Kiwi striker nets twice as Seagulls are shot
CHRIS Wood’s classy double took his tally to 27 for the season as Leeds ruthlessly dispatched title-chasing Brighton.
Only five Whites players have ever scored more than 30 goals in a single campaign, but the clinical Kiwi looks set to join the list after a towering header and thunderous penalty capped a Leeds performance full of industry and ambition.
Brighton – who missed the chance to go top – did force two fine saves from Rob Green but never posed a consistent threat.
Leeds, meanwhile, climb to fourth and can now look forward to a first appearance in the Championship play-offs since 2006 – courtesy of their in-form hitman.
“Credit to Chris,” said Leeds boss Garry Monk, whose side are now unbeaten in seven after ending a six-game losing streak against the Seagulls.
“He’s bought into our principles and it allows him to perform. I could sense at the start that he was a natural goalscorer, quite instinctive in terms of his finishing and his technique.
“We just had to help him – as we do with all the players – to refine it a little bit and become a little bit more clinical. More than that, it’s the work we do on attitude and mentality.
“Chris is the one on the end of the chances but it’s the team who make them. I honestly find it really hard to single anyone out here – it was such a complete performance.”
Massimo Cellino famously banned Sky TV from Elland Road in protest at their excessive coverage of Leeds matches.
The Italian eventually relented, yet so grim and lifeless was the opening 20 minutes that it was tempting to imagine a more novel tactic afoot to scare them off the premises.
Backwards, sideways, groans from the crowd. Brighton, meanwhile, were content to emulate Cardiff and QPR by sitting deep and ceding possession.
Credit Leeds, though. They kept probing, kept feeding Pablo
HE’S OFF: Chris Wood celebrates scoring his first goal, inset