Phillips, Forshaw, Hernandez, Klich (Shackleton 90), Alioski, Roofe.
Referee: Andy Davies