Match Reports

Albion 1-0 Leeds United

An image of the Albion players celebrating against Leeds

Albion won a second successive Sky Bet Championship match on Friday night, beating Leeds United 1-0 at The Hawthorns.

Grady Diangana’s 37th minute goal was enough to earn all three points in front of a sold-out crowd, and bring 2023 to a close with a fantastic victory.

The Baggies, who remain fifth, open the New Year by visiting Swansea City this Monday.

The boss brought in Semi Ajayi and Jayson Molumby for Kyle Bartley and John Swift as he made two switches to the team that beat Norwich on Boxing Day.

His side kept the visitors at bay in the early stages - Cedric Kipre blocking Joel Piroe’s shot, while Ajayi’s goal-saving tackle denied Georginio Rutter a great chance to score.

The biggest scare came 17 minutes into the game, Sam Byram seeing his tap-in disallowed for offside - and the momentum then changed.

Molumby threatened via a side-footed effort before Kipre had a goal-bound volley cleared off the line during a solid period of Albion attacks.

And the hosts’ pressure soon resulted in the opening goal - which arrived following some wonderful build-up from the Baggies. Okay Yokuslu played Jed Wallace in down the right, and the winger’s cross fell perfectly to Diangana, who converted at the second attempt.

The Baggies held their advantage when the half-time whistle was blown - and even though they initially set about getting another early in the second 45, Leeds quickly turned the tide.

Joe Rodon headed over, Wilfriend Gnonto and Jaidon Anthony fired off-target, and Okay Yokuslu diverted a Crysencio Summerville shot wide in a dangerous United spell.

That prompted Corberán to alter his XI, and his substitutions worked a treat. Albion were able to see the clash out relatively comfortably in the end, putting in a brilliant, resolute defensive shift and claiming an impressive triumph.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong, Ajayi, Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu, Molumby (Bartley 69), Mowatt (Chalobah 76); Wallace (Reach 70), Thomas-Asante (Sarmiento 86), Diangana (Swift 69).

Substitutes: Griffiths, Pieters, Pipa, Fellows.

Attendance: 25,409.