Leeds United marked the start of 2024 with jubilation as they secured a convincing triumph over Birmingham City at Elland Road on New Year’s Day.

In a dominant display, goals from Patrick Bamford, Dan James, and Crysencio Summerville ensured the Whites clinched three crucial points, extending their unbeaten home record to an impressive 13 matches.

The match kicked off with Leeds setting the tone, launching three early goal attempts. Georginio Rutter twice threatened, and Patrick Bamford’s low effort forced a commendable save from Birmingham’s goalkeeper, John Ruddy.

Facing an early setback, Daniel Farke was compelled to make a substitution, with Sam Byram making way for Junior Firpo at full-back due to an injury.

Junior Firpo, swiftly entering the action on the left-hand side, showcased effective link-up play with Summerville, creating problems for Birmingham. A save from the winger’s shot led to Dan James having his strike blocked on the rebound.

The breakthrough for Leeds came just over 10 minutes before halftime, as a brilliant back-post cross from Dan James found Bamford, who powered home a header to give his side the lead.

In stoppage time, Leeds continued their dominance, doubling the lead with Firpo delivering a perfectly placed low cross for James to smash home.

Kris Klaesson, Leeds’ goalkeeper, made a crucial save just before halftime, ensuring a two-goal advantage for his team.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 2-0 Birmingham City

Early in the second half, Birmingham had an opportunity to get back into the game, but Klaesson made an excellent one-on-one stop against Juninho Bacuna.

Leeds remained threatening, with Summerville and James causing issues. Liam Cooper forced a save from Ruddy with a header from a resulting corner.

Farke’s side went close again moments later, with Bamford striking the post after Summerville was blocked on the edge of the area.

Leeds secured their third goal in style, with Georginio’s delightful ball over the defence finding Firpo, who claimed his second assist of the game, setting up Summerville to slot home into the bottom corner.

With a comfortable three-goal lead and just over 15 minutes remaining, Farke made substitutions, receiving a standing ovation for Bamford, Summerville, and James. Joel Piroe, Willy Gnonto, and Jaidon Anthony replaced the goal-scorers.

Late chances came at either end, with Gary Gardner striking a free-kick over the bar for Birmingham and Firpo flicking a header onto the post from a Leeds corner.

An outstanding performance from Leeds secured three vital points to kickstart 2024. Their next challenge awaits in the FA Cup, with a trip away to face Peterborough United.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 3-0 Birmingham City