In the absence of disqualified owner-president Massimo Cellino, Leeds United’s players at last took some of control of their own futures here. A performance that mixed skill and commitment against the division’s leaders brought Leeds a first win since late November and Bournemouth a first away defeat since September.
Cellino’s suspension from his post until 10 April leaves the club in limbo and some players have said they wish to leave. The ones who played here showed no sign of that attitude. Luke Murphy’s soaring 36th-minute goal was the slim difference in a high-tempo match.
There was some good fortune: Bournemouth substitute Yann Kermorgant missed an 88th-minute penalty after Callum Wilson had been tripped by Giuseppe Bellusci, who was shown a red card. But a week that had started badly for Leeds got better.
With Bournemouth due to face Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Sunday, Villa’s manager, Paul Lambert, was among those joining the minute’s applause for former Leeds chairman Leslie Silver.
Lambert saw Bournemouth play their part in a boisterous opening in which Brett Pitman went close for the visitors and Rodolph Austin did – twice – for Leeds. Some panic in the visiting defence also nearly brought a 14th-minute own goal.
With 17 year-old Lewis Cook prominent, Leeds were taking the game to the Championship leaders. Murphy had tested Artur Boruc on 27 minutes from 25 yards and soon after, from a short pass from Austin, Murphy tried again. This time it was from 20 yards and Murphy’s diagonal drive flew past Boruc into the top corner.
Bournemouth’s response was sharp. Before half-time Pitman had a strike disallowed and then Wilson, inside the six-yard box, somehow headed straight and tamely at Marco Silvestri.
Wilson did his best to atone for that miss with a determined solo run just past the hour. After he had done everything right, his toe-poke effort slid a yard wide. Immediately after, though, Wilson, slipped through by substitute Kermorgant, wasted another chance.
After that flurry, Leeds steadied and Sam Byram almost made it 2-0 on 78 minutes, Boruc blocking with his legs. Marc Pugh hit a post and then came the late penalty drama. But Leeds stood up.
Leeds United (4-4-2) Silvestri; Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, C Taylor; Byram, Cook, Murphy, Mowatt (Pearce, 88); Austin (Berardi, 90), Morison (Sharp, 67). Substitutes not used S Taylor (gk), Bianchi, Doukara, Antenucci.
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1) Boruc; Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels; Ritchie (Stanislas, 72), Arter (Gosling, 60), Surman, Pugh; Pitman (Kermorgant, 60); Wilson. Substitutes not used Allsop (gk), Smith, O’Kane, Fraser.
Referee O Langford (West Midlands).Reuse content