Middlesbrough 3 Leeds United 0: Bamford hat-trick takes Boro into play-off places
Middlesbrough have climbed into the Championship play-off places thanks to a 3-0 win over Leeds United, with hat-trick hero Patrick Bamford starring.
Tony Pulis' side had been erratic in their previous five fixtures, losing two and winning two, but they were at their very best at the Riverside Stadium on Friday.
Leeds had little answer to Bamford throughout and the former Chelsea youngster ended the visitors' resistance just after the half-hour mark, exploiting poor marking before guiding home Stewart Downing's cross.
Their second, just five minutes later, was inspired by the in-form Adama Traore, who tore through the Leeds midfield and fed Bamford into the left side of the area, where he shot under the suspect Felix Wiedwald.
Bamford then completed the first hat-trick of his professional career in the second half, tapping in from close range after Wiedwald failed to keep hold of Traore's initial effort.
The result takes Boro up to sixth, ahead of Sheffield United - whose meeting with Burton Albion on Saturday has been postponed due to inclement weather - on goal difference.