Report: Leeds United 4-0 Norwich City

Report: Leeds United 4-0 Norwich City

The Whites book their spot at Wembley.

Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg

Leeds United 4 (Gruev 7’, Piroe 20’, Rutter 40’, Summerville 68’)

Norwich City 0

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Firpo, Ampadu (C), Piroe (Joseph 74’), Kamara, Summerville (Anthony 74’), Rodon, Gray, Georginio (Roberts 74’), Gnonto (James 69’), Gruev (Cooper 83’). Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Cresswell, Cooper, Shackleton, Gelhardt.

Norwich: Gunn (GK), Stacey, Gibson (McCallum 63’), Sargent (Sainz 46’), Barnes (van Hooijdonk 81’), Sara, McLean (C), Duffy, Nunez, Rowe (Sorensen 81’), Giannoulis (Fassnacht 63’). Subs not used: Long (GK), Hanley, Batth, Fisher.

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Booked: Gruev, Georginio (Leeds) Rowe, McLean (Norwich)

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 36,384

Leeds United booked their spot in next weekend’s Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final after an emphatic 4-0 demolition of Norwich City at Elland Road.

Backed by over 36,000 on the night, goals from Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter saw the Whites race into a three-goal lead before the break, with winger Crysencio Summerville adding gloss to the scoreline after the interval.

It was Summerville who had the first sight of goal for the hosts, picking the ball up on the left flank before darting in-field to find Georginio. A deft back-heel from the Frenchman returned the favour for his teammate in behind but, from a narrow angle, the winger was unable to work Angus Gunn in the Norwich goal.

The Canaries goalkeeper had to be alert moments later, racing out to smother the ball after United skipper Ethan Ampadu looked to find the run of Piroe inside the area from deep.

The pressure was beginning to mount however and shortly afterwards, Joe Rodon, marauding out from the backline with the ball won a free kick in what looked a great crossing position on the right.

Bulgaria star Gruev mustn’t have got the memo however, charging onto the ball and whipping an inch-perfect free kick inside the near post beyond the despairing dive of Gunn to put Leeds into the lead early on, to the delight of the Elland Road faithful!

Keen to add a quick-fire second, the relentless start from Daniel Farke’s side continued when Archie Gray, deployed as a full-back this time round, clipped an incisive pass to Wilfried Gnonto down the line.

The Italian international charged forward, ignoring the tireless run of Georginio and whipped a superb delivery to Piroe at the back post, with the striker expertly heading back across Gunn to double his side’s lead! Elland Road was rocking.

Moments after the restart, the Canaries almost responded immediately, with Leeds keeper Illan Meslier on hand to make a sublime one-on-one save to deny Josh Sargent’s chipped effort, as the American striker latched on to a long ball from deep to race through on goal.

Two very nearly became three just after the half-hour mark, when Rodon rose highest to meet a dangerous Summerville corner from the left, glancing a header agonisingly wide of Gunn’s far post, with the Norwich stopper left rooted to the spot.

Gnonto was next to go close, after being picked out following a superb sequence of passing that eventually saw Piroe find the forward. On the edge of the area, the 20-year-old struck a fizzing low drive that stung the palms of Gunn.

Five minutes before the break, with Farke’s side under pressure inside their own half, a fine piece of skill saw Piroe wriggle free and, benefitting from a Canaries highline, the striker raced away down the left flank.

Charging to the edge of the area, Piroe slid an enticing delivery across the face of goal, which after help from Norwich’s Shane Duffy, fell to the feet of Georginio at the back post who fired home off the underside of the crossbar, sending Elland Road into bedlam.

Seconds before referee Jarred Gillett brought an enthralling opening half to a close, Georginio almost added a fourth following a goal line scramble, but amongst a sea of yellow shirts, the forward was unable to get a shot away.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 3-0 Norwich City

Within seconds of the restart, more sublime football from the hosts created an opening for Piroe, with Georginio and Summerville combining excellently to find the Dutchman. Inside the area, the 24-year-old struck first time, forcing Gunn into a smart save.

A flurry of chances would follow, with Summerville first heading Gray’s in-swinging delivery narrowly over, before the Scotland international was again required for the visitors, saving excellently with his feet to deny the winger from the left.

With the Whites knocking on the door as they searched for a fourth, Gunn was again called into action as United came forward once more, smothering the ball as Piroe shaped to shoot.

Half-time substitute Borja Sainz had the Canaries’ first sight of goal in the second period just after the hour mark, driving a low strike towards goal from distance, only to see his tame, speculative effort hacked clear by Ampadu.

If Sainz’s shot was to give the visitors any hope of an inspired comeback, those thoughts were quickly extinguished when Summerville finally made it four down the other end.

A scintillating move saw Gnonto have a fierce attempt saved by Gunn, but the Norwich keeper could only parry it into the path of the onrushing Junior Firpo, whose cut-back left Summerville with the simplest of tasks to tap home!

Further chances came and went for the hosts as Farke sprung the changes against his former employers, with Elland Road in fine voice as the Whites booked their date with destiny under the Wembley arch next weekend.

Leeds United will meet the winner of Southampton versus West Bromwich Albion in the capital for a chance to earn promotion back to the Premier League.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 4-0 Norwich City