The last time Leeds United completed a league double over Sheffield United in 1992 was on the day they were crowned champions.
Marcelo Bielsa’s current generation is unlikely to reach similar heights given the competition, but it says a lot about Sheffield United’s demise that they are further behind Leeds today (28 points) than when Howard Wilkinson’s side were the best. team in England.
Although Saturday’s final score seemed close, it was painfully one-sided. Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was the busiest player on his side and Ben Osborn’s visitor’s goal came from their only shot on target.
Phil Jagielka pushed through his own net while Leeds insisted on securing all three points on Elland Road
Sheffield United are 14 points behind on safety and are staring in the course of the relegation
The Leeds players paid tribute in the warm-up to Peter Lorimer, the club’s all-time record scorer
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER REVIEWS
Leeds (4-1-4-1): Meslier 6; Ayling 7, Llorente 7, Cooper 6.5, Alioski 7; Phillips 8; Raphinha 8.5, Dallas 7 (Koch 90 + 3), Roberts 6.5 (Klich 81), Harrison 7; Bamford 6 (Rodrigo 65).
Subs not used: Casilla, Poveda, Costa, Hernandez, Struijk, Shackleton.
Targets: Harrison 12, Jagielka 49 (OG)
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Ramsdale 7.5; Baldock 5.5 (Ampadu 45 6), Jagielka 5.5, Stevens 6; Bogle 6 (Brewster 73 6), Lundstram 6, Norwood 6 (Burke 65 6), Fleck 6.5, Osborn 7; McGoldrick 6.5, McBurnie 6 (Egan 77).
Subs not used: Foderingham, Mousset, Lowe, Bryan, Ndiaye.
Goals: Osborn 45 + 2
Yellow: Lundstram, McGoldrick
Manager: Paul Heckingbottom
Referee: Graham Scott
To sum up their misery, 38-year-old Phil Jagielka even donated the winning goal when he turned Jack Harrison’s cross into his own for his seventh Premier League goal – placing him second on the unwanted list behind Richard Dunne.
As for Leeds, Brazilian winger Raphinha was brilliant and none more effective than Harrison scoring the first and creating the second.
He’s been candid about using a sports psychologist to help him escape a shape dip and it has clearly worked
“It’s a change of perspective,” he explained. If you’re going through a little rough patch, you should try some alternative solutions. I would recommend it to everyone.
“It was a good performance and we created a lot in the attack.”
The Leeds players wore shirts in the warm-up in honor of 1970s hero Peter Lorimer, who passed away last month.
Lorimer would have loved the energy and style of the current squad, even if it meant even more heartbreak for Sheffield’s interim manager Paul Heckingbottom, who was once briefly in charge of Elland Road and still looking for the first victory after the departure of Chris Wilder.
Leeds dominated the Yorkshire derby from the first whistle and Ramsdale had already saved well from Kalvin Phillips and Stuart Dallas for the breakthrough after 12 minutes.
The visitors lost the ball halfway through and had no reaction to a quick break in Leeds, with Tyler Roberts unleashing Raphinha over the right.
The Brazilian skipped past Baldock, who was too concerned about allowing a penalty to make a challenge, and the setback was brought in by Harrison for his seventh goal of the season.
Both sides participated in a minute of applause for a man who scored 238 goals for the whites
Leeds got off to a quick start and it was no surprise when Jack Harrison (right) put the hosts up front
Bielsa’s side should have increased their lead with Sheffield regularly putting their bodies on the line in a full penalty kick.
In particular, Harrison was rejected by Ramsdale with the goalkeeper brilliantly narrowing the angle to avoid a second goal.
It was leading up to that 40-minute move that a controversial concussion occurred involving Sheffield wing-back Baldock.
His bipedal challenge to Roberts could have sent him away, but the impact of their collision, where Roberts’ knee hit Baldock in the face, left the Blades player seriously groggy.
He was given concussion tests on the field and on the sidelines before he was allowed to continue. But five minutes later, he was replaced by Ethan Ampadu as a replacement for a concussion after blurred vision.
On television, Alan Shearer criticized the delay, although Heckingbottom insisted the protocols had been followed: “We followed the rules, we can’t take any chances,” he said.
Aaron Ramsdale denied Harrison just before half time and was tested throughout the game
George Baldock’s withdrawal was recorded as a concussion when Ethan attacked Ampadu
Ben Osborn then equalized from close by for the visitors, completely against the corridor
‘They checked him on the field and went through the checklist and if the player passes them they judge them on the side of the field.
I’m not sure what actions he did between that and wrestling, but then he didn’t start feeling great. As soon as George reported symptoms, we should take him out.
“There may be things that can be done further, but we need to be guided by the medics on things like that. We must adhere to further concussion protocols now, so we’ll know more later. ‘
Ironically, the visitors suffered another shock in the second half when Jayden Bogle was caught in the mouth by Ezgjian Alioski and replaced by Rhian Brewster.
United’s injury-time equalizer at the end of the first half was unexpected, scoring only their second goal in seven games.
David McGoldrick’s clever touch found Oli McBurnie in the right corner of the penalty area. His drilled shot was deflected off the back of Phillips and ran to Osborn at the far post whose tap-in was cleared by Luke Ayling, but behind the goal line.
Raphinha was arguably Leeds best man and could have got his name on the scoresheet
Marcelo Bielsa’s men had to weather a late storm to win and climb above Aston Villa to 10th place
Any sense of justice that Leeds felt faded four minutes into the second half. Another fluid motion enabled Harrison to center, and Jagielka did Raphinha’s work for him.
Raphinha, the excellent player of the game, got another shot blocked trying to make it 3-1, but it was not a good afternoon for head scorer Patrick Bamford, who was replaced in disappointment after 65 minutes.
Blades substitute Oliver Burke saw late but shot wide and Heckingbottom admitted: “The effort and the fight were there, but we lacked quality. We didn’t open them and lost too many balls in the last third.
There wasn’t much Jags could do for the winner. If you’re moving towards your own goal at a pace, leave a tap-in if you don’t commit.
Bielsa was pleased that the team was able to deliver a result to make Lorimer proud, as were the two Leeds fans Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight who murdered 21 years ago this weekend in a European match against Galatasaray.
“Victories always generate happiness and optimism, but it is difficult for them to make up for the loss of someone,” he said.
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