Top-flight and top-half Leeds United greeted their boisterous and delirious fans with a 3-1 victory over West Brom to end the Premier League season at Elland Road on Sunday.
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The victory pushes Leeds above Everton for a 9th-place finish in their first season back in the Premier League since being relegated in 2004. The last time Leeds fans saw their side play in person, they weren’t yet champions of the Championship and they hadn’t yet sealed promotion to the Premier League.
What we learned: Leeds – West Brom
Bielsa’s boys held up wonderfully over 38 games: That was the biggest question ahead of the season — would the high-intensity, high-pressing nature of Marcelo Bielsa’s tactical system take too much of a toll on the players over a 38-game season played in four fewer weeks than is typically done? It was a fair ask at the time, but the Whites finished with their finest form of the season — just one defeat in their final 11 games (7W-3D-1L).
Rodrigo opened the scoring with his 7th goal of the season after 17 minutes. No one in a green and yellow shirt came to meet Raphinha’s corner kick, which meant it bounced across the face of goal for Rodrigo to meet and head home at the back post without a care in the world.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone didn’t exactly cover himself in glory on goal no. 2. Phillips’ free kick was certainly on target, but (seemingly) lacked the power or placement to truly threaten. Johnstone was on the ground as the ball arrived and bounced over him.
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Bamford added the third goal from the penalty spot on 79 minutes after Okay Yokuslu needlessly handled the ball inside the box.
West Brom got a late consolation goal from Hal Robson-Kanu in the 90th minute.