Leeds ease past Baggies to end season in style

Leeds United ended their Premier League return in style by beating already-relegated West Brom 3-1 at Elland Road on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side deservedly led 2-0 at half-time thanks to Rodrigo’s bullet header (17) and Kalvin Phillips’s cheeky free-kick.

The hosts then introduced top-scorer Patrick Bamford at the break, with the striker adding a third from the spot with 11 minutes to go, before Hal Robson-Kanu’s netted a last-minute consolation for Sam Allardyce in his final game in charge of West Brom.

Image:
Leeds United’s Rodrigo (right) celebrates scoring their side’s first goal of the gam

As a result, Leeds ended the season in style with four straight wins – the club’s best top-flight run in 19 years – to finish ninth in the table, while the 19th-placed Baggies drop down to the Championship on the back of four defeats in a row.

Player ratings

Leeds: Casilla (6), Berardi (7), Ayling (7), Cooper (7), Alioski (7), Phillips (7), Harrison (7), Dallas (7), Raphinha (8), Hernandez (9), Rodrigo (8)

Subs: Bamford (8), Roberts (7), Struijk (7)

West Brom: Johnstone (6), Furlong (7), Bartley (6), Ajayi (6), O’Shea (6), Yokuslu (6), Townsend (6), Gallagher (6), Phillips (7), Maitland-Niles (5), Robinson (6)

Subs: Robson-Kanu (7), Diangana (7), Grant (6)

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez

How Leeds ended their top-flight campaign in style

Driven on by the return of more than 8,000 raucous fans at Elland Road, Leeds tore into their opponents right from the off, with Jack Harrison netting after just seven minutes – only for the goal to be ruled out for offside against Rodrigo in the buildup.

Ten minutes later, though, the home team were ahead as this time Rodrigo timed his run to perfection to get a head on to Raphinha’s pacy corner from the right, with the Spaniard stooping to score his seventh goal of the season.

That narrow lead was deservedly doubled three minutes before half-time when Phillips’s clever free-kick from the left edge of the area somehow bounced past Sam Johnstone at his near post after a rare error by the Baggies No 1.

Team news

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa opted to give old favourites Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi a run out in their final appearances for the club, while West Brom also made two changes from their 3-1 home loss to West Ham on Wednesday night, with both Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson starting.

And after an emotional send-off for Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez with 20 minutes left to go, with both playing their last games for Leeds, the hosts wrapped up the win when Okay Yokuslu handled Harrison’s cross in the box. Bamford confidently dispatched the penalty as Leeds became the highest-scoring promoted side in Premier League history.

The visitors, meanwhile, did have time for a late consolation after a rare mistake by Phillips, who mis-controlled Liam Cooper’s pass to present Robson-Kanu with a clear run on goal which the substitute gratefully accepted.

What’s next? Euros, transfer window, 2021/22 key dates

Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 – just 19 days after the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season – and runs until Sunday July 11.

The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 – 34 days after that Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

Clubs will be able to start planning for the new term when the top-flight fixtures are released at 9am on Wednesday, June 16 but transfer business can start in earnest before then, with the summer transfer window opening on Wednesday June 9.

The 2021/22 Championship season begins a week before the top-flight one on the weekend of Saturday August 7. All Sky Bet EFL fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday June 24.