Premier League • England

Raphinha, Harrison the heroes as Leeds stay up with victory over nine-man Brentford

Raphinha Leeds United 2022 TEAMtalk1

Leeds avoided relegation as a 2-1 victory over Brentford coupled with Burnley’s loss to Newcastle saw them stay in the Premier League.

Raphinha gave the Whites the lead early in the second period from the spot but Sergi Canos levelled affairs. Burnley’s loss to the Magpies meant Leeds were safe but Jack Harrison made sure with an injury-time winner.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank made one change, with Vitaly Janelt coming in for the injured Christian Norgaard. Leeds manager Jesse Marsch opted for just the one change as well, with Mateusz Klich replaced by Sam Greenwood, who made his first Premier League appearance.

Leeds knew that they had to better Burnley’s result to avoid relegation but it was the Bees who enjoyed the first chance.

However, Christian Eriksen’s corner was flicked just over the bar before Greenwood’s long-range effort for the Whites flew high. And the Dane almost produced another assist on 13 minutes as his superb cross begged to be slotted home.

However, Yoane Wissa turned the ball wide of the far post.

Leeds appeared to have made the Bees pay as Joe Gelhardt rifled the ball home from a tight angle to give the visitors a priceless goal. However VAR chalked it off for a marginal offside decision.

Junior Firpo then tried his luck from distance but again, the radar was all wrong. Leeds continued to make chances but seemed to lose their nerve where it mattered most.

And Raphinha was the next Leeds man to see a speculative effort fly wide of the target.

The visitors were applying all the pressure but Illan Meslier was called into action on 36 minutes. Rico Henry’s cross found Mathias Jensen, but the French keeper managed to tip his effort over the bar.

And Wissa then seized on some Leeds dithering at the back before driving a shot straight at Meslier. The Whites continued to live dangerously as Bryan Mbeumo shot just wide of the post on 43 minutes.

But at half-time, the 0-0 scoreline was enough to keep them in the Premier League, with Newcastle beating Burnley at Turf Moor.

Raphinha keeps his cool

Leeds knew that an early second-half goal would be crucial in their bid for survival but it was Brentford who enjoyed the first chance. Mbeumo arrived in the box at the perfect time but could only curl his effort into Meslier’s hands.

Christian Eriksen Sam Greenwood Brentford Leeds 2022 TEAMtalk1

But the game changed on 55 minutes as Leeds were awarded a penalty when Raphinha was brought down by David Raya. The Brazilian got up to slot the ball home from 12 yards and send the travelling fans delirious.

Frank responded immediately, with Josh Dasilva replacing Jensen for the final 30 minutes of the campaign.

But, having used all their subs, Brentford had to play the final 13 minutes of the game with 10 men as Kristoffer Ajer was forced off through injury.

However, the hosts managed to pull level on 78 minutes. Dasilva’s superb cross was met by Canos, who headed home to silence the Leeds fans.

But Canos then got himself sent off after the goal, meaning the Bees were down to nine men and the advantage back with Leeds.

Marsch’s men looked for a winner and it duly came four minutes into stoppage time through Harrison. Dasilva’s clearance fell to the 25-year-old who fired home from 20 yards for the goal that confirmed Leeds place in the Premier League.

It was a rousing end to what has been a troubled campaign for the Yorkshire side but there will be top-flight football at Elland Road next season.