Leeds United 3 West Brom 1: Whites end season in style as duo are given emotional send off but Kalvin Phillips concern
LEEDS United concluded a superb season in style with Sunday's 3-1 victory against West Brom in front of 8,000 fans at Elland Road as Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez were given an emotional send off.
Supporters were finally back at United's famous home for the first time since March 2020 as the country continues the return to normality amidst the global pandemic of coronavirus.
Those fans present saw Rodrigo head home a 17th-minute Raphinha corner to put Leeds in front and a Kalvin Phillips free-kick then made it 2-0 shortly before the break.
Promotion heroes Berardi and Hernandez both started and the outgoing duo were given standing ovations as they left the pitch teary eyed when coming off in the 69th minute.
But Leeds powered on and added a third goal in the 79th minute when Patrick Bamford slammed home his 17th goal of the season from the penalty spot before the Baggies pulled one back through Hal Robson-Kanu.
The victory sealed a fourth consecutive Premier League win for the first time since 2002 and a ninth-placed finish on the club's top flight return after a 16-year wait.
But there was concern after the full-time whistle as Phillips injured himself in a typically committed challenge in added time and gingerly left the pitch holding his shoulder.
England boss Gareth Southgate will name his Three Lions squad for this summer's Euros on Tuesday.
Leeds had the ball in the net after just seven minutes but Jack Harrison's finish to a Hernandez cross was ruled out as Rodrigo was offside.
But the Whites went ahead in the 18th minute when a Raphinha corner flew through the Baggies box and was converted from close range by a flying Rodrigo header.
The Baggies looked to immediately respond in a game played at a frantic pace and Kiko Casilla tipped away a header from Callum Robinson who also fired just wide in the 34th minute.
But Leeds doubled their advantage three minutes before the break when Hernandez was fouled for a free-kick on the edge of the box which Phillips sent past Sam Johnstone who was unable to deal with an awkward bounce of the ball.
Hernandez went close to netting a dream farewell goal five minutes into the second half but his attempt was saved by Johnstone.
At the other end, Matt Phillips was denied by the post and Casilla then tipped a fine Robinson effort wide.
Back came Leeds and Hernandez saw another rising effort saved and another attempt deflected just wide.
Grady Diangana then wasted a glorious Baggies opening when blasting over, after which Berardi and Hernandez were taken off to standing ovations.
Leeds continued to press for a third and Luke Ayling saw a rising effort tipped over the bar by Johnstone who also denied substitute Tyler Roberts just after.
The Whites were then awarded a 78th minute penalty as Harrison's crossfield pass from the left hit Okay Yokuslu's arm.
Up stepped Bamford to slam home his 17th goal of the season and the Whites no 9 then had a chance to net an 18th but fired wide when through on goal.
A rare mistake from Phillips then let in Hal Robson-Kanu who fired past Casilla but typically Leeds came roaring back and Raphinha was denied in the 91st minute by yet another save from Johnstone though there was concern in the closing stages as Phillips hobbled off injured.
Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, Berardi (Struijk 69), Cooper, Alioski, Phillips, Dallas, Harrison, Raphinha, Hernandez (Rodrigo 69), Rodrigo (Bamford 46). Subs not used: Meslier, Davis, Casey, Jenkins, Shackleton, Poveda.
West Brom: Johnstone, O'Shea (Robson-Kanu 60), Bartley, Ajayi, Furlong, Townsend, Yokuslu, Gallagher, Maitland-Niles, Phillips, Robinson (Diangana 60). Subs not used: Button, Peltier, Taylor, Iroegbunam, Gardner-Hickman, Grant, Diagne.
Referee: David Coote.
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Thank you Laura Collins