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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

McBurnie at the double, but Leeds hit back to deny Swansea

Leeds took over top spot in the Sky Bet Championship as a thrilling 2-2 draw at Swansea maintained their unbeaten record under Marcelo Bielsa.
Oliver McBurnie twice gave Swansea the lead as the striker returned to haunt his hometown club.
But goals from Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez, a former Swansea player, illustrated the character that Bielsa has instilled in this Leeds side in just a few short months at Elland Road.
The Argentinian might actually have been in the other dug-out as he had held talks to become Swansea manager in 2015.
McBurnie had only been at Swansea a few months back then after starting out at the Leeds academy.
He subsequently moved on to Bradford and his eye for goal threatened to give Bielsa the sort of rude awakening that an away-day in the Championship can become.
Leeds were forced into a last-minute change when skipper Liam Cooper was injured in the warm-up.
Luke Ayling took both the armband and Cooper’s centre-back position, as 18-year-old Jamie Shackleton made his first league start for his hometown club at right-back.
McBurnie’s muscular presence gave Swansea a focal point as Leroy Fer, making his first start since February after rupturing his Achilles, drove them forward from midfield in an enterprising start.
Swansea’s reward came after 24 minutes when Fer, McBurnie and Barrie McKay caught Leeds under-manned on the break.
McKay found Bersant Celina and his pass into the path of McBurnie allowed the Scotland international to beat Bailey Peacock-Farrell, although the Leeds goalkeeper might have done better than to simply get a hand on the ball.
Celina almost doubled Swansea’s advantage and Leeds’ frustration was reflected by first-half bookings for Kalvin Phillips, Roofe and Lewis Baker.
Phillips seemingly paid the price for losing possession in the build-up to Swansea’s goal, withdrawn by Bielsa three minutes after Leeds had fallen behind for the first time this season.
Gaetano Berardi missed the target with a free header, but the equaliser Leeds scarcely deserved arrived five minutes before the break.
Swansea were caught napping by a quickly-taken free-kick and Shackleton beat Martin Olsson to deliver a cross which Roofe tapped home from a few yards out.
But Swansea were back ahead six minutes after the restart, McBurnie straining his neck muscles to dispatch Olsson’s cross in magnificent fashion.
McKay fired wide and McBurnie was denied a hat-trick by Peacock-Farrell and their profligacy was punished as Leeds finished strongly.
Substitute Patrick Bamford broke down the left 11 minutes from time and Hernandez rolled his home to give Leeds a share of the spoils.