Three things we learned from Burnley - Leeds
Burnley - Leeds was an emphatic win for the away side, as Marcelo Bielsa’s side continue to enjoy the final weeks of the season.
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Leeds took the lead through Mateusz Klich in the first half, then Jack Harrison doubled their lead in the second half and two fine goals late on from substitute Rodrigo rubbed salt into Burnley’s wounds.
With the win Leeds have 53 points, while Burnley remain on 39 points.
Three things we learned
1. Bielsa’s boys on fire: Leeds have lost just one of their last nine games and are finishing the season extremely well. Bielsa’s boys look determined to put down a marker for next season and after a slow start then a bit of a midseason wobble, Leeds are deservedly in the top 10 and they now look like scoring every time they go forward, and they are putting away a better chunk of the chances they are creating. Defensively they have improved too, and all signs point to this squad learning from their first season in the Premier League together.
2. Burnley miss Pope: Nick Pope is huge for Burnley and they missed their star goalkeeper massively on Saturday. The England international has been struggling with shoulder and knee injuries, so was given a rest with Burnley’s Premier League status secured for another season. Whenever Pope has been missing this season, Burnley just haven’t looked as solid. Bailey Peacock-Farrell is a young goalkeeper and has done okay, but the Clarets defense isn’t the same without Pope.
3. European push next season for Leeds: Their strong finish to the season points towards one thing: a European push for next season. If they win their final two games of the season at Southampton and at home against West Brom (very doable) they could sneak into the Europa League spots this season. But adding another center back, a new left back and a few decent back-up players has to be key for Bielsa this summer. If he stays (as expected) and adds those players to his squad, a sustained push for a top six finish beckons.
Man of the Match: Jack Harrison - Scored one, set up two and delivered so many great crosses. What a season the former New York City FC star is having, as parent club Manchester City will surely want him back next season. If not, he’ll be a star at Leeds.
Burnley started well but Leeds had a good chance as Patrick Bamford turned in the box and his low shot was saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Leeds improved after a slow start as they had plenty of set-piece situations but couldn’t make the most of it.
Raphinha was denied by a fine Charlie Taylor block, while Pascal Struijk headed inches wide moments later.
Right on half time, Mateusz Klich surged forward during a rapid Leeds counter attack and the Polish midfielder curled home superbly from outside the box.
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Burnley had chances at the start of the second half as Jack Cork almost flicked home, Chris Wood caused problems and Matej Vydra was brilliantly denied by Illan Meslier.
Leeds then hit Burnley on the counter, again, as Harrison’s cross was cleared for a corner, and from that corner Harrison made it 2-0.
Alioski’s shot from the edge of the box was going wide but Harrison reacted superbly to flick the ball home.
Leeds kicked on late in the game as Rodrigo finished brilliantly from Harrison’s ball to make it 3-0 and the Spanish striker then made it 4-0 with his second to cap off a sumptuous move which involved Phillips and Harrison.
Despite a late flurry of chances for Burnley, and Leeds, the visitors settled for four goals as they showed extra class and quality in attack throughout.