Patrick Bamford’s passport might not be gathering mud in the back of a drawer for an excessive amount of longer. In scoring his thirteenth Premier League aim of the season, the Leeds striker made it that little bit tougher for Gareth Southgate to proceed overlooking his more and more compelling candidature for England’s European Championship squad.
Two extra targets, from Stuart Dallas and the superb Raphinha, lifted Leeds to tenth, emphasising exactly why the Leeds board are so eager to extend Marcelo Bielsa’s one-year managerial contract past the summer time.
The Argentinian appears minded to remain however Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhüttl is beginning to look on barely shaky floor as his aspect’s new 12 months stoop continues. Southampton stay 14th however are eight factors away from the relegation zone.
Bielsa switched from his default 4-1-4-1 formation to the 3-3-1-3 configuration he favours when going through groups fielding two strikers. But methods are solely as good as their personnel and, no matter form their supervisor selects, Leeds are invariablya barely lesser group when Kalvin Phillips is unavailable.
Their midfield anchor was absent, injured, and Southampton sensed alternative. Jannik Vestergaard shortly headed narrowly huge from James Ward-Prowse’s free kick after shedding Pascal Struijk, whereas the spectacular Nathan Tella sashayed past a static Liam Cooper earlier than providing Leeds a reprieve by capturing benignly at Illan Meslier.
It was arduous to consider that they had collected solely 4 factors in 2021 however, initially at the very least, Southampton tailored higher to the slippery, sticky pitch that was chopping up shortly.
The underfoot circumstances gave the impression to be significantly affecting Diego Llorente as he made his Elland Street debut on the precise of the’s again three but when the Spaniard’s passing radar was just a little awry, Raphinha quickly discovered his vary to eye-catching impact.
Because the Brazilian mixed cleverly with Luke Ayling and used his appreciable ability to dodge Mohammed Salisu a aim beckoned for Tyler Roberts. When Roberts met Raphinha’s cushioned in the reduction of he actually ought to have scored however, as an alternative miscued, driving ver the bar from 12 yards.
Like Raphinha, Southampton’s Tella was elevating the tone and he thought he had gained a penalty after Andre Marriner adjudged the midfielder to have been introduced down by Llorente within the field. A VAR evaluate modified that call, with a have a look at the pitchside monitor revealing that Llorente was making an attempt to withdraw from the problem however Tella’s trailing leg invited what appeared minimal contact.
By half-time Leeds would have been forward however for an excellent sort out on Raphinha from Oriel Romeu. They’d damaged swiftly from a Southampton nook, with Stuart Dallas’s ball leaving Raphinha accelerating in the direction of Alex McCarthy’s aim. Simply as the Brazilian formed to shoot Romeu intercepted to goal-preventing impact.
An absorbing opening 45 minutes concluded with a barely unusual cameo involving Che Adams capturing low into the underside nook after Ward-Proswe caught the house defence chilly with the swiftest of free kicks. To Southampton’s appreciable chagrin, Marriner disallowed it, ruling that Ward-Prowse had not waited for him to blow his whistle.
There was no such controversy about Bamford’s Forty eighth-minute aim. Leeds’s main scorer had hitherto been restricted to half-chances however after connecting with Roberts’s intellligent by way of go his well-timed run left Jan Bednarek and Vestergaard bisected. All that remained was for Bamford to shift the ball on to his left foot and evade McCarthy’s attain courtesy of a superbly weighted, cleverly positioned low shot the diving keeper couldn’t fairly stop travelling into the underside nook.
Roberts subsequently shot huge after being expertly cued up by Raphinha however Leeds had Meslier to thank for preserving their lead when the Frenchman carried out wonders to divert Stuart Armstrong’s dipping shot.
Hasenhüttl launched Danny Ings and Takumi Minamino however a Leeds counterattack concluded with Raphinha’s decoy run enabling Helder Costa to sq. for Stuart Dallas to shoot the house aspect’s second aim from the sting of the world.
Raphinha inflicted additional ache on the guests, eluding McCarthy with a characteristically high-calibre left-footed free kick.