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Swansea City 0-1 Leeds United: Late Pablo Hernandez strike puts Leeds on promotion brink

Pablo Hernandez lets fly to earn Leeds a precious late win at Swansea
Pablo Hernandez lets fly to earn Leeds a precious late win at Swansea

Leeds United are within touching distance of ending their 16-year Premier League exile after a last-gasp victory at Swansea City.

Leeds marked the passing of club legend Jack Charlton before kick-off at the Liberty Stadium, then produced a solid, organised performance which leaves them needing just four points from their three remaining fixtures to clinch automatic promotion.

A game of few clear-cut chances looked set to end goalless until Swansea old boy Pablo Hernandez's low shot rolled in off the post a minute from time.

Leeds' return to the top flight could be secured when they host Barnsley on Thursday, if third-placed Brentford lose to Preston North End on Wednesday.

The Elland Road club have found form when it really matters, with this triumph meaning they have taken 13 points from their last five games.

Swansea are not out of promotion contention themselves, although a painful defeat saw them miss the chance to climb into the Championship play-off places.

There was a minute's silence before the game in honour of England World Cup winner Charlton, while Marcelo Bielsa's players wore warm-up shirts bearing the message 'RIP Big Jack' in tribute to a man who made more than 750 Leeds appearances.

Once the game started, Leeds' present-day defenders had to get through some work to quell a lively Swansea side.

Buoyed by back-to-back victories, Steve Cooper's side created the first opportunity of the day as Rhian Brewster shot straight at Illan Meslier from 20 yards.

Jay Fulton fired over from distance before Brewster's flicked header was gathered by the visiting goalkeeper.

Leeds threatened for the first time just before the half hour, when Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman got down sharply to save Stuart Dallas' deflected drive.

Moments later Leeds had the chance of the half when a long ball hit defender Ben Cabango and dropped for Patrick Bamford, only for Leeds' top scorer to shoot too close to Woodman.

Swansea threatened first after the break, with Conor Gallagher bursting beyond a couple of challenges before firing towards the near post where Meslier pushed the ball to safety.

The next big moment for Bamford came when Hernandez, a half-time substitute, played a typically measured diagonal ball which Jack Harrison volleyed across the face of goal.

Bamford seemed certain to score, but his diving header was too close to Woodman and the on-loan Newcastle keeper made a fine save.

Harrison then lashed over the crossbar with the game seemingly heading for a draw, only for Leeds to find the winner.

Luke Ayling made ground down the right and pulled the ball back for Hernandez.

In space near the penalty spot, the Spaniard guided a shot beyond the reach of Woodman and into the net via the base of the upright.

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:

"We felt comfortable in the game. They probably had a couple more clear chances than we did, but I thought we got into as many good areas as them.

"We're really disappointed to concede like we did that late on. It's a tough one to take, but we've quickly got to get over it. There are still points to play for.

"Whether we had drawn or won today, we still would have had to pick up points in the remaining games.

"There were lots of good bits from the performance. I'd have liked us to keep the ball a bit more if I'm honest. I felt like a set-piece might decide it, whether it was for us or them. Both teams set up tactically well so for them to get through at the end is obviously disappointing."

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa:

"The match was very close with only a few chances. As the match progressed our possibilities grew. We deserved to score in the last 30 minutes and get what we got in the end.

"I cannot enjoy this yet. The only thing I can enjoy is the last objective, if we get it.

"More than feeling what we feel, we are more relaxed because we are taking the steps we had to. Of course, when you score at the end it's a higher feeling, emotion. The bigger emotion, we didn't get this yet."

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 27WoodmanSubstituted forMulderat 90+4'minutes
  • 26Naughton
  • 44Cabango
  • 2GuehiSubstituted forCelinaat 90+1'minutes
  • 23Roberts
  • 6FultonBooked at 33minsSubstituted forByersat 90+1'minutes
  • 8Grimes
  • 24BidwellSubstituted forCullenat 90+1'minutes
  • 33Gallagher
  • 22A Ayew
  • 19BrewsterBooked at 29minsSubstituted forRoutledgeat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 10Celina
  • 12Dyer
  • 15Routledge
  • 18Kalulu
  • 21Dhanda
  • 25Mulder
  • 28Byers
  • 32Cullen

Leeds

  • 1Meslier
  • 2Ayling
  • 5White
  • 6Cooper
  • 15DallasSubstituted forAlioskiat 45'minutes
  • 23Phillips
  • 17Hélder CostaSubstituted forShackletonat 90+3'minutes
  • 43KlichBooked at 31mins
  • 11RobertsSubstituted forHernándezat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22HarrisonBooked at 75minsSubstituted forBerardiat 90+6'minutes
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 3Douglas
  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 10Alioski
  • 19Hernández
  • 28Berardi
  • 30Miazek
  • 34Struijk
  • 44Bogusz
  • 46Shackleton
Referee:
Keith Stroud

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home6
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 0, Leeds United 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ezgjan Alioski.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by George Byers.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by George Byers.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Gaetano Berardi replaces Jack Harrison.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Erwin Mulder replaces Freddie Woodman because of an injury.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Jamie Shackleton replaces Hélder Costa.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Liam Cullen replaces Jake Bidwell.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Bersant Celina replaces Marc Guehi.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. George Byers replaces Jay Fulton.

  12. Booking

    Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Swansea City 0, Leeds United 1. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  14. Post update

    Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Mateusz Klich.

  17. Post update

    Luke Ayling (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Wayne Routledge (Swansea City).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).

  20. Post update

    Connor Roberts (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds43259969343584
2West Brom432215674413381
3Brentford432391178354378
4Fulham4322101158441476
5Nottm Forest4318151055431269
6Cardiff431616116056464
7Swansea431615125550563
8Preston431711155652462
9Millwall431517114946362
10Derby431613145758-161
11Bristol City431710165862-461
12Blackburn431612156056460
13Reading431511175448656
14Sheff Wed431510185459-555
15Wigan431412174653-754
16QPR43158206070-1053
17Stoke43147225666-1049
18Birmingham431213185269-1749
19Middlesbrough431114184356-1347
20Huddersfield431211204965-1647
21Charlton431210214758-1146
22Hull43129225775-1845
23Luton43128234979-3044
24Barnsley431013204667-2143
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