FULL TIME: Leeds United 1 Bolton Wanderers 5
WANDERERS hit five away from home for the first time in more than 12 years as they demolished Leeds United at Elland Road.
Goals from Joe Mason, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Zat Knight and Mark Davies and Andre Moritz gave the Whites their most comprehensive victory on the road since hammering Leicester City at Filbert Street in August 2001.
Matt Smith grabbed a consolation right at the bitter end for the home side – but there was no denying they had been completely outclassed by Dougie Freedman’s men from the moment they kicked into top gear just before half time.
The first half was a turgid affair with little goalmouth action until the very last minute.
Luke Murphy went closest for Leeds with a shot over the bar, while Neil Danns and Mark Davies both dragged low shots off target for the Whites.
Just as the half looked like fading into obscurity, Wanderers seized the lead.
Rodolph Austin had his heels clipped by Mark Davies but stayed on his feet and played the ball out for Jimmy Kebe on the right, who lost possession.
Although most of the ground was waiting for the referee to signal that the ball had gone out of play, Wanderers played on and Danns threaded a ball through for Mason, who kept his composure to slot home his fourth of the season.
Leeds headed shell-shocked back down the tunnel – but worse was to come immediately after the break.
Just a few minutes after the restart Wanderers won a free kick 25 yards out, curled invitingly into the penalty box by Jay Spearing and headed home with aplomb by Jutkiewicz – his fourth goal in six games.
And just a couple of minutes later, the Whites had made it three. This time it was the unlikely figure of Zat Knight who poked home from close range after Jutkiewicz had again beaten Scott Wooton in the air to win Spearing’s free kick.
It was the big defender’s first goal since opening the scoring in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United in September 2010.
Leeds responded by making a double substitution and showed an immediate improvement – Murphy bringing the first save of the day out of Bogdan.
But any momentum was soon checked, with a wonderful fourth arriving on 72 minutes.
Leeds again gave possession away on the edge of the Wanderers box, with Davies spraying a pass out to Jutkiewicz on the left. Incredibly, as the striker swung in his cross, it was the same man who connected with it, planting a close range header past Butland.
Jutkiewicz twice went close to making it five – bringing one excellent near post save out of Butland and then heading Danns’ corner over the top.
But substitute Andre Moritz did the job for him a few minutes later, blasting a fine effort from an acute angle.
Matt Smith grabbed a consolation at the death for the Yorkshiremen, whose fans celebrated ironically towards the end.
But there was no doubting just how good Wanderers had been on the day. And it was their travelling fans who could be heard cheering into the evening as they left the ground.