Leeds United beat Derby County to move five points clear at the top of the Championship, after head coach Marcelo Bielsa took full responsibility for the pre-match ‘spygate’ saga.
Bielsa admitted sending a member of his staff to watch Derby train on Thursday, a story that dominated the build-up to the game and one the Football Association is now investigating.
The contest at Elland Road was predictably frantic and feisty, but Leeds dominated from the first whistle and deservedly led through Kemar Roofe’s near-post flick.
The home side made the game safe within two minutes of the restart, Jack Harrison tapping in after Scott Carson failed to deal with a cross.
The Whites, now five points clear of second-placed Norwich and seven above Sheffield United in third, had lost both of their previous two league matches.
But they were by far the better team against the Rams, who they had beaten 4-1 in Frank Lampard’s first home game as a manager in August.
The opening minute of Friday’s game was every bit as controversial as the 24 hours that had preceded it, with Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski blatantly fouled in the box only for the linesman’s flag to be raised – incorrectly – for offside in the build-up.
It was only a sign of things to come for Lampard’s side, however, and they went behind midway through the first half when Roofe converted 18-year-old Jack Clarke’s low cross.
Clarke, impressive throughout, also played a hand in the second goal – although Carson will feel he should have done better before Harrison was allowed to slot into an empty net.