Leeds enjoy freedom of Hawthorns to hammer West Brom

Date published: Tuesday 29th December 2020 7:48 - Neil Foster

Four first-half goals sent Leeds on their way to an emphatic 5-0 victory over a hapless West Brom at the Hawthorns to leave Sam Allardyce looking for answers.

The visitors made a bright start and penned the Baggies in their own half for the first five minutes. Marcelo Bielsa’s side were rewarded on nine minutes when Romaine Sawyers inexplicably passed the ball into his own net.

Instead of clearing the ball from the edge of the box, he turned it back towards his keeper without looking. However, he was not on the same page as Sam Johnstone and the ball found its way into the net. Sam Allardyce’s face on the touchline said it all.

Leeds continued to press, with Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo both having shots blocked. However, it was not too long before they doubled their lead.

Ezgjan Alioski made it 2-0 on 31 minutes with a superb goal. Rodrigo’s pass found Bamford, who was dispossessed by Darnell Furlong. However, the ball feel invitingly for Alioski and he rifled a first-time shot in off the far post.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 as Leeds walked through the non-existent Albion defence. Jack Harrison drove at the opposition defence before a nicely worked one-two with Bamford.

There was still work to do inside the box but a neat pivot created space and he gave Johnstone no chance.

It was raining goals at the Hawthorns and five minutes before the break Rodrigo netted a fourth. A sweeping move saw the ball fall to the Spaniard on the edge of the box and he hammered home.

The ball took a deflection off Dara O’Shea but the 4-0 half-time scoreline was no more than Leeds deserved.

Allardyce decided to bring on Branislav Ivanovic for Matt Phillips at the break to try and put a lid on the goals. But the second half began as the first, with Leeds enjoying the freedom of the pitch.

Whatever team talk the boss had given seemed to have little effect as the Peacocks continued to dominate.

Illan Meslier then did his best to let West Brom back in with a poor pass to the edge of his box. Grady Diangana found himself one-on-one with the keeper but failed to convert.

Leeds took their feet off the pedal on the hour mark but Marcela Bielsa was having none of it. The Argentinian continued to roar his charges on from the touchline.

It seemed to do the trick as Raphinha made it 5-0 on 72 minutes. After excellent work by Stuart Dallas, the Brazilian curled a shot past Johstone and into the top corner.

Leeds were as good as Albion were bad and Allardyce knows he has a job on his hands to turn things around.


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