Final score: Leeds United 2-0 Rotherham United
Rotherham United suffered Yorkshire derby day defeat with a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to rivals Leeds United.
Defender Luke Ayling’s 49th minute header and Kemar Roofe’s clinical 72nd minute strike did the trick as the Whites secured precious local bragging rights over the Millers at Elland Road.
Victory also extended Leeds 100% unbeaten start to the season and ended the Millers’ two-game winning run.
Amazingly it was right-back Ayling’s first Leeds goal and first goal for nearly three and a half years having last scored in April 2015, playing for Bristol City when then demolished Bradford City 6-0.
And for Roofe it was a third goal in four games to continue to what, has so far been, a fine start to the season.
Millers boss Paul Warne made eight changes to his starting line-up from Tuesday night’s 3-1 home win over Wigan Athletic, while opposite number Marcelo Bielsa also made eight changes from his team which beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Elland Road in midweek.
Kalvin Phillips blasted high and wide for the hosts early in the action, before Roofe went close to opening the scoring with a right-foot drive from the edge of the box.
Keeper Marek Rodak saved easily from Spanish forward Samuel Saiz as Leeds maintained their sustained pressure, but it was the Millers who should have taken the lead.
Shot-stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell produced a fine point-blank save to deny winger Ryan Williams after skipper Liam Cooper had carelessly given the ball away in his own penalty area.
Ayling rifled a left-foot shot just wide of the right post as the game hotted up.
However, just a minute later and the visitors were desperately unlucky not to score when midfielder Jon Taylor’s blistering strike rattled the inside of the left upright.
Striker Michael Smith then teed up midfielder Matthew Palmer on the edge of the box but he blazed his shot over.
At the other end Polish playmaker Mateusz Klich shot wide of the left post, while midfielder Will Vaulks had a rasping goalbound shot charged down just outside the area for the Millers.
Rodak denied Swiss defender Gaetano Berardi with an athletic fingertip save on the stroke of half-time as it finished goalless at the break.
The Whites had the perfect start to the second half. Rodak blocked Cooper’s goalbound header and Roofe should have powered home the rebound.
But Ayling was on hand to head home, although referee Robert Jones had to use goalline technology before deservedly awarding the home side the lead.
Roofe had a shot charged down and Saiz saw his close-range shot brilliantly headed off the line by Millers’ skipper Richard Wood.
But not long after Roofe pounced to double the home side’s lead in the 72minute and the job was done.
Debutant Ryan Manning came off the substitute’s bench to test force Peacock-Farrell into a save, but it was little too late for the visitors.
Leeds:Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper (c), Berardi, Phillips, Klich (Jansson 90+1), Alioski, Hernandez, Saiz (Baker 80), Roofe(Bamford 87).
Subs: Blackman, Pearce, Harrison, Shackleton.
Rotherham: Rodak, Vyner, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Wood (Vassell 76), Palmer (Mannin 71), Taylor, Williams, Smith (Proctor 78), Raggett.
Subs: Bilboe, Ball, Robertson, Newell.
Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside)