Leeds back on top as Alioski sinks West Brom

Ezgjan Alioski (Getty Images)
Ezgjan Alioski (Getty Images)

United Kingdom - Leeds United battled back to the top of the Championship as they ended West Bromwich Albion's unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at Elland Road on Tuesday.

Marcelo Bielsa's side replaced Albion in pole position after Ezgjan Alioski bagged the winner shortly before the break.

Leeds are one point clear of second-placed West Brom and third-placed Nottingham Forest as they chase promotion to the Premier League.

"It was big effort from the team tonight. We tried to manage the match, but at the end West Brom's creative play was difficult to defend," Bielsa said.

"We put all our energy into defending which made it difficult to then put our energy into the attacks."

Leeds, beaten in last season's play-off semi-finals, broke the deadlock after 39 minutes.

It looked as though Jack Harrison had dithered for too long but he just managed to lay it off to Alioski, whose driven shot from the left side of the area took a slight deflection off Kyle Bartley on its way into the net.

That was enough to secure Leeds' second win in five matches as they bounced back from a 1-0 defeat at Charlton on Saturday that was marred by claims from their opponents that a United player racially abused Jonathan Leko.

Nottingham Forest missed the chance to go top as they were held 1-1 at Blackburn.

Adam Armstrong's opener for Blackburn just after the hour was quickly cancelled out by Forest winger Joe Lolley as the visitors extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches.

"We can do better in the first half with one or two chances; the second half it was a good reaction to come back immediately and that's a positive sign for me for the future," Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi said.

"It was not easy, but it says a lot about the character of my players. They don't want to lose."

Fulham climbed up to fourth after cruising to a 4-1 win against 10-man Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Tom Cairney curled Fulham into an early lead before Reading midfielder John Swift was sent off for his second bookable offence.

Aleksandar Mitrovic then struck twice in three minutes to put Fulham 3-0 up at the interval and Cairney added his second in the 68th minute. 

Yakou Meite scored Reading's late consolation.

Preston missed out on the chance to climb into the automatic promotion places but stretched their unbeaten league run to seven matches after drawing 1-1 at Middlesbrough.

Huddersfield won for the first time in the league since February, Juninho Bacuna's goal ending a 19-match streak of futility with a 1-0 victory at fellow strugglers Stoke.

Hull's Tom Eaves secured a 1-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday, while Wigan beat Birmingham 1-0.

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