Epilogue — Leeds United vs. Brighton and Hove Albion — English Premier League — 15/05/22
After the first half, I’d have said we deserved to go down.
Dan James, Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas — all players who cover the ground quickly, for a long time, or both.
All absent against Brighton through injury or suspension.
This resulted in a Leeds side looking as if they were playing with ten men, something you’d have thought they might be used to after being reduced in their past two games.
These spaces were left and exploited, and one was punished when Danny Welbeck easily outpaced Diego Llorente and sat him down before lifting the ball over Illan Meslier to score.
The end of the half gave Elland Road something to cheer, but it didn’t stop the away end giving a rendition of ‘this is a library.’
The second half was a different story. Almost a different book.
If the first half was Wuthering Heights, the second was the Yellow Pages.
Sure, it was a half in which Leeds lengthened their record-breaking card gain in a season (one-hundred yellows and three reds), but it was also a half in which they found their feet in a relatively new-look side.
But just because you find your feet doesn’t mean the dancing comes naturally.
Marc Cucurella, specifically, thwarted several surges forth, frustrating Raphinha at one end while Yves Bissouma took the brunt of Liam Cooper’s frustration at the other. Sanchez in the Brighton net also pulled off a few wonder saves to keep Leeds at bay.
But that’s when this club thrives. You dare say that it’s not their day when they’re only a goal down? You dare utter the phrase ‘it’s just not going in for them’? Be it on your head to write off a Leeds United team that’s fighting for something.
90+2 — The latest corner in a series of gets cleared to Llorente ten yards outside the box. Ignoring calls of ‘shoooot’ from the gathered Yorkshire folk, he picks a beautifully floated pass to Joe Gelhardt on the right side of the box. Gelhardt proceeds to squeeze the ball past one defender, sit another down, and flick the ball over that same defender before dinking a ball to the back post where Pascal Struijk was lingering to head in the cross.
Final score: Leeds 1–1 Brighton.
Gelhardt was nineteen when he scored the massive winner against Norwich a few weeks back, and now he’s twenty, he’s provided the best assist I’ve ever seen.
As for Struijk — one goal before this — a consolation in a defeat to Arsenal last season. Pick your moments, man.
It’s going down to the final day for Leeds and Burnley.
If we are gonna do it, if we are gonna stay up, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Keep it streets ahead,