Leeds United v Sheffield United Premier League Saturday 3rd April 2021

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This was the final Yorkshire derby of the season between 11th placed Leeds United playing in white and 20th placed Sheffield United playing in green.

It was also a day when Leeds United remembered Peter Lorimer who died last month after a long illness, and also Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight who were tragically killed before Leeds’ Uefa Cup game at Galatasaray back in 2000, so it was an emotional day and a minutes applause before kickoff.

Who would win the final Yorkshire derby of the season?

It was played at a sunny Elland Road.

Inside the first 30 seconds Sheffield United got themselves into trouble by giving a cheap freekick away right on the edge of the area Raphinha stood over it, but his shot went just too high but he did get it over the wall

After three minutes,  Alioski and Roberts linked up but Alioski lost his footing on the edge of the box and the ball got away from him. Sheffield United got the ball down the other end and McGoldrick found McBurnie but he had it robbed off him on the edge of the area.

Three minutes later, McGoldrick tried to drive the ball through to Osborn on the far side of the area, and Raphinha got back just in time to poke the ball out for a corner, but he wasn’t far away from turning it into his own net.

A couple of minutes later, Jagielka played a poor pass to Lundstram which was picke doff by Phillips who hit it early aiming for the bottom left corner, but Ramsdale just about scrambled across to save it, then a few moments later,  Phillips had another go from outside the box but this was more comfortable for Ramsdale, Dallas also had a go from 20 yards out with a left footed shot but Ramsdale saved.

1st Leeds goal

After 12 minutes, the first goal of the derby went to  Leeds after a brilliant passing move which carved Sheffield United open, Stevens gave the ball away to Dallas who found Roberts who then played Raphinha inside who danced his way into the box, got to the byline and put it on a plate for Harrison to tap-in.

Eight minutes later, Dallas’ cross from the right was half-cleared by Baldock before Alioski’s ball flew into Ramsdale’s hands and then Raphinha was played through, but Harrison hesitated.

2 minutes later, a rare Sheff United attack as Stevens’ header was deflected over by Llorente.

Just past the midway point of the first half, McGoldrick cut inside from the left, and tried bending one towards the far right corner, but he missed. Then at the other end Ayling’s cross was glanced onto the far side and Bamford was inches away from getting his head on it, it cannoned out to Alioski who went for placement with his half-volley and it was turned behind for a corner which came to nothing.

On the half hour mark, another flowing Leeds move as they played through the poor Sheffield United press before the ball was moved to the left, and Harrison found Alioski on the overlap, but he delivered a poor cross which was headed away but only as far as Raphinha who had a volley blocked.

Controversial moment

Two minutes later, a rare chance for the visitors as Fleck nutmegged Ayling but he was forced back to Stevens. They tried to bring McBurnie in but McGoldrick’s pass was loose. Then , on the break Leeds broke down the right, Bamford passed inside to Roberts who was tackled in a horrible way by Baldock, it was like a scissor challenge before he passed to Harrison in space who was through on goal with just the keeper to beat, but the keeper made an excellent save.  Noel Whelan on Radio Leeds said “That should have been a red for Baldock”. But he didn’t get anything and he actually went off as he banged his head on the turf in the making of the tackle.

With ten minutes of the first half remaining, McBurnie cleared Raphinha’s corner at the near post before Phillips shot way over.

A couple of minutes later, Ayling lifted a delicious and curling cross into the box from deep, Bogle headed behind for another corner just as Alioski was ready to shoot.

After 42 minutes, Roberts from 25 yards turned Fleck and blasted his left footed shot from outside the box just past Ramsdale’s post.

Sheffield United equaliser

In first half stoppage time against the run of play, the visitors equalised as the ball was worked to McBurnie on the right of the box, who had a go from a tight angle and found Osborn who helped it over the line, Ayling thought he’d cleared it but the goal line technology said Goal and from nowhere the Blades were level.

Halftime score: Leeds United 1-1 Sheffield United

It was a first half which Leeds dominated and could have more than their one goal, then they concede on the stroke of half-time, how would the 2nd half of this Yorkshire derby go>

In the first minute of the second half, straight from the kick-off, Raphinha tried to set Bamford on his way down the right but his ball was cut-out, then McGoldrick went down the other end and skewed his shot wide.

2nd Leeds goal

After 48 minutes, Leeds went back in front as Roberts pinged a diagonal ball over to the left for Harrison who whipped in a low ball across the six yard box , which had Raphinha ready to tap-in, but Jagielka the Sheff United defender got there first and could only turn it into his own net.

Four minutes later, the ball was moved inside off the right to Roberts, then Phillips and then Dallas whose shot curled towards the top right corner, but clipped the top of the bar.

Three minutes later, Lundstram was caught by Leeds and the ball was worked into the box to Harrison and it was half-cleared to Alioski who sliced his shot wide. Then a minute later, Sheff United gave the ball away cheaply again and Leeds found Bamford in the box, but he took too long and Ampadu made a last-ditch tackle.

Just before the hour mark, Harrison drove a lovely diagonal pass over to Raphinha but he couldn’t quite bring it down and he had it took off him.

Just after the hour mark, from Sheffield United’s corner, Leeds broke with pace and intensity, Raphinha was breathing down the visitors defence and his shot was blocked, and Alioski was there at the back post went for goal and Ampadu made a sliding block.

After 65 minutes, Fleck and Bogle combined superbly with  a deft ball finding Bogle who turned expertly and won a corner, came to nothing. Then Fleck floated a great freekick from the left into the box, but LLorente got his head to it first.

With 13 minutes left, Stevens ran down the left and attempted a 1-2 with Brewster and was denied a chance to deliver by Brewster’s’s overplayed pass.

With ten minutes remaining, Raphinha brought the ball forward and Leeds had a 3 on 2, Raphinha loked across to Dallas who missed the target just missing the far post by 20 yards.

There were 2 more chances for the visitors before the end, one on 88 minutes as Brewster powerfully struck a shot from 25 yards and the ball swerved inches wide of the goal, then Burke’s diagonal shot from the edge of the box rolled just wide of the post.

The last chance of the game went to Leeds in 2nd half stoppage time as Harrison picked the ball up in space on the right, he cut inside and unleashed a low shot from 20 yards out but it flew wide.

Fulltime score:  Leeds United 2-1 Sheffield United

So Leeds United did the double over Sheffield United for the first time since the 1991-92 season and it was a good game.  Leeds perhaps could have more goals, but Sheffield United could also have come away with something.

It takes Leeds upto 10th place on 42 points, and they’re definitely safe for a 2nd Premier League season which is great news as fans will be able to watch Premier League football at Elland Road next season hopefully.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQo7i7zTrdc

Next up for Leeds is the start of three tricky fixtures as they go to Manchester to play Man City on Saturday 10th April with a 12:30pm kickoff.

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