Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game. Anthony Devlin
On the rise

Disappointment for Irish trio as Leeds go top of the Championship

Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick and John Egan featured as Sheffield United were beaten 1-0.

LEEDS BEAT SHEFFIELD United 1-0 to secure a win in today’s Yorkshire Derby and go top of the Championship in the process.

Irish internationals Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick and John Egan all featured from the start for the hosts, but they could not prevent their side’s loss, with Pablo Hernandez scoring the winner on 82 minutes.

A dreadful blunder by Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson helped Leeds prevail — their first victory at Bramall Lane since they won the old First Division title 26 years ago.

Spanish veteran Hernandez slotted the ball into an empty net after Henderson had passed the ball to Leeds youngster Jack Clarke.

The visitors — who could be overhauled by Norwich if the Canaries beat Rotherham later on Saturday — held on for their third successive win despite some nervy moments especially when Conor Washington’s acrobatic overhead kick rattled the crossbar.

Sheffield United started the brighter and McGoldrick went close after 10 minutes bringing a fabulous save from Leeds’ Northern Ireland international Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The visitors suffered a major injury blow 10 minutes later, when captain Liam Cooper hobbled off to be replaced by Finnish U21 international Aapo Halme.

McGoldrick was very fortunate to escape without even a yellow card for a studs up foul on Polish international Mateusz Klich.

Halme then showed up at the other end but Dean Henderson got down to turn away his deflected shot for a corner. 

The young Finn, though, should have done better as half-time approached.

Sheffield United’s veteran striker Billy Sharp gave him the slip but the 32-year-old failed to make proper contact with McGoldrick’s sublime cross heading the ball into the ground and it subsequently bounced over the bar.

Leeds turned on the pressure in the second-half, Klich forcing Henderson into a smart save as the hour mark approached.

Peacock-Farrell came to the visitors’ rescue soon afterwards saving with his feet from McGoldrick.

Kemar Roofe was inches away from giving Leeds the lead as the game entered the final 20 minutes — his header beating Henderson but shaving the outside of the post.

The previously impeccable Henderson gifted Leeds a goal with eight minutes remaining. Desperately trying to save a poor back pass by Egan from going for a corner, he passed it straight to Clarke.

The 18-year-old forward kept his head and laid it across the area to Hernandez, who made no mistake.

© AFP 2018

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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