Leeds v Norwich: Championship playoff semi-final, second leg – live

Key events

85 min “Just got back from some nice dinner, only spoiled by wondering if we would be missing out on a day trip to Wemberleeeeee,” says Jeremy Boyce. “Apparently not. But should they stop scoring now and keep some in reserve for the BIG ONE v ?, or should they keep their scoring boots shined by punishing Norwich all the way? Answers on a postcard please…”

They’ve got nine days off after this, so they might as well empty the tank. (Although they have played in seocnd gear for most of the second half.)

83 min: Leeds substitution Ilia Gruev, whose early goal calmed any Leeds nerves, gives way to Liam Cooper. Ethan Ampadu runs over to give Cooper the armband.

81 min: Double substitution for Norwich Sydney van Hooijdonk and Jacob Sorensen replace Ashley Barnes, who is serenaded again as he leaves the field, and a crestfallen Jon Rowe. It’s been an awful night for Norwich, one that will haunt them until they can start again in August.

80 min “Watching Leeds at the business end of a promotion push without sweaty armpits and the lingering smell of fear in the room: this is a whole new experience!” says Justin Kavanagh.

It’s daft that they’ve never gone up via the playoffs in five attempts. You could write a book on their 1986-87 playoff campaign alone.

79 min The Leeds fans are serenading Ashley Barnes with a simple, repetitive five-word ditty. The first two words are his name, the third is ‘is’, and you can probably discern the rest.

77 min Sainz and Roberts have a peedie set-to on the halfway line. The referee, who has been very good, has a quick word and nothing more.


Updated at 

75 min: Triple substitution for Leeds Jaidon Anthony, Mateo Joseph and Connor Roberts replace Georginio Rutter, Joel Piroe and Crysencio Summerville. All three scored; all three played marvellously.


Updated at 

74 min James has a shot blocked by McLean after yet another turnover in the Norwich half.

70 min: Leeds substitution Dan James replaces a beaming Willy Gnonto, who had a fine night himself and played a big part in the second and fourth goals.


Updated at 

Crysencio Summerville, who has been quite marvellous all night, makes it 4-0 to Leeds. Yet again they won the ball high up the field and made Norwich pay. Gnonto’s sharp shot from the edge of the area was saved a little awkwardly by Gunn, diving to his right, but the ball ran loose to Junior Firpo near the byline. He looked up and screwed the ball back to give Summerville a tap-in. Lovely.


Updated at 

GOAL! Leeds 4-0 Norwich (agg: 4-0; Summerville 68)

If ever a man deserved a goal…

Crysencio Summerville notches a fourth for Leeds! Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters
Yes, you! Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 

67 min “I know he’s represented England at under 21 level, but maybe Steve Clarke should name Archie Gray in his squad for the Euros?” says Simon McMahon. “Being 18, and called Gray, doesn’t seem to have held him back at Leeds this season. Farke clearly trusts him, and both Hickey and Paterson are out injured. I’m sure Frank and Eddie could try to ‘persuade’ young Archie…”

Those quotation marks around ‘persuade’ get more ominous every time I look at them.

65 min Leeds win a free-kick in a very similar position to their first goal. This time Gruev spins it beyond the far post, Ampadu heads back across and Norwich clear.

63 min: Double substitution for Norwich Christian Fassnacht and Sam McCallum replace Dimitris Giannoulis and Ben Gibson. That means Kenny McLean will drop into defence.

61 min Rowe, who was booked in the first half, catches Kamara with a slightly weird challenge. He jumped across Kamara and brushed his face with maybe his arm or even his back. Jarred Gillett decides it isn’t worth a second yellow. I think Rowe’s a bit lucky there.


Updated at 

60 min Stacey gallops down the right and fires a good low cross that is kicked away breezily at the near post by Ampadu.

Norwich are having more of the ball than at any stage tonight, though it feels like an exercise in encouraged futility.

59 min A quiet spell, enlivened only by the referee needing a new can of free-kick foam.

56 min Rutter is booked for an overenthusiastic challenge on Sainz.

56 min Rutter slides Summerville through on goal, but he dithers for a split-second and Giannoulis makes an important challenge.

55 min Gruev is booked for a tactical foul in midfield.

54 min: Fine save by Gunn! Leeds are still pressing with ferocious intensity. They win the ball in the Norwich half yet again, and seconds later Summerville gives Piroe a chance with a cute reverse pass. He opens his body to sidefoot a shot that is well blocked by the outrushing Gunn.

Angus Gunn denies Joel Pireo a second goal. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

Updated at 

51 min Gray’s cross on the run is headed over from 12 yards by Summerville. He deserves a goal for an exhilarating performance, and he almost gets it moments later with a shot from a tight angle that is kicked away by Gunn.

49 min At the other end, McLean’s shot from 25 yards goes out for a throw-in. The Leeds fans enjoyed that.

46 min: Chance for Leeds! Joel Piroe should haev made it 4-0 after 35 seconds. Norwich couldn’t play through the Leeds press and were opened up yet again in transition. Rutter slid an angled pass into the area to Summerville, who touched it off to the unmarked Piroe 10 yards out. He could have passed the ball into either corner but instead leathered it straight at Gunn with his left foot.


Updated at 

46 min Norwich begin the second half having made a substitution: Borja Sainz is on for Josh Sargent.

“When I watch Championship football, I am always struck by the quality (such as it is) of the defending,” says Joe Pearson. “It strikes me that Championship defenders will often make a challenge, when just holding a disciplined position is the better option. Am I imagining this?”

Erm, I’m not sure. But as I’ve spent much of the season watching Manchester United, I can’t really criticise anybody’s defending.

Half time: Leeds 3-0 Norwich (agg: 3-0)

Leeds have run Norwich ragged at Elland Road and are almost certainly heading to Wembley. Ilia Gruev’s audacious early goal set the tone for a performance of thrilling intensity. Joel Piroe headed the second, Illan Meslier made a vital save moments later and then Georginio Rutter scored a euphoric third just before half-time.

It’s hard to say whether Norwich have played badly or not. They have been completely overwhelmed.


Updated at 

45+4 min “I get that it’s difficult to turn down a move to a ‘Big Club’ (even if it’s United!), but I do wish Dan James had stayed at Swansea a little longer,” writes Matt Dony. “When he first came through. He was so exciting, and seemed to improve with every game he played. Then, after a bright-ish start at United, just stagnated. Of course, it’s impossible to tell if that was down to him, or the coaching, or (most likely) a combination of the two. But I just can’t help wondering how he would have developed with another season at Swansea. He’s clearly never going to be the player he looked like he’d be, but he can still improve. It’s been a better season for him, but he’s still wildly erratic with his end product. I hope he gets another decent crack at the Premier League. And I hope he gets that chance at Leeds, alongside Ampadu, who is definitely a Premier League player.”

You’ve been watching that Sliding Doors again, haven’t you? (I totally agree btw – I’m fascinated by the parallel careers of young footballers. For example, if Uefa’s foreigner rule had gone a year earlier, Keith Gillespie would have stayed at Man Utd, which could have had a major impact on his career and those of David Beckham and Paul Scholes.)

45+2 min: Giannoulis clears off the line! Leeds are battering Norwich. Firpo’s low cross is pushed away by the diving Gunn, but only as far as Rutter. He shows eerie composure to walk round Gunn and is about to score when Rowe challenges him from behind. Rutter still gets his shot away but it’s not the cleanest and Giannoulis clears off the line.

45 min Four minutes of added time.

43 min Almost a fourth goal on the break. Summerville does marvellously to beat two players in the centre circle and push the ball through to Gnonto. He charges to the edge of the area, knows he’s about to be challenge and whacks a hopeful shot towards goal. It’s too close to Gunn and he beats it awya.

It’s been a devastating first-half performance from Leeds, one that will go down in Elland Road folklore. The third goal came from another slow-slow-quick move, this time down the left. Piroe danced over the halfway line into space, kept going and eventually screwed a cross towards Summerville at the near post. The ball took a couple of ricochets, then Summerville fell over – but he still had the presence of mind to poke the ball square to Rutter. He ran onto the ball, eight yards out, and rammed it gleefully into the net off the underside of the bar.


Updated at 

GOAL! Leeds 3-0 Norwich (agg: 3-0; Rutter 41)

Well you can forget that previous entry: Leeds are off to Wembley!

Rutter makes it three! Photograph: Simon Davies/ProSports/Shutterstock
There’ll be a few croaky throats in West Yorkshire tomorrow morning. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 

40 min Norwich need to get to half-time with their 2-0 deficit intact. We all know how quickly and dramatically the mood can change in playoff games, so they shouldn’t give this up. Stay in the game, make it 2-1 between the 60th and 70th minutes and then see what type of human nature kicks in.

37 min Jon Rowe is booked for diving on the edge of the Leeds area. A brave decision from the referee, backed up by the replay.

36 min Norwich can’t keep the ball at all. Even their one great chance, for Sargent, came out of nothing.

Source link