Soccer-Firpo earns Leeds precious win over bottom side Southampton

February 25, 2023 05:16 PM GMT | By Reuters
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LEEDS, England (Reuters) - New Leeds United manager Javi Gracia's reign began with a 1-0 Premier League home victory over bottom club Southampton as Junior Firpo's goal helped the Yorkshire club to snap a 10-game winless run and move out of the relegation zone on Saturday.

Leeds jumped to 17th on 22 points after 24 games, a point above the drop zone, following a first league win since before the World Cup break.

The hosts dominated possession in Gracia's first game since his appointment this week and edged a scrappy first half in which neither side created much of note.

Firpo finally broke the deadlock in front of a raucous Elland Road in the 77th minute, squeezing a tame effort under Gavin Bazunu after being cleverly set up with a flick by Jack Harrison.

Southampton piled on the pressure as they desperately searched for an equaliser, and dead-ball specialist James Ward-Prowse nearly created one as he whipped in a corner in 90th minute, but he was let down by a poor header from team mate Armel Bella-Kotchap.

Southampton, who will have thought their luck was turning after taking three points at Chelsea last week, remain 20th -- three points behind second-from-bottom Bournemouth, who host Manchester City later on Saturday.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)


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