Leeds United 1-0 Watford: Llorente scores on return as Whites dominate
Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Leeds United have moved out of the bottom three of the Premier League following a 1-0 victory over Watford at Elland Road.

Diego Llorente marked his return to the Whites' starting XI by scoring the only goal of the match in the 18th minute against a Hornets side that failed to produce any significant chances.

Story of the match

After a timid start to the game, Leeds began to pile on the pressure, forcing a pair of key blocks from William Troost-Ekong while Ben Foster saved from Stuart Dallas.

In the 17th minute, Junior Firpo found Mateusz Klich and he sent a cushioned pass to Dallas, whose effort was deflected behind. It was from that corner that the Whites claimed the lead.

The delivery was nodded down by Watford defender Juraj Kucka at the back post and it fell to Llorente, who side-footed it past Foster to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

Soon after, penalty shouts were waved away after Troost-Ekong tangled with Daniel James and Foster then collected Klich's powerful shot.

The Hornets' first shot of the game was nearly debut goal for on-loan striker Ozan Tufan, but his shot across the face of goal was sent into the stands.

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With halftime approaching and the visitors temporarily down a man following a knee injury to Joshua King, Klich sent the ball goalwards, but it went just past the far corner.

James fired another warning shot to the Hornets defense as his low cross was collected by Foster and five minutes later, he squared for Dallas, who skied into the stands.

On the hour mark, the Watford goalkeeper pushed away a Leeds corner after Troost-Ekong had initially dealt with the free-kick. 

The Hornets thought they had equalized in the 73rd  minute after Ilian Meslier couldn't keep hold of a corner, but Christian Kabasele fouled Liam Cooper inside the area.

Tyler Roberts was unlucky not to have doubled the Whites' lead as Kucka cleared away his first shot and his follow-up attempt hit the crossbar.

That was the last meaningful action of the game as the hosts picked up a much-needed first victory of the season.

Man of the match: Diego Llorente

He not only produced the match-winner, but allowed Watford very little in his defensive half, making his return a smashing success.