A dreadful blunder by Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson helped Leeds to a 1-0 win on Saturday, their first at Bramall Lane since they won the old First Division title 26 years ago.
Spanish veteran Pablo Hernandez slotted the ball into an empty net after Henderson had passed the ball to Leeds youngster Jack Clarke, to send Leeds to the top of the table.
The visitors — who could be overhauled by Norwich if the Canaries beat Rotherham later on Saturday — held on for their third successive win despite some nervy moments especially when Conor Washington’s acrobatic overhead kick rattled the crossbar.
Sheffield United started the brighter and David McGoldrick went close after 10 minutes bringing a fabulous save from Leeds Northern Ireland international Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
The visitors suffered a major injury blow 10 minutes later when captain Liam Cooper hobbled off to be replaced by Finnish Under-21 international Aapo Halme.
McGoldrick was very fortunate to escape without even a yellow card for a studs up foul on Polish international Mateusz Klich.
Halme then showed up at the other end but Dean Henderson got down to turn away his deflected shot for a corner.
The young Finn, though, should have done better as half-time approached.
Sheffield United’s veteran striker Billy Sharp gave him the slip but the 32-year-old failed to make proper contact with McGoldrick’s sublime cross heading the ball into the ground and it subsequently bounced over the bar.
Leeds turned on the pressure in the second-half, Klich forcing Henderson into a smart save as the hour mark approached.
Peacock-Farrell came to the visitors’ rescue soon afterwards saving with his feet from McGoldrick.
Kemar Roofe was inches away from giving Leeds the lead as the game entered the final 20 minutes his header beating Henderson but shaving the outside of the post.
The previously impeccable Henderson gifted Leeds a goal with eight minutes remaining. Desperately trying to save a poor back pass by John Egan from going for a corner, he passed it straight to Clarke.
Horror moment for Sheffield United 'keeper Henderson as gifts Leeds possession and Hernandez knocks in to an empty net.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 1, 2018
The 18-year-old forward kept his head and laid it across the area to Hernandez who made no mistake.
pi/bsp (Additional editing by Sean McMahon)
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