Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion Premier League Sunday 23rd May 2021

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This was the final game of an unbelievable first season back in the Premier League for Leeds United. With it being the final day all games had to kickoff at the same time which was 4pm.

It was even more emotional than it would have been normally as 8,000 Leeds season ticket holders were allowed in for this final game, for the first time in 14 months the turnstiles of Elland Road were open once again.  It was also emotional as it was the final Leeds United games ever for Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi both of which started the game.

This was 10th placed Leeds United playing in white against already relegated West Brom playing in green.

Could Leeds sign off with a win in front of 8,000 of their fans?

Keep reading to find out

It was played at Elland Road.

After three minutes, Gallagher’s freekick was floated into the 6 yard box for West Brom, but Bartley’s header looped just past the far post.

Four minutes later, Harrison slammed the ball into the net from 8 yards out, but Rodrigo was flagged offside.

Just before the quarter of a hour, Phillips had a right footed shot from outside the box, but it curled high over the bar.

1st Leeds goal

A special moment as Leeds fans saw their first goal at Elland Road in the flesh for 14 months after 17 minutes as Raphinha won a corner, and whipped it to the near post, and Rodrigo from 6 yards out headed home.

After 21 minutes, Furlong’s header from the centre of the box was saved in the centre of the goal.

33 minutes in , patient buildup by West Brom ended with Robinson collecting the ball on the left edge of the box, before flashing a shot just past the left hand post.

2nd Leeds goal

Three minutes before halftime, Leeds had a second goal, as Hernandez won a freekick which Phillips curled round the side of the wall, Johnstone made a hash of trying to keep it out and the ball bounced horribly in front of him and Phillips had his 1st goal of the season in the last game.

Halftime score:  Leeds United 2-0 West Brom

So a good first half by Leeds putting a show on for their fans back inside Elland Road, would it continue in the 2nd half?

After 51 minutes,  it was nearly the dream end to Hernandez’s Leeds career, as he swivelled on the edge of the box , before volleying goalwards, but his volley was straight at Johnstone.

Three minutes later, Matt Phillips miskicked a shot from inside the area which wrong-footed Casilla but it hit the inside of the post and from the rebound, Alioski nearly scored a spectacular own goal before clearing for a corner.

After 57 minutes,  lovely one  touch buildup by Leeds all the way from the back ended with Hernandez testing Johnstone with a well-struck shot which he did well to beat away to safety.

Seven minutes later, Hernandez slipped in a dangerous area, Maitland-Niles strode forward and tested Casilla with a low drive from the edge of the box.

After 67 minutes Phillips played a lovely lofted ball which picked Hernandez out in the box, who did a smart turn, and his well struck shot was deflected behind for a corner.  A minute later, Diangana turned well and blazed over from 8 yards out.

Two minutes later, there was another emotional moment as Berardi was  substituted and he got a hug from certain players and then Hernandez was substituted and he got a hug from certain players as well as they both left the Elland Road pitch for the last time.

A minute later, Raphinha picked Bamford out in the box with a lovely lofted ball, but Bamford didn’t get enough on his header.

With just under 15 minutes to go, Gallagher whipped in an inviting freekick into the box for West Brom and Robson-Kanu did well to flick a header goalwards but it floated past the near post.

Two minutes later, Raphinha ghosted past his man on the right, before pulling the ball back but Ajayi cleared.

Leeds penalty and 3rd goal

After 78 minutes, Yokuslu handled Harrison’s cross from the left and a penalty was awarded, and it was coolly converted by Bamford who sent Johnstone the wrong way, by chipping the ball down the middle.

With three minutes remaining, Robson-Kanu tested Casillla with a shot from the right which Casilla just about dealt with. A minute later, Bamford was in on goal, but dragged his show wide of the post from a acute angle.

Consolation goal for West Brom

After 90 minutes, Cooper’s backpass was miscontrolled by Phillips who took his eye off the ball and Robson-Kanu had a clear run on goal and kept his cool.

There was only more piece of action in stoppage time as Raphinha’s powerful drive was saved by Johnstone.

Fulltime score:  Leeds United 3-1 West Brom

So Leeds signed off in style with a 3-1 win in front of fans, and hopefully next season Elland Road can be full once again.

Leeds United finished the season in 9th place on 59 points which is a great achievement for their 1st season back in the Premier League.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyB91-92bVM

Leeds have been a joy to watch this season albeit on TV only, but hopefully next season I’ll be able to watch them live in the ground.

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