Leeds inflicted Albion's heaviest Championship defeat with a five goal salvo at Elland Road to push themselves into the top two and send Albion into the bottom three. New signing Pierre-Michel Lasogga grabbed his first Leeds goal early on before Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez, from the penalty spot, handed Leeds a 3-0 half time lead. Kemar Roofe and Lasogga's second completed a disappointing afternoon for the Brewers after the break.
It was a chastening afternoon for Albion as Leeds showed all the hallmarks of a side that look set to challenge for promotion this season with a very solid defence and pace, power and movement further up the pitch that caused the Brewers problems all afternoon with Samuel Saiz and Hernandez at the forefront of most of Leeds best attacking moves throughout the game.
Nigel Clough made three changes to the side that fought for a hard earned point last time out against Sheffield Wednesday. Deadline day signings John Brayford and Jamie Allen were handed starts against Leeds as both Tom Naylor and Matty Palmer dropped to the bench. Brayford slotted in at right back in a conventional back four whilst Allen renewed a partnership from his Rochdale days with Matty Lund with Kyle McFadzean in a deep lying midfield role designed to protect the back four. Further forward there was a full debut for Wolves loanee Joe Mason on the right of a front three as a reward for his stunning impact as a substitute in his first Brewers appearance where he scored just 31 seconds into his debut.
Leeds set about the task of extending their unbeaten start to the season with relish and were soon attacking the Brewers down both flanks. However Albion's rearguard stood firm in the early stages. It took until the tenth minute for Leeds to carev open a clear opportunity but even then Albion's defence stood firm. Good work down the Leeds right opened up a chance for Lasogga who watched on as his angled shot beat Stephen Bywater but was hacked off the line by Brayford. The danger was not clear though and Leeds were able to maintain the pressure with Saiz seeing a low shot saved low to his right by Bywater. Lasogga was then denied again from close range as he latched onto a left wing cross only for his effort to be blocked on the edge of the six yard box. It was raining shots at this stage and the heavens also opened to drench the Elland Road pitch and all those on it.
Lasogga though, was not to be denied and he duly had his first Leeds goal on 20 minutes. Eunan O'Kane played a perfectly weighted pass through to the striker and from just inside the box he smashed a left footed shot past Bywater into the far corner to give the home side a more than deserved lead on the balance of play.
Leeds continued to dominate despite some of the intensity dropping from their play with the lead now established. McFadzean was the first player from either side to find himself in trouble with referee Oliver Langford. The Albion man was drawn out to the right hand side to deal with a run from Saiz but his methods in stopping the Leeds man was not to Mr Langford's liking and the yellow card quickly followed.
Albion found themselves two goals behind on 35 minutes. Pablo Hernandez tricked and teased on the left hand side before the ball somewhat scrappily ended up on the left at the feet of PHILLIPS and the young midfielder unerringly founds the bottom corner of the net with an instinctive left foot shot.
Albion responded by changing their shape and making a change. McFadzean was the disappointed man to make way as Lloyd Dyer was introduced on the left of a more conventional 4-4-2.
Lasogga was keen to add to his early goal and twice in the space of a few second the German went close. A sweetly struck shot cannonned back off the post before a close range shot was lifted over the top.
Just before half time Albion's task was made even harder when referee Langford awarded the home side a penalty. There was general bemusement around Elland Road although the final opinion seemed to be that Buxton had been penalised for pulling Lasogga back as he tried to connect with an inswinging corner. Pablo HERNANDEZ didnt mind though as he stepped up and comprehensively sent Bywater the wrong way from the spot. Half time could not come quickly enough for Albion.
Half time: Leeds United 3-0 Burton Albion
Leeds were certainly not content to sit back on their lead at the start of the second half and Lasogga was inches away from his second as Leeds poured forwards again. Saiz was the man pulling the strings and threading a ball beyond Turner allowed the big German to power forwards and shoot goalwards only for Bywater to get a vital touch and send it just over the bar.
It was 4-0 on 54 minutes and this time it was ROOFE doing it all by himself. The former Oxford man picked up possession midway inside the Burton half and switching the ball onto his right foot from just outside the box curled a superb effort into the bottom corner. Nothing that Bywater could have done about it at all.
Just before the hour mark Lasogga did have his second. When the ball was lobbed over the top Roofe looked to be well offside but no flag went up. The midfielder got to the bye line and cut back a chipped cross for the German to head the ball back the way it had come and into the corner of the net.
Albion made their second change, taking Scannell out of the fray and bringing Marvin Sordell on as a straight swap on the right hand side and shortly after it was Mason's turn to be replaced with Matty Palmer sent on for the final twenty five minutes.
It could easily have been six for Leeds when substitute Jay-Roy Grot exploited space on the right hand side of the penalty but an excellent sliding intervention from Turner prevented his shot from reaching Bywater in the Burton goal.
Albion had had precious few sights of the Leeds goal during the game but when the former Rochdale lads combined on the edge of the Leeds box on 74 minutes it was latest signing Allen who saw his shot fly over the bar from 20 yards.
A bad afternoon began to feel worse when Warnock began to struggle with injury inside the last ten minutes. With all substitutes already used Dyer was pushed back into a makeshift left back role with Warnock moved further forwards into a less demanding role for the closing stages. As in the first half the final whistle could not come quickly enough for the Brewers and they got through to the end without suffering any further damage.
One of those afternoon's for the Brewers as they ran into one of the teams that will surely contest the promotion places come the end of the season based on this performance.