Leeds United have climbed back into the top half of the Premier League as three second-half goals secured them a 3-0 home win over Southampton.
Patrick Bamford’s 13th league goal of the season, a strike from Stuart Dallas and the impressive Raphinha’s free-kick lifted Marcelo Bielsa’s side above Arsenal and up to 10th, one point behind Tottenham Hotspur.
Southampton were not without their chances and despite being overrun after the interval were still in the game until Dallas made it 2-0 in the 77th minute.
But the Saints’ winless league run was extended to eight matches and had Leeds not been so wasteful in front of goal, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side would have lost by a bigger margin at Elland Road.
Southampton thought they had broken the deadlock just before half-time when Che Adams latched on to James Ward-Prowse’s smart free-kick, but referee Andre Marriner ruled it out after claiming he was not ready.
Leeds made a flying start to the second half and took the lead in the 47th minute.
Bamford raced on to Tyler Roberts’ excellent through-ball and clipped a cool left-footed finish into the bottom corner.
Dallas settled any home nerves when he crashed in Leeds’ second from the edge of the area in the 77th minute.
The hosts chased a third and Raphinha curled home an excellent free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner in the 84th.
Post-match Leeds manager again shrugged off questions about agreeing a potential contract extension.
“When a third of the league is still to play for, that many games can offer confusion that perhaps has influence in the final decisions,” Bielsa told Sky Sports.
“But in no way do I want to position myself in an advantageous position with the club, because if the club offer me an extension and I delay it, that would seem as though the club was more interested in me than I am in the club and that is not the case.”
For Saints boss Hasenhuttl it was “an old story of the season so far, especially in the second half”.
Southampton are 14th, eight points clear of the drop zone.
“It’s tough to take at the moment but I must say it was an absolutely deserved win for Leeds today, because they had more energy in the second half,” Hasenhuttl said.