The Championship is undoubtedly one of the toughest tournaments for promotion in Europe. And Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds knows it very well.
After staying on the road last season, the Loco team achieved promotion to the Premier League after a great season.
Below we review five decisive moments for this campaign that ended with a historic achievement for those led by the Argentine DT, and that had the goals on the hour and in visitor status as great allies.
BARNSLEY 0 – LEEDS 2
After a very good start, Leeds had just lost to Swansea and needed to return to victory to stay well up in the competition. The Whites’ rival was Bransley. The game was closed and when there were five minutes to go, it remained even. Until at 41 minutes of the complement, Eddie Nketiah and Mateusz Klich, from a penalty, scored to add three fundamental points thinking of establishing themselves among the first.
LUTON TOWN 1 – LEEDS 2
Luton are among the teams at the bottom of the tough Championship table, but they made things quite complex for Leeds by date 17 of the tournament. The Whites had taken the lead through Patrick Bradford six minutes into the game, but four minutes later James Collins scored the equalizer. It seemed that Leeds were missing two gold points, until 90 minutes into the game, a goal against Matty Pearson gave the visitors the victory and left them in the promotion zone.
BIRMINGHAM 4 – LEEDS 5
A great game. This is how this match that Leeds and Birmingham played by the last date of 2019 can be defined. It was a victory by 5 to 4 for those of Bielsa, in a dramatic final where the Whites won with a goal on the hour. Los del Loco started in advantage with a counterattack jewel and an excellent definition from Costa, at 15 minutes. The 2-0 came through Harrison six minutes later, and everything looked set for a comfortable victory. But that was not going to happen. At 27 he discounted Bellingham.
In the complement would come a shower of emotions. Jutkiewicz scored 2-2, Ayling 3-2 for Leeds, Bela 3-3, and Dallas 4-3 for Bielsa’s team, six minutes from time. The best, anyway, was yet to come. In the 91st minute, Jutkiewicz scored the equalizer again. There was almost no time left, but when the five minutes of added time were fulfilled, Harding against it put the final 5 to 4, to the delirium of all Leeds, including the Loco from the bench.
WEST BROMWICH 1 – LEEDS 1
West Bromwich Albion have been fighting head-to-head for the title alongside the Loco team. A key game, without a doubt, was the one they played right at the beginning of this 2020. On January 1, two of the candidates for promotion were measured on the Albion court. The locals took the lead with a goal from Semi Ajayi, but at the start of the second half with a header from Bamford, after a rebound in Ajayi, Leeds reached the level. The Blanco team had a bad time in that game, but the great performance of goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, covering several goal shots, allowed Belsa’s men to leave with a point that would end up being key at the end of the tournament.
SWANSEA 0 – LEEDS 1
Already in the definition stage, by date 41 of the tournament, Leeds was measured with Swansea. There was no margin for error and it was mandatory to add three to keep the illusion of promotion intact. But the victory did not come. The match was closed and 0-0 seemed to be the final result. But again at the end, Bielsa’s “knights of anguish” were going to achieve a fundamental victory. A minute after the end of the game, an excellent counter play ended with the definition of the Spanish Pablo Hernández for the 1 to 0 final. A glorious victory that was celebrated almost like a promotion.