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Leeds 4-0 Norwich (4-0 aggregate): first-half onslaught propels Daniel Farke’s team into championship play-off final and sinks the sorry Canaries

Leeds are on their way to Wembley, they sang in the streets outside Elland Road last night and how emphatically that pre-match promise was kept.

Nights in this noisy old place can often be busy and filled with anxiety, but as this turned out to be different. A white blizzard buried Norwich under an avalanche of goals and now Leeds will return to the national stadium for the first time since 2008.

You couldn’t help but think that they really should have automatically returned to the top flight rather than subject themselves to the risk of the play-offs. But that’s the way things should be and that’s how they took on the challenge.

The biggest compliment that could be paid to Leeds was that they looked like a Premier League team as they tore Norwich apart. West Brom or Southampton await on May 26 and neither will feel comfortable trying to overpower Daniel Farke’s men.

“Almost the perfect night,” Farke said. “We scored four and we could have had a lot more. You can’t plan for success, but we have a great chance to create another chapter in the history of this incredible club.

Georginio Rutter managed to equalize safely when he converted to make it 3-0 before the break.

Georginio Rutter managed to equalize safely when he converted to make it 3-0 before the break.

Elland Road were in good spirits as their side secured their first home play-off victory since 1987.

Norwich missed a golden opportunity and were made to pay by Daniel Farke’s ruthless side

“If you had told me that in September, I wouldn’t have been sure we could do it. Now let’s go.

The last time Leeds were on the verge of promotion, in those dark pandemic days four years ago, they relied on 12 people in the directors’ box to create atmosphere. There would be no such problem this time, with every seat occupied, every voice raised, and every arm twirling a scarf.

What an occasion the home fans made and how their team responded. You sometimes wonder at a stadium as emotional as Elland Road whether the occasion will be too much for the players, but that was not the case.


LEEDS (4-2-3-1): Meslier 7: Gray 7.5, Rodon 7, Ampadu 7, Firpo 7: Gruev 8, Kamara 8: Gnoto 8, Rutter 8, Summerville 8.5: Piroe 7

Goals: Gruev (7), PIroe (20), Rutter (41), Summerville (68)

Director: Daniel Farke7

NORVICH (4-3-3): Gunn 5: Stacey 5, Duffy 5, Gibson 5, Giannoulis 5: Sara 6, McLean 6, Nunez 5: Sargent 5, Barnes 5, Rowe 5

Director: David Wagner5

Presence: 36,384

Arbitrator: J Gillet 6

As Leeds shifted into high gear, Norwich melted away. The assault began in the seventh minute. There didn’t seem to be much danger when Leeds were awarded a free kick 30 yards out, but Ilia Gruev, their Bulgarian midfielder, saw things differently and took goalkeeper Angus Gunn by surprise.

As his shot slipped inside the post, the ball hitting the back of the net was like a detonator had been pressed. Boom! An explosion of noise, an ocean of jubilation.

Such was the mania, it felt like it was a golden goal. Would Leeds let this slip? No chance. Soon their lead was doubled. Willy Gnonto rushed down the right and looped towards the back post, leaving Gunn unsure whether to stay or twist. Joel Piroe arrived and headed inside.

Perhaps the situation would have changed if Norwich had provided an immediate response but, in the 22nd minute, Josh Sargent was unable to finish when Ashley Barnes sent him over. He tried to steal Illan Meslier but the goalkeeper stood tall and saved.

How crucial that turned out to be. Norwich boss David Wagner tried to lift his players up, imploring them to hold on, but the barrage burst before half-time and effectively left them overwhelmed. Leeds broke down on the left, Piroe played a ball to Crysencio Summerville and he assisted it to Georginio Rutter. His finish was emphatic, crashing under the bar.

All Leeds had to do from there was manage the situation, maintain their discipline, and the first part of the mission – reaching Wembley – was complete.

Gruev got Leeds off to the perfect start with a free-kick that caught Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

Daniel Farke qualified for the play-off final at the expense of his former team and is on course to lead Leeds to an immediate return to the Premier League.

Summerville scored its 21st goal of the season, scoring from close range to make it 4-0.

The outstanding Summerville put the gloss on things, heading home from 10 yards after good work from Junior Firpo.

“Everything that should not be done, we did,” lamented Wagner. “We were second everywhere.”

Back, Leeds return to Wembley. The last time they won there, Eric Cantona scored a hat-trick in the 1992 Charity Shield against Liverpool.

“Let’s see if we can become legends,” Farke added.

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