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Leeds United 2 Derby County 0: Bielsa controversy no distraction for Championship leaders

Goal.com logo Goal.com 11/01/2019 Patric Ridge
a person holding a frisbee: Leeds United beat Derby County 2-0 on Friday © Twitter (@LUFC) Leeds United beat Derby County 2-0 on Friday

Leeds United put pre-match controversy to one side to defeat Derby County 2-0 and move five points clear at the top of the Championship.

Marcelo Bielsa took responsibility for the Leeds spy scandal, after Derby had accused their opponents of sending a staff member to view the Rams' training session on Thursday, with the incident set to be investigated by the Football Association.

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But the admission from the Leeds boss had little impact on his side's fine performance as Leeds bounced back from a three-match losing streak in all competitions.

Andre Wisdom's clumsy foul on Ezgjan Alioski 32 seconds in saw referee Andy Davies award Leeds a penalty, but a surprising offside flag came to Derby's rescue.

Frank Lampard's side could not match their hosts' intensity, however, and were behind when Jack Clarke marked his first Championship start with a sublime assist for Kemar Roofe to hammer home from close range.

Clarke turned on the style again after the restart, looping in a cross that Scott Carson could only parry to the waiting Alioski, who teed up Jack Harrison for a simple finish.

Referee Davies failed to spot a foul in the box by Tom Lawrence soon after, although Bailey Peacock-Farrell was fortunate to escape punishment for a high lunge on Duane Holmes at the other end.

Leeds' victory takes them five points clear of nearest challengers Norwich City, who face fourth-place West Brom on Saturday, while Derby remain in sixth.

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