On This Day: Pablo Hernandez catches West Brom cold with fourth-fastest goal in Leeds United's history
PABLO Hernandez took just 16 seconds to fire Leeds United ahead against Championship promotion rivals West Brom on this day in 2019.
Back in the days when fans were able to fill the stands, 35,888 supporters packed into Elland Road for a Friday night fixture that pitted third against fourth.
Marcelo Bielsa's Whites were looking to bounce back from Tuesday night's 1-0 reverse at QPR and the Baggies were also seeking a response on the back of the previous weekend's 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield United that put the Blades second.
Yet Darren Moore's side were condemned to back-to-back defeats for only the second time so far that season after Hernandez put Leeds on their way with the fourth quickest goal in the club's history.
Jermaine Wright scored for Leeds after just ten seconds back in November 2004 and there were only 11 seconds on the clock when Mark Viduka netted against Charlton Athletic in March 2001.
Souleymane Doukara also bagged against Ipswich Town after just 12 seconds in January 2016.
Hernandez managed to net after just 16 seconds despite West Brom kicking off and pumping a flighted ball towards the Whites box which was met with a towering header from Liam Cooper.
The header set the tone for a dominant performance and sent the ball to Jack Harrison near the half-way line on the left flank.
Harrison then ran all the way to the edge of the box down the left hand side before squaring the ball to Hernandez who had his arms aloft waiting for the pass after running towards the edge of the D.
The pass found Hernandez perfectly and the Spaniard took two quick touches to set himself for a shot that was then arrowed into the top left corner to send Elland Road wild.
The Baggies never recovered and United doubled their lead in the 28th minute through Patrick Bamford who also netted in the second half to make it 3-0 before Gjanni Alioski completed the rout in second half stoppage time.
"We were caught cold with the early goal and that gave us a mountain to climb," said Baggies boss Darren Moore.
"It gave them more impetus and momentum in the game.
"We got more about it in the second half and I thought the next goal was always going to be the important one. It went to them and at 3-0 it's a really tough ask then."
The victory sent Leeds top, one point above second-placed Norwich City and three ahead of the third-placed Blades who both had a game in hand.
The Whites also won five of their next seven yet suffered a late collapse and finished third before losing to Derby County in the play-offs semi finals as Norwich and Sheffield United went up in the automatics.
West Brom also suffered heartache in the play-offs with defeat in their semi-final against Aston Villa who eventually went up at Derby's expense.
But Leeds then made amends in the ultimate style as they went up as champions in the following year to finally give United's fans a return to Premier League football that looked on its way within a few months after Hernandez helped blast away the Baggies.
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Thank you Laura Collins