Five of Elland Road's biggest moments as Leeds United prepare for huge Norwich City clash

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Leeds United supporters will pack out Elland Road one more time this season on Thursday in hope of another big performance.

Leeds United will walk onto the Elland Road pitch for the final time this season when they host Norwich City in the second-leg of their play-off semi-final on Thursday. Daniel Farke’s side fought hard to draw 0-0 at Carrow Road on Sunday and so go into the home leg with it all to play for.

It was only a couple of sloppy defeats that saw Leeds’ unbeaten home run cut short of a full season, with Elland Road returning to the fortress it once was. In a 17-game spell between the slow start and shaky finish, the Whites won 16 times and enjoyed some incredible moments in front of their own fans.

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As Thursday evening closes in, Farke and club captain Liam Cooper have called for a return of the atmosphere that so often pulled the players through and those flocking to Elland Road will hope for more moments like some of the best below.

Cardiff relief

Leeds’ 21-game unbeaten home run was seconds away from not even existing when they welcomed Cardiff City to Elland Road on the opening day, with the Welsh side scoring two first-half goals against the run of play to silence the home support. Liam Cooper rose high to head home shortly after half-time but missed chances looked to have condemned Farke to defeat in his first game.

That was until Crysencio Summerville squeezed a 95th-minute effort past Jak Alnwick to secure a point and kick-off that incredible home run. Looking back, that goal was an early sign of how important the Dutchman would be in his first season as a regular starter at Leeds - that day also saw a certain Archie Gray make his senior debut.

Preston penalty drama

The visit of Preston North End in January presented Leeds with an opportunity for swift revenge after losing at Deepdale on Boxing Day, but when Will Keane poked home a scrappy opener inside two minutes many feared another frustrating day. Dan James levelled almost instantly but chances came and went as the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes.

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But as a sliced clearance bounced awkwardly and hit Ryan Ledson’s outstretched arm, Leeds had a penalty and their chance to claim a crucial three points. Joel Piroe was the coolest man inside Elland Road to slot home a 94th-minute winner to the chorus of chaos in the stands.

Ipswich put to the sword

Leeds really began to cement themselves as definite play-off contenders going into winter but the 4-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town on December 23 was the first real sign of their automatic promotion credentials. Farke’s men welcomed the Tractor Boys to Elland Road off the back of defeat at Sunderland and a draw against Coventry City, with supporters hoping a quick return to form could see them kick on over the festive period.

And what a return to form. Ipswich played into the hands of Leeds who duly tore them apart in the first-half, with Leif Davis’ own-goal sandwiched between Pascal Struijk’s opener and Summerville’s penalty. Piroe capped off an incredible performance shortly after half-time and the Whites were in cruise control against a major automatic promotion rival, sending a huge message in the process.

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Leicester turnaround

A very different kind of performance to the Ipswich win and one in which Leeds were second best for large portions, but a result which had many thinking they were unstoppable. Leicester were excellent for 80 minutes and deserving of a bigger lead than the 1-0 one they had, with wasted chances coming back to haunt them.

Connor Roberts’ first contribution on loan from Burnley was an equaliser from almost nowhere, with Gray sending Elland Road into rapture three minutes later with a goal that should absolutely be his - it’s down as a Wout Faes own-goal, cruelly. Supporters were already going wild and that only intensified when Patrick Bamford deflected in Dan James’ free-kick to make it 3-1. The post-match rendition of ‘I Predict A Riot’ was something to behold that evening and clearly got to some of Enzo Maresca’s players.

Farke’s favourite win

Supporters might be inclined to question the inclusion of a 1-0 win over relegation candidates Stoke City but if it’s good enough for Farke, it’s good enough for the YEP. Welsh winger James was the match-winner on this occasion, his ever-improving composure in front of goal on show for all inside an expectant Elland Road.

“For me, it is the best win in 2024 because everyone expects us to win this home game,” a satisfied Farke said after the victory. “Everyone expects us at Elland Road to beat each and every opponent right now against a team not in the best position and think it should be an easy win. It feels like in the stadium ‘we are going there for a cup of tea and a cake’ perhaps instead of this explosion we had against Leicester where everyone was on it.”