Leeds United hammer West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns

On a night were Marcelo Bielsa’s side probably expected to be frustrated by Sam Allardyce’s hosts, they produced the best performance of 2020.

Four first half goals set the tone for a dominant display from Leeds as Bielsa’s squad returned to form at a critical moment to leave Allardyce facing a bleak January.

Despite Leeds looking slick right from kick off in the West Midlands, they were given a helping in the first few minutes, as Romain Sawyers netted a ridiculous own goal.

The Baggies defender completely misjudged Sam Johnstone’s position in behind as he chipped past his own keeper.

However, if there was a touch of comedy about Leeds’ opener there was no joking about with the second as Ezgjan Alioski smashed past Johnstone.

And there was no slowly down from there as the rampant visitors smelt blood, with Jack Harrison finishing off a flowing move and Rodrigo fired home a fourth.

Leeds did almost shoot themselves in the foot after the restart as Illan Meslier reacted quickly from an error to deny Matheus Pereira.

But in truth, Leeds had the Baggies are arms length again after the break, as Raphinha saved the best goal for last.

The Brazilian has caught the eye with some spectacular goals during his first few months in England and he bent home a superb effort to make it five.

Full Time at The Hawthorns it’s West Brom 0 Leeds United 5

Premier League: Leeds vs West Ham United

With almost a quarter of the season gone in a flash, both sides will be happy with where they find themselves after 11 games, with the Hammers heading into the game in eighth place, a position that they’d be thrilled to hold on to until the season’s end.

West Ham’s turnaround after a tough start to the season has been impressive, and David Moyes will lock horns with Marcelo Bielsa knowing that a win could take them fifth before their rivals play.

Speaking of Bielsa, the likeable Argentinian coach took the unusual step of naming his full Leeds team to play West Ham during Thursday’s press conference after being asked whether he had any surprises in store for Moyes.

The former Marseille manager reeled off his XI, which includes Luke Ayling at centre-back alongside Liam Cooper in place of Robin Koch, who will miss the next three months through injury, with summer signing Rodrigo starting in midfield.

Other than that, the Whites will be unchanged from the side that lost 3-1 to Chelsea last weekend. Patrick Bamford described Frank Lampard’s side as the best he’s faced this season, and will continue to lead the line as he looks to notch his ninth goal of an impressive season so far.

For the travelling Irons, top scorer Michail Antonio will miss out with a thigh injury picked up recently, so Sebastien Haller is likely to continue in his absence. There’s more positive news in the shape of Ryan Fredericks though, as the right-back should make the squad after a groin strain.

Andriy Yarmolenko is regaining fitness after contracting coronavirus, and should also be involved after missing the defeat to Manchester United last weekend.

Leeds United take on West Ham at Elland Road on Friday, December 11th. Kick-off is at 8pm.

10-man Arsenal draw 0-0 at Leeds United

The Whites were the better side throughout at Elland Road, but despite Nicolas Pepe’s second half red card, Bielsa’s couldn’t force the win.

Leeds had the better of a tight first half, as Raphinha and Mateusz Klich both fired wide and Bernd Leno produced a instinctive stop to deny Patrick Bamford before the break.

The hosts lack of killer instinct meant Arsenal stayed in the game after the restart, but Mikel Arteta’s side shot themselves in the foot on 50 minutes.

Pepe clashed off the ball with Ezgjan Alioski, and after a quick VAR check, Anthony Taylor sent him off for a clear headbutt.

With a man advantage in the final half hour, Leeds did push for a winner, but Leno proved to be a vital barrier for Arteta.

The German produced a huge stop to deny Stuart Dallas on 66 minutes before blocking another effort from substitute Rodrigo.

But as the game began to see saw in the final ten minutes, both sides had chances to win it.

Rodrigo and Bamford were both denied by the woodwork before the anonymous Illan Meslier to deny Bukayo Saka.

But despite the late flurry of chances, this game was destined to stay goalless.

Full Time at Elland Road it’s Leeds United 0 Arsenal 0

Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Leeds

The two clubs have made identical starts to the season, with three wins, three defeats and a draw each, leaving them in mid table after seven games, but both suffered disappointing defeats last time out.

Palace were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Wolves at Molineux, and midfielder Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a late challenge on Joao Moutinho, meaning he will serve a three-match ban after an unsuccessful appeal. Roy Hodgson was livid with the referee’s decision, and it now means the Eagles squad is stretched even thinner, with their injury troubles still proving problematic.

Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are both struggling after calf and heel injuries respectively, meaning Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann are likely to continue at the back.

Tyrick Mitchell and Joel Ward are also missing, while new signing Nathan Ferguson and long-serving goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey miss out too.

There’s positive news in the shape of James McCarthy though, as the Irish midfielder could return after a thigh injury. He could form the McCarthy/McArthur midfield pair, as the Scotland international is expected to deputise for Milivojevic.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are available again after positive coronavirus tests and should be involved.

Leeds have been hit by the virus as well, with record signing Rodrigo ruled out after a positive test. The Spanish international will now isolate under Premier League protocol and miss the trip to the capital.

Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out until December, while Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are also long-term absentees.

New signing Diego Llorente is still to make his debut for the club and will miss out with an injury suffered while on international duty.

Raphinha has been struggling with an ankle injury and a late decision will be made on him, but wholesale changes aren’t expected to the Leeds side that started the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City last weekend.

Top scorer Patrick Bamford will continue up front and hope he can show Gareth Southgate more of what he can do after missing out on the latest England squad, while midfield creators Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa will be tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Chelsea striker.

Crystal Palace take on Leeds United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 7th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Wolves up to sixth after narrow 0-1 victory at Leeds.

The Mexico striker’s tame second-half effort wrong-footed the Leeds United goalkeeper after hitting Kalvin Phillips on the head to seal his side’s third league win of the season.

But in reality, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, who were poor in the first half, were fortunate to leave Elland Road with all three points having been outplayed by Leeds in the first 45mins.

Leeds made a flying start. Patrick Bamford had an early header ruled out for offside and they had a penalty appeal turned down after Helder Costa went down under Joao Moutinho’s challenge.

Rodrigo also headed over and Costa dragged another effort wide after more slick build-up down the right, with Wolves pinned in their own half. Captain Luke Ayling and Rodrigo also squandered good chances in the first half which, had they found the net, could have changed the course of the night of Bielsa’s team.

Wolves woke up in the second half starting the period with a VAR ruled-out goal after the officials deemed Daniel Podence to be in an offside postion. Podence had another chance moments later forcing Meslier into a flying save and suddenly the game looked to be turning in Wolves favour.

It was talismanic striker Raul Jimenez who finally broke the deadlock on the 70th minute after he was allowed far to much time, cutting in from the right and deflecting a shot in off Phillips head which wrong footed Meslier, and the Leeds keeper could only watch the ball hit the opposite corner of his goal.

Pablo Hernandez had a chance to pull it back for Leeds but was denied by a Willy Boly block and even late substitue Raphinha, making his debut in place of Jack Harrison, but failed to carve out a clear opening and Wolves held on.

Leeds United 0 Wolves 1… and up to Sixth.

Leeds United snatch 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the first half with Raheem Sterling deservedly putting them ahead, but Marcelo Bielsa’s men proved their worth after the break to secure a vital point for the hosts

City were at their flowing best right from the start at Elland Road, as Kevin De Bruyne smashed an early free against the post.

The visitors pushed on from there as debutant Ruben Dias headed just wide, and Ferran Torres tested Illian Meslier.

With all one-way traffic against the under-siege hosts, City finally cracked their resistance on 17 minutes, as Sterling swerved past two tackles and fired home.

However, with City unable to find a second goal before the break, Leeds almost produced an equaliser as Ederson saved brilliantly from Luke Ayling.

Bielsa threw on Rodrigo just after the break, and the Spaniard wrestled Leeds back into the game on the hour.

Ederson made a mess of Stuart Dallas’ corner and the former Valencia striker reacted smartly to tap home his first Leeds goal.

Leeds’ equaliser shook the game into life in the closing stages, as Ederson redeemed himself with a brilliant stop from Rodrigo and Meslier denied Sterling.

But in the end neither side had enough to nick the win on a rainy night in Yorkshire.

FULL TIME AT ELLAND ROAD IT’S LEEDS UNITED 1 MANCHESTER CITY 1

Wolves 1-3 Manchester City: City get season off to winning start against Wolves.

The midfielder’s penalty and goals from Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus gave Pep Guardiola’s side a statement victory to open their Premier League campaign.

City were unplayable at times before losing their way after the break and Wolves made it nervy when Raul Jimenez pulled a goal back before Jesus struck in stoppage time.

Guardiola’s men still sent out a message to champions Liverpool as they look to reclaim the title they surrendered last season.
De Bruyne, last term’s Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year, delivered a near faultless display while debutant Nathan Ake was assured.

City finished last season – just over a month ago – in disarray after their Champions League quarter-final exit to Lyon but immediately ended any fears of a hangover with a dominant first-half display.
They quickly swarmed all over Wolves and the hosts’ night was made harder when Ruben Vinagre replaced the injured Marcal after just eight minutes.

City pinned them back and Wolves needed Rui Patricio to parry De Bruyne’s free-kick but the dominant visitors kept probing and got their reward after 20 minutes.

Foden slipped De Bruyne in on the right and Romain Saiss’ foolish lunge brought the midfielder down just inside the box.

The Belgium international buried the penalty and Guardiola’s unrelenting side continued to pile the pressure on.

City threatened to slice through Wolves several times before they did again to double their lead after 32 minutes.

De Bruyne had conducted City and he was at the heart of a slick move involving Ake, Rodrigo, Fernandinho and Foden.
De Bruyne then slipped in Raheem Sterling to cross for the arriving Foden to finish as Wolves were torn apart.

Wolves hit back from 2-0 down at Molineux last season to win 3-2 but without the backing of a vociferous fan-base – and the fact City were just too good – there was no way back.

Jimenez headed Adama Traore’s cross wide five minutes before the break but it was Wolves’ only opening of a chastening half.

It would have been worse had Patricio not turned De Bruyne’s shot over after he was sent clear by Jesus’ header.

There was no desire from City to sit on their lead after the break, demonstrated by their fierce pressing and Jesus’ shot at Patricio.
But Wolves finally found their spark and created a flurry of chances, starting when Daniel Podence curled wide.

Ruben Neves’ low drive was then cleared by Kyle Walker in a warning to City and Podence went closer after 59 minutes.

The forward was sent through by Neves only to chip over and, a minute later, Jimenez side-footed Traore’s cross wide from six yards.

The striker did pull a goal back with 12 minutes left when Podence nutmegged De Bruyne and crossed for him to head in.

But Jesus ended any City fears when he made it 3-1 in injury time, his shot deflecting in off Conor Coady.

Final score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – Mancheter City 3.

Manchester City get season off to winning start against Wolves (1-3).

The midfielder’s penalty and goals from Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus gave Pep Guardiola’s side a statement victory to open their Premier League campaign.

City were unplayable at times before losing their way after the break and Wolves made it nervy when Raul Jimenez pulled a goal back before Jesus struck in stoppage time.

Guardiola’s men still sent out a message to champions Liverpool as they look to reclaim the title they surrendered last season.
De Bruyne, last term’s Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year, delivered a near faultless display while debutant Nathan Ake was assured.

City finished last season – just over a month ago – in disarray after their Champions League quarter-final exit to Lyon but immediately ended any fears of a hangover with a dominant first-half display.
They quickly swarmed all over Wolves and the hosts’ night was made harder when Ruben Vinagre replaced the injured Marcal after just eight minutes.

City pinned them back and Wolves needed Rui Patricio to parry De Bruyne’s free-kick but the dominant visitors kept probing and got their reward after 20 minutes.

Foden slipped De Bruyne in on the right and Romain Saiss’ foolish lunge brought the midfielder down just inside the box.

The Belgium international buried the penalty and Guardiola’s unrelenting side continued to pile the pressure on.

City threatened to slice through Wolves several times before they did again to double their lead after 32 minutes.

De Bruyne had conducted City and he was at the heart of a slick move involving Ake, Rodrigo, Fernandinho and Foden.
De Bruyne then slipped in Raheem Sterling to cross for the arriving Foden to finish as Wolves were torn apart.

Wolves hit back from 2-0 down at Molineux last season to win 3-2 but without the backing of a vociferous fan-base – and the fact City were just too good – there was no way back.

Jimenez headed Adama Traore’s cross wide five minutes before the break but it was Wolves’ only opening of a chastening half.

It would have been worse had Patricio not turned De Bruyne’s shot over after he was sent clear by Jesus’ header.

There was no desire from City to sit on their lead after the break, demonstrated by their fierce pressing and Jesus’ shot at Patricio.
But Wolves finally found their spark and created a flurry of chances, starting when Daniel Podence curled wide.

Ruben Neves’ low drive was then cleared by Kyle Walker in a warning to City and Podence went closer after 59 minutes.

The forward was sent through by Neves only to chip over and, a minute later, Jimenez side-footed Traore’s cross wide from six yards.

The striker did pull a goal back with 12 minutes left when Podence nutmegged De Bruyne and crossed for him to head in.

But Jesus ended any City fears when he made it 3-1 in injury time, his shot deflecting in off Conor Coady.

Final score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – Mancheter City 3.

Liverpool edge out Leeds United in 4-3 Premier League thriller

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were fearless at Anfield, as goals from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich announced their arrival back in the big time.

Liverpool showed plenty of drive in attack, but an uncharacteristically wobbly back line will be a real concern for Jurgen Klopp.

Mo Salah got the ball rolling after just three minutes, as the Egyptian international powered home from the penalty spot.

Leeds refused to be overpowered by their hosts however, as Harrison cut in off the left wing to smash a deserved equaliser past Alisson.

Virgil Van Dijk headed Liverpool back in front shortly after, but his poor back pass allowed Bamford to bring Leeds back on level terms.

And with neither side able to keep the back door closed, Salah popped up again to rocket Liverpool into their third first half lead.

Despite falling behind for a third time, Bielsa’s side refused to change their approach after the break, and their high pressing style got them back into it just after the hour.

Klich pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he slipped in Helder Costa, before driving on into the box and powering past Alisson.

The visitors looked the more likely to nick a late winner, but despite Leeds’ impressive return, they were dealt a harsh lesson in Premier League reality in the final minutes.

Substitute Rodrigo collided with Fabinho to concede a penalty, and Salah kept his calm to bury his third goal of the night and all three points for the Reds.

FULL TIME AT ANFIELD IT’S LIVERPOOL 4 LEEDS UNITED 3

Liverpool edge out Leeds United in 4-3 Premier League thriller

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were fearless at Anfield, as goals from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich announced their arrival back in the big time.

Liverpool showed plenty of drive in attack, but an uncharacteristically wobbly back line will be a real concern for Jurgen Klopp.

Mo Salah got the ball rolling after just three minutes, as the Egyptian international powered home from the penalty spot.

Leeds refused to be overpowered by their hosts however, as Harrison cut in off the left wing to smash a deserved equaliser past Alisson.

Virgil Van Dijk headed Liverpool back in front shortly after, but his poor back pass allowed Bamford to bring Leeds back on level terms.

And with neither side able to keep the back door closed, Salah popped up again to rocket Liverpool into their third first half lead.

Despite falling behind for a third time, Bielsa’s side refused to change their approach after the break, and their high pressing style got them back into it just after the hour.

Klich pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he slipped in Helder Costa, before driving on into the box and powering past Alisson.

The visitors looked the more likely to nick a late winner, but despite Leeds’ impressive return, they were dealt a harsh lesson in Premier League reality in the final minutes.

Substitute Rodrigo collided with Fabinho to concede a penalty, and Salah kept his calm to bury his third goal of the night and all three points for the Reds.

FULL TIME AT ANFIELD IT’S LIVERPOOL 4 LEEDS UNITED 3

Leeds United secure Rodrigo signing from Valencia

Spanish forward Rodrigo Moreno, who had a spell in England with Bolton Wanderers as a 19-year-old ten years ago, is set to join Marcelo Bielsa’s side for a fee believed to be in the region €30m.

The fee eclipses the one that the Whites paid West Ham United for Rio Ferdinand way back in 2000, breaking a 20-year transfer record.

Rodrigo has blossomed into one of Spain’s top strikers in recent years and is a regular Spanish international, but finds himself surplus to requirements at Valencia, who are having a large-scale clearout of some of their established stars.

This is good news for Leeds, who have moved quickly to get the forward, who has scored 35 goals in 141 league games for the Spanish side.

Valencia CF confirmed the news on their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/valenciacf/status/1298375058746990592?s=20

Marley Anderson