Oli McBurnie’s header had put Swansea 2-1 ahead before Pablo Hernandez rescued a point for LeedsLeeds United fought back to preserve their unbeaten start to the season with an exhilarating draw at Swansea City.
Oli McBurnie finished a fine team move to give the vibrant hosts a deserved lead but Kemar Roofe tapped in to level before half-time.
McBurnie restored Swansea’s lead with a superb arcing header.
But Leeds substitute Patrick Bamford set up former Swan Pablo Hernandez to sweep in a low equaliser, taking his side to the top of the Championship.
The draw also maintains Swansea’s unbeaten record and lifts them to third in the table.
And while their effervescent performance will have encouraged manager Graham Potter, the result will be tinged with the disappointment that the Swans were unable to turn their dominance into victory.
As it was, ending Leeds’ perfect start to the season was a commendable achievement in itself, given the Yorkshire club’s form before this fixture.
Leeds had won all three of their previous matches with a swagger, scoring nine goals and playing with the high-octane intensity which has defined the career of their world-renowned manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Swansea, however, had ground their way to two victories and a draw, an impressive feat under Potter considering his limited resources after a summer of stunted transfer activity which prompted strong criticism of the club’s owners.
The Swans continued to confound their off-field concerns with a strident display here, forcing Leeds into mistakes and keeping possession with quick, crisp passing.
Both those qualities were evident for the opening goal, sparked by Leroy Fer – starting for the first time since an Achilles injury in February.
The Dutch midfielder dispossessed Kalvin Phillips before initiating a flowing move, which included passes from Barrie McKay and Bersant Celina and ended with a prodded finish from McBurnie.
Swansea City boss Graham Potter on facing Marcelo Bielsa at the Liberty StadiumPhillips, already booked, was then substituted for Lewis Barker after just 27 minutes as Bielsa readjusted his rattled side.
The bold move was effective, as Leeds settled and equalised against the run of play as Jamie Shackleton’s low cross was converted by Roofe from close range.
The Liberty Stadium was momentarily silenced but, once Swansea started the second half with the same adventure with which they had approached the first, the atmosphere crackled once more.
McBurnie, a tall and rangy nuisance of a striker, led the attack brilliantly.
The Scotland international’s endeavour was rewarded when he stretched backwards to meet Martin Olsson’s excellent cross and loop his header over Bailey Peacock-Farrell and into the far corner.
The 22-year-old was close to a hat-trick against the city of his birth but was thwarted by Peacock-Farrell’s fingertip save – and it was to prove crucial.
When the ball later spun loose on the left wing, Leeds substitute Bamford beat Mike van der Hoorn and raced into the penalty area before crossing for Hernandez, who finished smartly but showed little sign of celebration against his former side.
Swansea still had time for a late chance to win but the electric Bersant Celina saw his shot well saved by Peacock-Farrell.
Swansea City manager Graham Potter said:
“In football you take what you get. For us we focus on the overall performance of the team, what we brought in terms of our character, our attitude and also our quality and courage. We played against a good team and we showed a really good level.
“I’m proud of the players, proud of what they did and proud of the environment we created here. I thought it was a great atmosphere, which contributed to a really good game.
“We had a good intensity to our play. We had a good idea of what we wanted to do and we also had courage as well. Overall, really proud of the players and happy we’ve taken a step forward.”
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa said:
“We didn’t defend very well and this did not allow us to dominate the game with regularity. In the first half Swansea dominated the game.
“It took us almost 25 minutes to get into the game. After their second goal we had greater stability. After we scored again at 2-2 we dominated the game.
“We have won this game and we have lost it too. It was a nice game to watch. There are some important aspects we have to correct.”