Sunderland U21s 0-1 Leeds United U21s: Match Report
Leeds U21s extended their unbeaten run at the start of the season to seven matches as they came out on top in a closely fought match against a strong Sunderland U21s on Monday night.
A goal from Italian international forward Wilried Gnotto in the 53rd minute was enough to secure another three points for Leeds this season.
Leeds went into the game looking to extend their lead at the top of the table, with first team forward Joe Gelhardt in from the start, despite coming off the bench in their Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Sunderland were rescued in the 39th by new summer recruit Edouard Michut as he cleared the ball off the line from a close range header.
Amad Diallo was brought down on the edge of the box just before half time by Harvey Sutcliffe after a great counter attack by Sunderland, which was started brilliantly by Michut from inside his own half. The resulting free-kick looked destined for the top corner but it was kept out brilliantly by Kristoffer Klaesson in goal.
Just after the second half kicked off, Dajaku was played in down the line by Dennis Cerkin before cutting inside, but the former Bayern Munich youngster shot just wide of the post.
In the 52nd minute, Leeds right back Cody Drameh hit the post after the ball fell for him on the edge of the box after the ball was cleared from Sunderland.
However, in the 53rd minute the visitors finally took one of their opportunities as Sutcliffe surged into the box before the ball fell for Gnotto who fired home from close range.
The Leeds pressure continued as Sam Greenwood came close to adding a second, forcing a great save from Jacob Carney from a close range free kick in the 56th minute.
Sunderland came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 84th minute after Zak Johnson headed just wide from a free kick was swung in by Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo from the right hand side.
Leeds had the ball in the back of the net again in stoppage time, but the assistant referee had raised his flag well before Mateo Joseph finished from 10 yards out.