A debut goal from new signing Eddie Nketiah helped Leeds United ensure there was to be no shock result in the first round of the Carabao Cup at Salford City.
The Arsenal loanee made a successful debut for Leeds as he struck two minutes before half-time to set Marcelo Bielsa’s men on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Further goals from Gaetano Berardi and Mateusz Klich sealed victory on an eventually comfortable night for United.
Leeds, with seven changes to their starting line-up from Saturday’s league game with Nottingham Forest, were slow to get into their stride with only a couple of long range strikes from Kalvin Phillips to show for their early possession, one well over and the other comfortably saved by Chris Neal.
Salford looked organised with their back three, packed midfield and two up front, were dangerous for the first time in the 12th minute when Richie Towell’s volley was headed away by Jack Clarke.
United keeper Kiko Casilla was forced into his first save as he got down well to grasp Jake Beesley’s shot after a strong break down the right by Towell.
Leeds-born Salford striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe headed over as the hosts made another half-chance, but gradually Leeds began to turn the screw in the closing stages of the first half.
Phillips saw his 25-yard shot tipped over by Neal then Clarke’s dipping shot was well turned away by the home keeper.
Gianni Alioski fired over when in space on the edge of the box before United finally broke the deadlock two minutes from the break.
Jamie Shackleton’s measured ball inside the home full-back was latched onto by Helder Costa and his low cross gave Nketiah a tap-in for a goal on his Leeds debut.
It was almost two a minute later as Klich hit a curling shot that went just past the post.
Salford managed one last effort right at the end of the half, but Danny Whitehead’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide off Ben White.
Leeds doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half when Berardi came up with a rare goal as he turned the ball in at the near post after getting first to Costa’s low corner.
Klich then missed a glorious chance to have the tie wrapped up when he volleyed over with only the keeper to beat after getting on the end of Alioski’s fine cross.
Salford showed they could still be dangerous as Casilla was forced into two saves inside a minute to deny Whitehead.
But a brilliant break brought United their third goal as Klich showed good pace to get on the end of a clearance from a home corner and took the ball to just inside the box before rifling an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.
Again City responded well with Towell’s well struck free-kick having to be tipped wide by Casilla.
Leeds re-established control and threatened again when Nketiah latched onto a short back pass only to lob the ball over the crossbar as well as an advancing keeper.
Substitute Patrick Bamford had a chance within four minutes of coming on as he read a poor back pass only to be unable to beat Neal in a one-on-one with the keeper.
The ball was transferred straight up the other end where Towell’s long range strike was beaten away by Casilla. The rebound fell to home sub Adam Rooney, but he sent the ball just past the post.
Leeds should have had a penalty late on when Jack Harrison had his shirt pulled as he looked to race into the box, but it did not matter as they had already done more than enough to book their place in the second round.
Salford City 0
Leeds United 3
(Nketiah 43, Berardi 50, Klich 58)
Carabao Cup, round one
Salford: Neal, J Jones, Pond, Piergianni, Thelkeld (Gaffney 62), Maynard, Whitehead, Towell, Touray, Beesley (Rooney 69), Dieseruvwe (Lloyd 69).
Leeds: Casilla, Berardi, White, Davis, Shackleton, Phillips, Clarke (McCalmont 70), Klich, Alioski (Harrison 78), Costa, Nketiah (Bamford 78).
Referee: Keith Stroud.