Duffy strikes as takeover talk adds to Leeds gloom

Leeds United 1 Burnley 2
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The consortium led by Sebastien Sainsbury is expected to complete a £25m takeover of Leeds United within the next few days. For the sake of the West Yorkshire club, it is to be hoped that negotiations are at too advanced a stage for the prospective new owners to abandon the deal after watching this abject defeat to Burnley last night.

The consortium led by Sebastien Sainsbury is expected to complete a £25m takeover of Leeds United within the next few days. For the sake of the West Yorkshire club, it is to be hoped that negotiations are at too advanced a stage for the prospective new owners to abandon the deal after watching this abject defeat to Burnley last night.

Now down to 17th in the Championship just four points clear of the relegation places, Leeds currently look anything but an attractive proposition.

Even the tonic of taking the lead inside 15 seconds failed to inspire a team that has now scored only 12 goals in 16 league games this season.

Burnley's first league victory at Elland Road for over 30 years was rarely in doubt once they went ahead on the half hour as Leeds succumbed to their fourth successive defeat.

Richard Duffy added to Lee Roche's equaliser on 10 minutes and from then on Burnley protected their advantage in parsimonious fashion.

"Our good start lasted exactly 12 seconds," said a furious Kevin Blackwell, the Leeds manager. "We thought it was going to be a cake-walk after that early goal.

"I will not defend the players for an inept performance like that. The goals we gave away were comical. We were poor and I apologise to the fans." Considering the Lancashire club are commonly viewed as possessing the smallest squad in the Championship and were without five first-team regulars, it was a particularly satisfying three points for Steve Cotterill, their manager.

"To come here with the problems we had and win made it a great night," he said. "To manage a side that's won here makes me very proud." Yet it had started so well for Leeds. After just 12 seconds, Mathew Kilgallon's long ball fell into the path of Jermaine Wright and the onrushing midfielder finished comfortably.

Burnley equalised within 10 minutes. Clarke Carlisle and Neil Sullivan contrived to create danger when there was none, enabling Roche to make a block tackle on the goalkeeper before tapping the ball in.

They went ahead when Sullivan's excellent save from James O'Connor fell to Duffy, the on-loan 19-year-old turning the rebound home.

The nearest Leeds came after the break was when Julian Joachim challenged Frank Sinclair and the ball looped against the crossbar and then upright before bobbling away. But for all the home side's possession, the best chance fell to Robbie Blake, who raced clear only to drag his shot wide.

Leeds ended the game with five forwards on the pitch but it made little difference. To the end, Leeds appeared to have no idea how to break down Burnley's unyielding defence.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Kelly, Carlisle (Lennon, 67), Butler, Kilgallon; Joachim, Wright, Gregan, Pugh (Simon Johnson, 76); Healy, Deane (Ricketts, 57). Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Walton.

Burnley (4-1-4-1): Jensen; Duff, McGreal (Sanokho, 80), Sinclair, Camara; Grant; Roche, Hyde, O'Connor, Duffy (O'Neill, 86); Blake. Substitutes not used: Pilkington, Scott, Yates.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

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