Whites claim another excellent three points!
Leeds United 2 (Bamford 73’, Roberts 90’)
Saints: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Stephens, Ward-Prowse, Adams (Ings 45’), Djenepo, Armstrong, Salisu, Tella (Redmond 70’), Walcott (Diallo 78’).
Subs not used: Forster, Obafemi, Minamino, Bednarek, N’Lundulu, Ferry.
Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, Bamford, Alioski, Llorente (Berardi 45’), Dallas, Raphinha, Rodrigo (Roberts 79’), Harrison, Phillips (Struijk 45’).
Subs not used: Meslier, Poveda, Hernandez, Davis, Shackleton, Jenkins.
The Whites made it 10 away wins for the campaign and in doing so, secured a top 10 finish in the Premier League! Goals from Patrick Bamford and a first for Tyler Roberts in the division settled a well-contested encounter.
Marcelo Bielsa made three changes to his side ahead of Tuesday night’s clash at St Mary’s Stadium. Kiko Casilla, Liam Cooper and Rodrigo all started in place of Illan Meslier, Tyler Roberts and Pascal Struijk.
The return of fans saw the hosts have vocal backing throughout, as supporters flocked back to see the action on the south coast and they didn’t have to wait long for the first chance, as Che Adams forced Casilla into an excellent save inside the opening few minutes.
The ever-lively James Ward-Prowse had an effort moments after which was over, and he was joined by Stuart Armstrong who did the same.
Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling registered the first efforts for Leeds, but neither could trouble the ‘keeper as both were also off target, and shortly after Casilla would have to be alert to deny Adams again at the opposite end.
A well contested half saw no further major chances at either end, but the attacking intent was there from both sides in an atmospheric St Mary’s Stadium. The two teams went in level.
HALF TIME: Southampton 0-0 Leeds United
Bielsa made two changes at the interval. Gaetano Berardi was given his Premier League debut as he replaced Diego Llorente, whilst Kalvin Phillips went off for Pascal Struijk. The Saints made a change of their own, top-scorer Danny Ings replaced the lively Adams.
A quick start to the half saw Ward-Prowse given a shooting opportunity from a free-kick, which spelled danger for the Whites. The England midfielder whipped it over the wall and thankfully for Casilla, it went behind via the top of the crossbar.
Straight down the opposite end, Dallas, Bamford and Struijk all came close within seconds of each other. McCarthy saved twice from the powerful strikes on his goal, whilst a flurry of defensive bodies jumped in to block Struijk’s effort.
With bodies on the line needed at times, Ayling was the next to do so, once again it was Ward-Prowse coming close, whilst McCarthy was there again to deny Alioski this time.
However, with just over 15 minutes remaining, a moment of sheer quality opened the scoring. Rodrigo chipped a delightful ball over the top for Bamford, who calmly slotted through the ‘keepers legs to get his 16th of the season, his 10th away, and put Leeds ahead! A VAR check did follow, but the goal was correctly awarded.
VAR was needed 10 minutes later though and again it was correct. This time Bamford was flagged offside, as he pulled the ball back for Raphinha to slide it home but the Brazilian was denied by the flag.
With six minutes of added time shown and the home crowd urging their team forward, a quick counter attack saw Bielsa’s side double their lead and there would be no flag this time!
Raphinha chipped over the top and Bamford had a powerful low shot saved well, only for the onrushing Roberts to seize the opportunity to grab his first Premier League goal of the campaign by calmly slotting in!
A fully deserved three points were sealed and in doing so, Leeds United were confirmed as finishing inside of the top 10 this season. The three points have now moved the Whites into eighth.
FULL TIME: Southampton 0-2 Leeds United
Referee: Peter Bankes
Bookings: Phillips, Struijk, Dallas.
Stadium: St Mary’s