Leeds United finished their first season back in the Premier League with a fourth consecutive victory as they thrashed West Brom in front of returning fans on Elland Road.
They watched their team at home in the top tier for the first time in 17 years. 8,000 Leeds fans formed the right atmosphere for the team to celebrate the team’s campaign. And Marcelo Bielsa’s side produced the proper conclusion.
Rodrigo, Kalvin Phillips, and substitute Patrick Bamford ensured that the hosts would close out the ninth season. After one defeat in their last 11 games.
Jack Harrison had a pre-season strike that he was not offside. But Leeds should not have waited so long to celebrate well when Rodrigo headed for Raphinha‘s corner 17 minutes later.
England midfielder Phillips doubled the advantage with his first Premier League goal just before half-time. Beating goalkeeper Sam Johnstone with a kick-kick that bounced over the goalkeeper’s sink.
Phillips suffered a shoulder injury later, in a reckless challenge to Albion’s Grady Diangana. However, the severity of the damage was unclear.
Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi said the emotional farewell after starting his last game in Leeds, was denied by Johnstone in the second half. At the same time, the advanced West Brom hit the post with Callum Robinson.
Bamford added his third team along with his 17th league goal of the season from the penalty area. Eleven minutes before Okay Yokuslu’s handball, Hal Robson-Kanu received the visitors’ comfort.
But the disappointing campaign ended up being won by the Baggies, finishing 19th and 13th in safety.
The right end of the best season for Leeds
Leeds’ first business order this summer should protect the services of manager Bielsa as they look to build a better return for flights.
The 65-year-old Argentina international has honed his game and made good results this season. Including a win and a draw against champions Manchester City as Leeds were thrilled and excited.
They did this again on Sunday, checking out West Brom’s security forces right away as they headed for the event.
The victory saw Leeds extend their scoring record for a team promoted to 38 Premier League seasons to 62.
It also means that Bielsa’s side has collected the most points regarding promotion since Ipswich Town in 2000-01.
The manager said he had “not considered any other options” when asked about his future this week.
But it will continue to be a shock to fans, given that his one-year contract was signed just 24 hours before the start of the season.
If Bielsa stays, and Leeds can fill a seemingly talented team with continued quality this summer. There is no reason to suggest that they are unable to move up to the next port.
“I am very grateful for the times I have been here, and I am very grateful. As soon as my future is found, the club will announce,” Bielsa said.
Regarding Phillips’ injury, he added: “I couldn’t tell you whether the injury was serious or not, but we hope he can go to the Euros.”
Work to do for West Brom
Unable to commit to West Brom long after failing to save the Baggies from relegation to the Championship. Allardyce confirmed on Wednesday that this would be his last game in charge.
As it requires an immediate return to the Premier League, former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is seen as the man selected. To stand out among those who are considered for the job.
There is a lot of work to be done if the Baggies want to come back. The club is facing losing key players, such as their top scorer, Matheus Pereira, a seemingly absent man after calling the sick on Saturday.
Allardyce’s side was much better after the break as the player Robson-Kanu had three attempts at goal. Before abusing Phillips for a refined finish.
“I’m happy to be back, and I’m disappointed I didn’t do what I did before. We stopped the attack, and then we started to get better. But unfortunately, that wasn’t enough,” Allardyce said.
When asked who could replace him, he added: “I’ve told the club what I’m thinking, and it’s up to them. I haven’t spoken to them in the last two or three days as we focused on the game. I’m not too disappointed in the game, but you won’t score as we did today.”