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Leeds United: Continuando el Legado

Started on 22 November 2021 by Jack
Latest Reply on 26 January 2022 by J_ames
if Almada can get comfortable in his new home, you'll no longer worry about relegation I reckon

December 2021 - January 2022

Throughout the busy Christmas period, we finally found our stride with the opening five matches of December against relegation rivals as of the time. It was a great moment for us as we felt confident going into every game.

We began our month of December with a 2-1 victory over Norwich City, who had begun to pick up points at last as the month went on. Patrick Bamford’s opener on the stroke of half-time was cancelled out just before the hour mark by Norwich’s Tzolis. However, Mateusz Klich was on hand in the 74th minute to bag the winner for us.

We continued our small winning run with an emphatic 4-1 win at home against Crystal Palace. Jack Harrison cancelled out Jordan Ayew’s initial opener before Rhys Healey was able to score his first of the season, following up with another just before the 90th minute. To cap off an impressive performance, Dan James was on hand to put the nail in the coffin in the 92nd minute.

The outstanding performances kept flowing from us on the Saturday after Palace, with a 4-0 win over Brentford with goals from Mateusz Klich, Júnior Firpo, Raphinha and 78th minute substitute Rhys Healey as the striker got his 3rd goal from 5 appearances, making him the Premier League’s leader on goals per minute.

Relegation strugglers Burnley were next up to take a beating from my Leeds team who were now dominant in fixtures. Rhys Healey was on hand to bag another two goals to add to his record, with Liam Cooper scoring from a Robin Koch flick-on from a corner.

The long trip down south to Brighton’s AMEX Stadium was made all worth it with an early Pascal Struijk header from a Raphinha free-kick the only goal of the game for us.

On our Boxing Day fixture, we were back to playing good quality teams, with Liverpool the first of a few consecutively tough games. Joel Matip, Firmino and Jota were all on hand to end our six-game winning run from November until December, our first loss since the 2-0 at the hands of Aston Villa.

Our final match of 2021 was against our rivals from over the Pennines, Manchester United who had beaten us 3-0 in the first game of the season. This time, it was Paul Pogba who put us to the sword in a 1-0 loss, despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s 38th minute sending off following his earlier assist for the only goal of the game.

Rhys Healey started his 2022 year off well with an early opening finish against Tottenham in London. It would later be cancelled out with a Heung-Min Son equaliser in the final 7 minutes of the match.

The start of our FA Cup campaign began in January with an exciting eight-goal thriller as we defeated Luton Town 5-3 at Elland Road in front of 17,000. Healey, Phillips, Bamford, Rodrigo and Pascal Struijk all managed to get their names on the scoresheet in the rout, sending us through to a 4th Round tie against Liverpool.

In our return to league football at Elland Road, Southampton were the victors with a 2-1 win thanks to a late Nathan Tella equaliser, followed up by an even later Theo Walcott winner in the 93rd minute after Rhys Healey had put us in the lead earlier.

January’s big spenders Newcastle United were our next away fixture and it only took 16 minutes for our former striker Patrick Bamford to find the net in only his second game for the Magpies. Rhys Healey managed to make his record 8 goals in 11 games for us, scoring the equaliser before Raúl Jiménez finished us off with a 46th minute goal straight from the break.

Our final match of January was a complete disaster as we faced West Ham United at their stadium. Declan Rice and Enes Ünal (x2) were the players to score as they strolled to a 3-0 win without much opposition from us.

The results from December put us in a much greater light than previously, rising four places from November to reach 11th place, four points away from reaching exactly mid-table.

Thankfully due to our wins against relegation-threatened teams, I think we can stop worrying about potential relegation and focus on consolidating for the remainder of the season with 14 games left. The final European spot is slightly out of range for us, with Southampton sitting 15 points ahead of us.

Manchester United retained their top spot, mainly thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s efforts of 23 goals from his 23 appearances in the Premier League. Liverpool only sit 3 points behind in 2nd, though. With a superior goal difference and a game in hand, things could change quite quickly at the top.

At the bottom, Norwich City have had a tremendous transformation as they were able to get three wins and two draws on the board at long last, now pushing them above Crystal Palace who now sit bottom on 9 points. They and Brighton are now only a maximum of 3 points from safety, with the relegation battle now firmly between 4 teams - Brighton, Burnley, Norwich and Crystal Palace.

Seb: Good vibes only sir ;) With Rhys Healey scoring his goals throughout this time, Newcastle came in at the right time for him otherwise he wouldn't have been sold, one of them ones!
Tango: I am very excited to see how we go on with Almada as well!
A very good run of results against the weaker sides in the league in December there. Much needed to with January seeing a struggle against those in the upper half. But a season in midtable is much better than relegation scraps and I agree all but safe now. Healey has been on fire can fully understand the Bamford sale now.
The signing of Aribo is a big "YES!" from me, and I expect him to be a starting player for Leeds FOREVER now :D The results have improved, as has the league position, though the final few results were a bit iffy! There's definitely plenty of reasons to be feeling positive about the goings on at Elland Road, and if the new signings can hit the ground running: we could be about to see something special.

Thiago Almada and Petagna can really boost your form if they settle well in England's weather. As for the results, it started surprisingly well but the tough games around New Year fucked the confidence even though they're way better. Overall, you are safe in your position and a better form might get you into European competition next year but it's a long shot.
Yeah, it seems like your players lost a little bit of control during Christmas

Arsenal win secures extra year for Pérez

Following Leeds’ stunning 4-1 display against Arsenal on Saturday, Mateo Pérez has accepted an offer for a one-year extension to his deal at Elland Road.

The Whites have been impressive since the Christmas period, winning 7 out of their 14 games since the beginning of December this season.

Pérez’s team ran riot against Champions League contenders Arsenal on Saturday as they struck four goals past Mikel Arteta’s side, resulting in their fourth Premier League victory in a row and lifting them into the top-half of the table.

The 34-year-old Spaniard faced calls for an early termination of his initial two-year deal at Leeds as they dropped as low as 16th in mid-November after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

However, riding his second wave of a winning streak of the season before the international break, Pérez has turned the club’s fortunes around in their first season without club legend Marcelo Bielsa at the helm since 2018.

Pérez, who had never managed any team before, was an Under 23s coach as part of the team that arrived in West Yorkshire along with Bielsa. He is now on course to better his idol’s best Premier League finish from last season if he is able to maintain the club’s winning feat in the last two months of the season.

Andrea Radrizzani followed up on calls from the fans - who have experienced a change of heart towards their manager - to extend Pérez’s deal for another year until June 2024.

With only two teams to face out of the current top 8 in the league to play, Pérez could realistically challenge for the final European spot that Leicester City currently hold on 53 points, 11 ahead of Leeds’ position after they overtook oil-rich Newcastle United at the weekend.

Seb: Those games in December lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, for sure!
James: A bad way to cap off what was initially a good month of December followed up by uplifting transfers like your man Aribo ;)
Oz: They are the two that I am most looking forward to to be honest! Morale has taken a hit with those final three games for sure, but things seem to be back on the up now
Tango: Too much turkey I think ;)
Massive win. And a well deserved extension. Perez has shown the ability to ride out the tough slog of a harsh set of results and turn it around. Good job
Have you ever thanked God for

1- making Arsenal?
2- not making you an Arsenal fan?
Leeds fans see-sawing on Mateo is typical modern football fans unfortunately. I, on the other hand, never doubted that he'd be able to turn things around. A slow start is to be expected for a new manager that isn't taking charge of a top-4 side. The table is looking pretty damn good atm, and I actually think that you could go on to nick a Europa Conference League spot if things fall your way. There'd be nothing more perfect than Leeds fans having to travel to some Estonian stadium on a cold night to watch their side win 6-0.

Great for Perez and the club. Things will be better soon, BELIEVE.
Great to see you getting an extra year man, and some good results mean that you should be a Premier League side again next year, where I'm sure you will push on for bigger and better things
While Leeds fans will probably have been dreaming of qualifying for Europe, a mid table position in the club’s second season back in the top flight is more than respectable. Recent history in the Premier League shows that ‘second season syndrome’ is more than just a myth, so to avoid the shortcomings associated with this phenomenon is impressive.

The contract extension is an incredible show of faith from the board and I can only imagine the ease with which Leeds are finding the back of the net in recent times is keeping fans off their seats. More progression to come, I’m sure, with Leeds only aiming upwards.

February - March 2022

In February, fears of another devastating drop in form continued with results against Liverpool and Chelsea made it five losses in a row for us. However, these were quickly quashed with some outstanding performances, conceding one goal and winning all four remaining games until the international break.

Following the goal glut in the Third Round against Luton, we returned to FA Cup action against Premier League title challengers Liverpool at Elland Road. We were left on the receiving end of a 2-0 home loss to the Reds, though, as Jordan Henderson bagged an early opener before Mohamed Salah placed a penalty to end any hopes of a comeback.

Our return to league action was equally underwhelming as 3rd placed Chelsea played us off the park at home to win 2-0 through Romelu Lukaku’s header just after half-time before Mason Mount buried us with a late goal.

Following five consecutive losses, it was an elating feeling for the Elland Road crowd as we finally changed gear against Leicester City. Despite it being a tight 1-0 win thanks to Mateusz Klich’s 24th minute effort from range, a win was the only thing that was needed to set us back on the right track.

In our first and only away match of the two months, it was our January signings that led the way for us at Vicarage Road in a dominant display, seeing Andrea Petagna - the £8M arrival from Napoli - bag a brace as well as a Thiago Almada goal and assist. Vitesse arrival Riechedly Bazoer was also responsible for Almada’s opener with a great through ball to the Argentinian as we left London with all three points.

Returning to Elland Road in March, Andrea Petagna scored his third in two games as he opened proceedings in the 9th minute against Everton. Jack Harrison scored an equally important second in the second half with Mateusz Klich supplying the assists for both goals.

In perhaps our best performance of the season we crushed Arsenal with the help from the roaring Elland Road crowd. We were leading 3-0 just at half-time thanks to goals from Klich, Phillips and Petagna yet again on the scoresheet for the third game in a row. Despite an Elneny consolation, we never looked in doubt of losing control, shown later as Harrison scored a late fourth to confirm the victory.

Our wonderful end of the two months have meant we have overtaken Newcastle United to take up 10th place as we head into the international break, earning myself a contract extension in the process of which I am delighted to receive.

With not much else to play for in the remaining 9 fixtures, we can only hope a devastating slip up by the teams above us and some more good form from us can see us snatch a European spot as we lay 11 points behind 7th placed Leicester.

At the top, Manchester United have pulled away from Liverpool in 1st place, leading by 7 points with Liverpool losing their most recent two matches against Southampton and Chelsea.

The top 4 seems to be set in stone with Chelsea and Manchester City following up Liverpool who sit on 66 points.

The Europa League and Europa Conference League spots are still there for the taking, though. Spurs, Aston Villa or even us or Newcastle could mount a late-season surge which seems incredibly unlikely for us, but who knows?

At the bottom, Norwich may have pulled off the Great Escape. They were on 0 points until Gameweek 15, but have somehow dug themselves out of the relegation zone altogether with an almighty effort to get 19 points as they now sit one point above 18th placed Burnley meanwhile Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion drift 5 points from safety.

Seb: It's taken a lot of work behind the scenes to find the best conditions for the players to perform and it finally seems to be coming to fruition now!
Tango: You have to feel for them, they can't seem to get much right :))
James: It's a notoriously success-demanding and fickle fanbase here, I'm sure Mateo is aware and has consequently suffered. But nothing should bring a greater feeling than proving large swathes of the fans wrong. Europe would be a dream this season, but keeping our heads and our results solid is the priority until the end of the season.
Oz: After so many years of anguish in the lower tiers, you get the feeling the Leeds fans might actually begin to believe!
Griffin: The new deal provides stability for everybody, moreso that it was a well-earned extension rather than a panicked decision. Pérez can begin to think beyond this season and the next now which can only be positive.
Justice: The struggle at the beginning of the season was really wearing me down with consecutive losses so I'm absolutely delighted to be hanging around the top ten more than anything. We can look to build something really good now with the new contract too, very exciting times ahead!
The signings seem to have brought significant change to the level of football played. It may be late for European football this season, but next season for sure

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