Chris Wood’s fourth goal in successive games clinched another three points for Leeds United as they beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Elland Road.
The Whites won more convincingly than the final score suggested as they played some terrific football at times and Ipswich only managed a single effort on target in the whole 90 minutes.
United looked like a team that had won its last three games as they knocked the ball about in good style from the off with a line-up showing just one change from the one that won their previous league game at Cardiff - Kalvin Phillips in for the injured Ronaldo Vieira.
Hadi Sacko soon looked a big threat down the right, but after a good run to the edge of the box in the third minute he blazed his shot well over.
Chris Wood went closer in the tenth minute as he smacked the post with a superb strike from the edge of the box.
Ipswich then went close when Cole Skuse’s shot from outside the box took a deflection and went just wide.
From the resulting corner, Christophe Berra headed wide under pressure and that was the last seen of Ipswich as any kind of attacking threat in the first half.
For all their decent play and possession Leeds struggled to create clean chances although Kyle Bartley headed wide from a corner.
United did get the goal their approach play deserved on 35 minutes as Sacko, Pablo Hernandez and Stuart Dallas were all involved in a build-up that sent Charlie Taylor galloping into space on the left flank, He then delivered a perfect cross for Wood to head home his seventh goal of the season.
Wood, who was a real handful up front in one of his best displays in a Leeds shirt, turned well on the edge of the box and fired a volleyed the ball over.
The same player was involved again towards the end of the half as he saw his goalbound shot well blocked.
Leeds continued to be on top into the second half as Hernandez got round the back and his low cross was well claimed by Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski with Wood lurking and ready for a tap-in.
Two minutes later Wood raced onto Hernandez’s through ball, but with only the keeper to beat he saw his shot saved.
Another great chance followed when Wood was through only to hesitate slightly and allow Ipswich defender Luke Chambers to make a block. The ball rebounded to Sacko, but amazingly he fired wide with the goal gaping.
Ipswich keeper Bialkowski kept his side in it on 69 minutes with a superb save to tip a Hernandez free-kick wide and somehow it stayed 1-0.
Ipswich’s one effort on target came as Kevin Bru’s long ranger header was easily gathered by Rob Green and the threw bodies forward in the closing stages in a bid for an equaliser they would not have deserved.
Freddie Sears sent a controversially awarded free-kick over and there was no way back for the visitors against a Whites defence looking better marshalled with every game in recent weeks.
With more composure Leeds could have added to their tally late on, but Wood’s shot was easily saved after he had raced clear when latching onto a poor goalkick and they missed several chances to put players through as the Ipswich defence was stretched.
Head coach Garry Monk was right to be encouraged by the display as well as the result.
He said: “It’s very pleasing. We did very well today.
“We understood that playing against Ipswich they were going to make us defend in a certain way and I thought we were excellent. We looked solid.
“Offensively, we created some good chances and the only disappointment was that we didn’t put more away. We should have won more comfortably than we did.
“But our attitude was very good. We keep the run going.
“We will stay grounded and we have another difficult game on Tuesday against a Bristol City side who are in good form themselves.
“I’m very happy with the group. Everyone knows what they have to do. The understanding is getting better and better.”
Leeds United 1
Ipswich Town 0
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Phillips, O’Kane, Phillips, Sacko (Roofe 77), Hernandez (Mowatt 82), Dallas (Grimes 86), Wood.
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Chambers, Berra, Webster (Emmanuel 56), Knudsen, Skuse, Douglas, Ward (Bru 75), Lawrence, Sears, Pitman (Best 25).
Referee: Stephen Martin.