Leeds have secured a top-half finish on their Premier League return as goals from Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts beat Southampton 2-0 before returning fans at St Mary’s.
It was a welcome sight as 8,000 supporters socially filled the ground obeying the social distancing norms, with Southampton wanting to give them something to cheer about in their final home game of the period.
The Saints had various crowd pleasing moments, however didn’t figure how to convert them into a scoreline. Che Adams was twice denied by Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla in the primary half, while James Ward-Prowse shook the crossbar not long after the break.
Floated by the arrival of 8,000 fans, Southampton started the match greatly. Casilla was making his first Leeds start since January, and was called into an early save as Adams gestured a superb Stuart Armstrong cross goalwards, however it was gymnastically tipped over the crossbar. Nathan Tella likewise went close before long, yet Kalvin Phillips dashed back to make an all around planned square.
For all his initial heroics, Casilla nearly gifted Theo Walcott a goal on the day he marked his subsequent perpetual arrangement at Southampton. Tella played a great ball over to Walcott on the right, with the winger utilizing his speed to beat the approaching goalkeeper. Yet, rather than striking, Walcott squared the ball, which permitted Liam Cooper to clear.
Leeds’ most obvious opportunity with regards to the primary half came in the 24th moment. Jack Harrison’s splashed cross selected Raphinha on the right, who gestured the ball down first an ideal opportunity for Stuart Dallas. Notwithstanding, he could just drag his shot wide of the post from short proximity.
Southampton seemingly merited a goal for their presentation, and twice went close as the game rushed towards half-time. Casilla was in real life again as he flicked Adams’ work behind for a corner. Tella had set the forward up and nearly scored a briefly progressive Premier League game from Ward-Prowse’s conveyance, yet under tension, scooped his work over the crossbar.
The Saints chief – who was named as the Fans’ Player of the Season in the blink of an eye before start off – went near the opener from the get-go in the subsequent half. He arranged a brand name free-kick, yet his conveyance smacked the top corner of the crossbar prior to going wide.
Leeds nearly started to lead the pack not long after. Raphinha’s cross was gestured somewhere near Rodrigo into Dallas’ way. Notwithstanding, his volley from range constrained a fingertip save from Alex McCarthy to see the ball around the post.
Bamford was then punished for being excessively fair after McCarthy swiped at his legs inside the space, however the Leeds striker remained on his feet. An all around planned touch from Vestergaard saw the ball behind for a corner as Bamford argued his case with ref Peter Bankes, yet as the striker didn’t go over, no penalty was granted.
In any case, Bamford improved on McCarthy in a matter of seconds a while later. A chipped pass from Rodrigo selected Bamford’s run, with the striker keeping himself onside. He at that point settled against McCarthy at the close to post, prior to jabbing the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs and bobbling over the line.
It was Bamford’s tenth away goal of the season and sixteenth in total. The striker is just the fourth Leeds player to have arrived at twofold figures out and about in a solitary Premier League crusade after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 1998/99 (10), Michael Bridges in 1999/00 (12) and Mark Viduka in 2002/03 (10).
Bamford was engaged with the second too as his deafening strike was obstructed by McCarthy’s middle, before Roberts opened the bounce back for his first Premier League goal and Leeds’ tenth away win of the period.
The victory likewise guaranteed that Leeds will finish in the top 10 of the Premier League – presently in eighth on 56 points – and have not drawn any of their away matches this term. They are just the subsequent group to do as such after Tottenham in 2018/19. Southampton stay in fourteenth.
Raphinha thought he had fixed the triumph late on as he turned home Bamford’s cross, however he was hailed for offside. Southampton at that point had two sublime possibilities as Nathan Redmond slanted an exertion past the post and bursted another goal. Danny Ings might have gotten a thrilling late equalizer as well, however his transform and hit saw the ball into the halfway full St Mary’s stands.
It was Leeds who might have the last say as they multiplied their lead with practically the last kick of the game. It was a profitable counter-assault from the guests driven by Roberts, who set Bamford up for an incredible exertion that hit McCarthy directly in the midsection. In any case, Roberts was sneaking for the bounce back, controlling the ball a long time before side-balancing home his first Premier League goal.
Surprisingly Leeds who have just in their first season performed so well and secured a top half finish might look forward to even go up the table the following season.