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Elland Road (ATT 24,484) 16th August 2014 - Kick off 12:15

Leeds Leeds United vs Middlesbrough M'boro

Leeds 1

B Sharp (88)

ft

M'boro 0

Sky Sports 1 HD

Sky Bet Championship: Leeds snatch 1-0 win against Middlesbrough at Elland Road

Last Updated: 16/08/14 5:57pm

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Billy Sharp: Celebrates at final whistle

Billy Sharp: Celebrates at final whistle

Billy Sharp capped off the perfect debut as Leeds secured their first win of the Championship campaign with a late 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

Sharp signed from Southampton on Wednesday as Massimo Cellino responded to Leeds' opening-day defeat at Millwall and was immediately told by the former Cagliari owner to "hurry up and score some goals".

The 28-year-old left it until two minutes from time to obey the command but was in the right place at the right time to finish after Tomas Mejias failed to hold Michael Tonge's shot.

The late drama will have left a sour taste in Middlesbrough's mouth for it was they who did most of the running throughout and, to almost everyone in the ground, scored a legitimate opener through Albert Adomah which was ruled out.

It was Sharp who would have the final say, though, getting due reward for a grafting performance which nearly brought about a goal after only two minutes.

He ran on to a Souleymane Doukara flick and got into the box, only for Mejias to get out and smother at his feet. The ball then came free and fell to Nicky Ajose who, from 10 yards out, should have scored and not hit the recovering Daniel Ayala on the line.

That was as good as it got for Leeds in the early stages and they were soon being penned back by a Middlesbrough side who passed the ball round at a pace quicker than United could deal with and really should have been ahead 26 minutes in.

Liam Cooper failed to deal with a long throw into the box and turned to see Adomah overhead kick his half-clearance beyond Marco Silvestri. It looked a clean goal but referee Stuart Atwell had spotted an infringement and chalked it off.

Leeds managed to get hold of the ball on the half-hour and Tommaso Bianchi and Sam Byram had shots the caused little panic, but it was Middlesbrough who remained the more dangerous side and they would have led at the break were it not for Stephen Warnock.

Grant Leadbitter's pass put Adomah through in the six-yard box but, just as he was going to slot past Silvestri, Warnock appeared to shut him down with a brilliant block.

Jason Pearce was the next man to put his body on the line to keep Leeds level, diving in front of a Lee Tomlin effort as the hour approached, with Warnock then displaying his defensive nous once more to nip in and block of Kike as he ran through.

Leeds' best chance of getting something appeared to be under the suspect handling of Mejias who never looked comfortable under a cross and, with 11 minutes left he failed to reach a Luke Murphy centre but Sharp was unable to punish him from six yards.

But the former Doncaster man was on the spot as time ran down, showing the required poise to slot in after Mejias allowed Tonge's drive to slip away from him.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 27 51
2 Middlesbrough 27 50
3 Ipswich Town 27 50
4 Brentford 27 49
5 Derby County 26 48
6 Watford 27 47
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 44
8 Norwich City 27 43
9 Sheffield Wednesday 26 37
10 Blackburn Rovers 26 36
11 Birmingham City 26 35
12 Nottingham Forest 27 34
13 Cardiff City 27 34
14 Fulham 27 34
15 Huddersfield Town 27 34
16 Bolton Wanderers 26 33
17 Charlton Athletic 27 32
18 Reading 26 30
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 27 29
20 Leeds United 27 29
21 Rotherham United 26 26
22 Millwall 26 23
23 Wigan Athletic 27 21
24 Blackpool 27 17

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