This was an opportunity for Bielsa to give other players some game time but not the case. Philips and Raphinha starting but Koch and Rodrigo missing out – these two are first team choices when they were brought to Leeds and I would like to see them both start next season. When Leeds were in the Championship and Burnley in the premier league we lost three players to Burnley who played today – Wood, Taylor and Peacock-Farrell.
Bright start by Burnley recycling the ball well to create chances in the Leeds penalty box which were soaked up after a couple of corners. They didn’t let leeds settle dominating possession and closing Leeds down. After ten minutes Leeds had their first target on goal with Raphinha and Bamford finally seeing the ball.
Harrison and Dallas both started well linking up to creating opportunities on the left. Dallas is our wild card this season as a utility player who pops up around the box collecting the ball for a shot on goal. Dallas has now also picked up corner taking duties. Phillips struggled early on having to defend rather than dictate the play.
Leeds could have been ahead on half an hour, firstly with Raphinha running into the box and needing Burnley to tackle him and then Struijk heading just wide.
And then there was the worst shot of the season from Alioski who in the box unmarked had a clear shot on goal in front of him and sent it wide – unlike him to make a mess of it. Then another missed opportunity with a pass from Harrison into the corridor of uncertainty that eluded Bamford but set up Raphinha for the prize of the most spectacular miss of the season with a scrappy attempt at a bicycle kick.
Altogether Leeds took control of the game. Llorrente had been a rock in the first half sticking his foot out at every opportunity. He started the move for the first goal with a sliding tackle that sets up a counter attack that got Klich on the ball in the centre of the pitch and plants a bender round the Burnley defence that curves into the very corner of the net past Peacock-Farrell. It was a great feeling to see Klich rediscover some of his original form with his first goal in open play this season.
Burnley start the second half well with a mistake in the Leeds defence allowing a one on one with Meslier just manages to save and keep Leeds in the game. Bamford is withdrawn early in the second half probably because he was being elbowed out of the game. Rodrigo makes an instant impression by almost scoring after a dangerous link up play stretching Burnley. And from the corner Alioski makes yet another blunder with yet another shot off target but Harrison flicks it into the goal. Did he even know?
An interesting development at 70 minutes with Alioski down and McNeil complaining and then Alioski hilariously pulling faces at the Burnley bench or players. And then the referee calls over Ayling assuming he was to translate to Alioski. Roberts is brought on at 75 minutes to replace Klich. But is Rodrigo who steals the show with two players crowding him in the box places a class chip over Peacock-Farrell. But a special mention to Harrison who has earned his first place
And then in two minutes Harrison links up again with Rodrigo for the fourth goal. A sublime pass from Harrison sets up Rodrigo who has to shake off one defender, pick up the ball and then go side ways with the ball away from Peacock- Farrell and create a small gap to slide the ball sideways into the net. Poveda is brought on for the last ten minutes as Raphinha has had a troubled game being constantly closed down and fouled.
Burnley did not give up on 82 minutes with a flurry of shots that Meslier again closes down. Over the match they have had as many chances as Leeds. In the final minutes Rodrigo received a pinpoint cross from Alisoki sets up Rodrigo almost scoring his hat trick. Rodrigo has arrived in the premier league. In extra time Roberts has a shot straight at the goalkeeper when a cross to Rodrigo unmarked Rodrigo would have been wiser.
So far only Brighton have beaten Leeds in the last nine matches. And despite a strong start by Burnley, Leeds took control of the game playing with speed, passing and chasing off the ball. With Rodrigo brought on leeds had the last laugh.
Man of the match: Harrison