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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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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 44 85
2 Bournemouth 44 84
3 Middlesbrough 44 84
4 Norwich City 44 82
5 Derby County 44 76
6 Ipswich Town 44 75
7 Brentford 44 72
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 44 72
9 Blackburn Rovers 43 60
10 Charlton Athletic 44 60
11 Nottingham Forest 44 59
12 Sheffield Wednesday 44 59
13 Cardiff City 44 56
14 Birmingham City 43 54
15 Huddersfield Town 44 53
16 Leeds United 44 52
17 Bolton Wanderers 44 51
18 Fulham 44 49
19 Reading 42 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 44 46
21 Rotherham United 43 44
22 Millwall 43 40
23 Wigan Athletic 44 39
24 Blackpool 44 25

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