Euro 2020 Special
 

Premier League: Super Leeds Storm the War of the Roses!

Burnley 0-4 Leeds United

Leeds United won the Yorkshire/Lancashire Premier League derby today with a scintillating performance to blow away a lacklustre Burnley.

The White Rose county club ran the show from start to finish and the only surprise was that it took until almost half time for Leeds to turn their superiority into a goal. At 2-0 up super sub Rodrigo scored a late double to round off a perfect away performance. A home game against Spurs, which resulted in a comfortable 3-1 victory for Leeds last week, is a different proposition to a trip over the Pennines to face Burnley, who may possess less in terms of expensive talent than the Londoners, but rarely fail to put up a fight. 

But it was more a case of red faces than red roses for the Clarets as they rolled over for Leeds to attack and score at will. The usually reliable Burnley defence looked like they were already heading for the beach, but I suspect manager Sean Dyche will have them in for training tomorrow morning!

Leeds can have a well deserved day off though as this superb performance cemented their position in top half of the league table.

Highlights of the game

In the run up to the game news from Turf Moor suggested England keeper Nick Pope could be rested and that former Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell would get a rare start between the sticks. But the young Northern Ireland stopper probably wishes he hadn’t, as Leeds ran riot. Mateusz Klich open the floodgates a minute before half time when he rounded off a dangerous Leeds break with a clinical finish from 20 yards, curled past the Burnley keeper and into the corner. 

The Clarets opened the second half with a little more purpose and Illan Meslier made a super save to deny Matej Vydra, but Burnley were finished on the hour when Jack Harrison reacted quickly to a corner to flick in his eighth goal of the season. Leeds had brought Rodrigo on just before that goal and he was to have a memorable half hour.

Rodrigo has only started 12 Premier League games for Leeds United this season
Leeds United’s Rodrigo celebrates scoring their fourth goal

Meslier did well to keep out an effort from Johann Berg Gudmundsson when the Icelander was clean through, but there was nothing his opposite number could do when Rodrigo scored twice in three minutes. First the Spaniard latched on to lift a delightful chip over Peacock-Farrell on 77 minutes, and then, on 79 the same combination undid Burnley again. Harrison put Rodrigo through and this time he rounded the keeper before sliding the ball home.

It was possibly the best performance we’ve seen from Leeds this season, while being a day the Clarets would rather forget.

Key statistics

The match stats suggest an evenly fought match, with possession shared and 16 shots from both teams, but Leeds were far more clinical, firing six on target to Burnley’s four, and, crucially, hitting the net with regularity!  

Jack Harrison has had more goal involvements than any other English midfield player this season, with eight goals and eight assists. 

This was Burnley’s ninth home league game without a win, a statistic we are unlikely to see repeated when the crowds return next season.

What’s next?

Before the start of the 2019/20 season the Premier League 2021 betting odds suggested Leeds would settle around mid-table with Burnley a little behind, ad so it has turned out, but both head coaches can be pleased with their season’s work. After an injury ravaged start which yielded two points from the opening seven games, Sean Dyche has guided the Clarets, quite comfortably to a sixth successive season in the top flight; and for their last home game of the season they will have 3,500 fans in who will show their appreciation when they face Liverpool in midweek. Then Burnley finish with a trip back across the Pennine hills for bottom club Sheffield United’s last game in the Premier League…for a while.

Like his Burnley counterpart, head coach Marcelo Bielsa is so critical to Leeds’ success and the club will be keen to see him take the sleeping giants to the next level. The Whites can finish this season with a flourish, with an away game to Southampton and then a home match with relegated West Brom, when the lucky few of their loyal fans can acclaim Leeds’ successful return to the top flight.  

Of course, here at SBOTOP, we’ll be here with the latest Premier League 2021 news, updates and results over the next week, and then…it’s the Champions League final and Euro 2021!