Willy Gnonto and Dan James were on target as Leeds beat Millwall 2-0 yesterday to go top of the Sky Bet Championship for the first time this season.

Gnonto's superb opener gave the hosts a half-time lead and substitute James added the all-important second with 11 minutes left to lift them above Leicester on goal difference.

Leeds extended their unbeaten league run at Elland Road this season to 19 matches and are now undefeated in 13 league games this year, winning 12 of those matches.

Crysencio Summerville pulled a low shot wide and that was all Leeds had to show for their promising start.

The visitors had dropped only two points in four matches since Neil Harris returned for his second spell in charge last month and they were not going to concede an inch against their promotion-chasing hosts.

Lions skipper Jake Cooper earned the wrath of the home fans for grappling with Gnonto - both players were booked - before Zion Flemming and Junior Firpo were also shown yellow cards for mistimed tackles.

But from a scrappy opening littered with full-blooded challenges, Gnonto emerged to elevate the game with a brilliant opening goal in the 33rd minute.

The little Italy forward collected Georginio Rutter's lay-off on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a shot which arced away from Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic and into the net.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Willy Gnonto celebrates his fine goal yesterday, which gave Leeds a deserved lead on 33 minutes. Willy Gnonto celebrates his fine goal yesterday, which gave Leeds a deserved lead on 33 minutes. (Image: PA.)

Millwall skipper Cooper was lucky to avoid a second yellow card, first when he appeared to catch Rutter with his elbow and then when he clattered into Joe Rodon in the Millwall box.

Referee Stephen Martin missed the first incident and was unmoved by the second, after being perfectly placed, with Rodon left in a heap.

Summerville then forced Sarkic into a flying one-handed save with a shot from outside the box as just one goal separated the two sides at half-time.

Leeds maintained the pressure after the restart and the bookings continued to mount for Millwall, with Ryan Leonard and George Honeyman both cautioned.

Sarkic saved superbly to deny Rutter's first-time effort and then pushed the Frenchman's follow-up on to a post.

After Millwall had served warning when Cooper's hooked effort from a corner flew narrowly wide, Japhet Tanganga's last-ditch tackle thwarted Patrick Bamford following substitute James' low cross.

But James struck the decisive second goal in the 79th minute to seal all three points for Leeds.

Rutter wriggled free on the left edge of the area and pulled the ball back for the Wales winger, who took his time before picking his spot with a low finish.

"We're Leeds United, we're top of the league," sang relieved home fans, before James went close to adding a third as his shot hit a post in stoppage time.