Leeds exhales with 1-0 victory over Watford in EPL
LEEDS, England (AP) — Leeds held on for its first victory of the Premier League season after defender Diego Llorente scored early in the 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday.
The Spain center back netted from close range after 18 minutes by getting his left foot on the ball after Watford midfielder Juraj Kucka tried to clear a corner but instead headed it in front of the goal.
Leeds kept its first clean sheet of the league season after allowing 14 goals in its first six matches, from which it had managed just three draws. The win moved the team two spots above the relegation zone.
The lackluster start to the season followed Leeds’ surprisingly strong ninth-place finish last year, when it returned to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
Marcelo Bielsa’s squad dominated the game but couldn’t find a second goal at Elland Road. Tyler Roberts, on as a substitute, volleyed a shot off the crossbar in the 88th.
In-form Watford winger Ismaila Sarr was kept in check after the Senegal international had scored three goals in his past two matches. He has four goals on the season.
The visitors thought they had equalized in the 73rd when Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier fumbled an easy catch from a corner. The ball ricocheted into the net off a tumbling Liam Cooper, but the referee ruled that the Leeds defender had been fouled.
Watford has seven points from seven games since earning promotion this season.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports