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Championship Goals Round-Up: Leeds Hold on

Ten years ago, Leicester City defied all odds by winning the Championship title against all odds, as bookmakers offered odds of 5000/1 on them making history.

Rodrigo misses Leeds a good opportunity to level the score, as his header from a corner goes wide of target. Patrick Bamford and Raphina also hit the woodwork.

1. Diego Llorente

Diego Llorente joined Leeds last summer ostensibly as Rodrigo’s back-up, yet has quickly emerged as their main goal threat. Llorente has shown signs of becoming even more effective this season and would likely draw interest from clubs both domestically and internationally if he were to depart Leeds.

Bielsa often utilizes two centre-backs in his 4-3-3 formation, and Juan Pablo Zabaleta plays as the central one in that formation. Zabaleta showed solid defensive application and was quick to step in when left-wingers such as Pepe or Willian made runs down that side of the pitch.

Leeds were slightly lethargic in possession but showed remarkable resilience despite Luke Ayling’s red card for his reckless tackle on Ezgjan Alioski before the hour mark. Illan Meslier appeared undisrupted by this challenge and made seven saves, remaining confident in his box despite it all. Leeds also restricted City’s forward movement effectively; their efforts paid off when Maddison played through Vardy, who opened his body to slip the ball past Meslier into the bottom right corner.

2. Illan Meslier

Illan Meslier’s first half errors should have signaled the end of Leeds United’s chances for a comeback, yet they kept fighting until the final whistle blew. Their young goalkeeper made seven saves to try and assert themselves on their hosts; and was supported by his teammates throughout.

The visitors were able to dominate possession and looked dangerous on the counter-attack, with Aubameyang making an unsuccessful claim for a penalty. But it was the woodwork which kept their opponents at bay; both Raphina’s shot and Bamford’s header hit uprights before becoming goalscorers.

Leeds signed 21-year-old Kemar Roofe on loan at the start of their Championship title-winning campaign and quickly established himself as a regular starter under Marcelo Bielsa. Roofe has made 126 appearances for Leeds so far and will look to retain his spot next season despite conceding eight goals in his last five matches – yet to be defeated at Elland Road this term!

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3. Ezgjan Alioski

Leeds produced an inspired second-half performance to earn them a vital point in their bid against Championship relegation zone. Even when down to 10 men for much of the final quarter, their strong defensive effort allowed them to deny Leicester their first away win since December.

Conor Gallagher’s sending off proved costly for the hosts. The defender tripped Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall before inexplicably fouling Harvey Barnes, earning himself his first yellow card of the season.

Leeds were buoyed by the return of captain Liam Cooper and striker Patrick Bamford to their starting lineup, but found themselves struggling against Leicester’s resilient defence. Marc Roca’s dink header and substitute Bukayo Saka’s drive were both blocked effectively by Leicester.

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4. Stuart Dallas

Manchester City’s dribblers were far from their usual selves on Thursday, failing to find an opening against Leeds’ well-organized defence. When Manchester City did make progress however, Illan Meslier proved up to the task, deflecting Fernandinho’s long drive over the bar before turning away Bernardo Silva’s close range attempt wide.

But Dallas turned the tables on his opponents with his second goal. Helder Costa set up Patrick Bamford for Dallas to strike low into Ederson’s corner for an easy goal.

Leeds proved their dedication as the clock ticked down, rewarding it with a stirring performance that both improved their chances of avoiding relegation and ended a seven-match winless run in the Championship. Pep Guardiola lost for only the second time ever against a team managed by Marcelo Bielsa; and this result puts Leeds in strong position to avoid relegation, with two games in hand over those currently bottom three and even potential overtaking of Burnley which still risks going down.