Leeds United boss Daniel Farke turns his attention to Wembley after 'special night' at Elland Road

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After conjuring up a magnificent performance in their most important, high pressure game Daniel Farke now has the job of getting his players up for one more task at Wembley after Leeds United reached the Championship play-offs in style.

After a goalless draw at Carrow Road another tight contest was anticipated, but it was nothing of the sort as the Whites blew the visitors away with a 4-0 score that could have been double that.

It was a lesson in how to make a play-off look easy as United were rampant from early on with their mojo very much back on a dream night.

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Manager Farke could only praise his players for this display.

Crysencio Summerville celebrates his goal against Norwich with Leeds United teammates.Crysencio Summerville celebrates his goal against Norwich with Leeds United teammates.
Crysencio Summerville celebrates his goal against Norwich with Leeds United teammates.

He said: “Overall it was a deserved win.

"We should have scored more goals, if I'm really honest, but I'm happy with the clean sheet and it was important at Carrow Road to return to our normal defensive behaviour and we carried that into tonight.

"Norwich tried everything to try and change the running of the game. Many compliments to my young side.

“I was a bit concerned because the pressure was a bit on us after the first game. I don't know what the average age of our team was tonight but the lads delivered in a perfect way for such a young side.”

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A sea of scarves greets the players ahead of kick-off for Leeds United's Championship play-off semi-final at Elland Road.A sea of scarves greets the players ahead of kick-off for Leeds United's Championship play-off semi-final at Elland Road.
A sea of scarves greets the players ahead of kick-off for Leeds United's Championship play-off semi-final at Elland Road.

On the prospect of a Wembley trip now for his team, Farke explained: “The lads have had 10 days without a day off. They need to reduce the load and calm the nerves.

“In two days we start again to prepare for Wembley. When you are so close, at the first time of asking, we have to be ready.

“In September, I would have told you this is tricky. We are there now and want to return at the first time of asking.

“We have to bear in mind the opponent. Important role in our preparation. We have different principles against different set-ups.

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“It will be crucial to analyse the opponent in the best way and work on our game plan. We want to be dominant again and bring our strength into this game.

“It was important to win the confidence and momentum back and we wanted to deliver our performance, did not want to be over driven by our emotions.

“Another chapter of history is to be written. My eyes are on this game.”

Farke praised the part the loud fans played in the victory.

He added: "This place is second to none when it really gets rocking. It is unbelievable the atmosphere.

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“Once it comes down to the wire, this club is united like nobody else.

“We had to make sure we kept our cool and not be there with overriding emotions when it's rocking like this.

"First half, we started our attacks too early. This young side, with this crowd, they can be over emotional and want to play the perfect pass every time. Had to calm them down at half-time.

“Compliments to our supporters. A special night.”

In front of an expectant crowd whipped up into a frenzy at kick-off time Leeds ripped into Norwich from the kick-off with the first chance coming in the third minute as Crysencio Summerville fired over from an angle.

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The early goal that was needed arrived in the seventh minute when the Whites went ahead with a rare free-kick effort, catching the visitors out as they only had a one-man wall to defend Ilia Gruev's shot.

It flew into the bottom corner of the net and what a perfect time for Gruev to score his first goal for the club.

Another rarity saw the lead doubled when Joel Piroe was left free to head home a superb cross by Willy Gnonto – not the usual Leeds goal this season.

But just as important was an Illan Meslier save a minute later when Ethan Ampadu was unable to cut out a hopeful ball forward, allowing danger man Josh Sargent to run clean through.

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He tried to chip the ball over the home keeper, but Meslier made an outstanding one-on-one save.

That was to prove Norwich's only chance of the game as Leeds quickly got back on top.

Joe Rodon sent a glancing header from a corner and Gnonto was played in by Piroe only to send his shot too close to keeper Angus Gunn.

United did make it 3-0 in the 41st minute as Piroe left the City defence for dead down the left wing and his cross was moved on by Summerville to Rutter, who gleefully slammed a shot into the net via the crossbar.

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The margin could have been even greater before half-time as Gnonto raced clean through only to be denied by Gunn and Rutter had a shot cleared off the line after a brilliant passage of play had led to Junior Firpo's low cross being parried by the keeper straight to Georginio.

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If there were still any nerves in the home ranks as they came out for the second half it did not show as they tore Norwich apart even more and could and should have put the game to bed in an amazing spell.

In the opening minute of the half Piroe was set up by Summerville only to see his shot saved, then Summerville headed over from a great Archie Gray cross.

Summerville was in again moments later, but his shot was saved by Gunn's feet.

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The keeper was in the action again, saving from Piroe after the Dutch striker was cleverly played in by Summerville.

Somehow Norwich were still only three down, but the fourth goal did come to effectively book the Whites' trip to Wembley in the 68th minute. Summerville got the goal his display deserved with a calm finish after Gnonto's shot had been parried by Gunn and Firpo latched onto the rebound to provide a perfect pull back for his top scoring teammate.

It was all over bar the shouting and the inevitable substitutions as key players were rested for another big day to come in the play-off final.

(Gruev 7, Piroe 20, Rutter 41, Summerville 68)

Norwich City 0

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Championship play-off, semi-final, second leg

Attendance: 36,384

Leeds: Meslier; Gray, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev (Cooper 83), Kamara; Gnonto (James 69), Rutter (Roberts 74), Summerville (Anthony 74); Piroe (Joseph 74).

Norwich: Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson (McCallum 62), Giannoulis (Fassnacht 62); Sara, McLean, Nunez, Rowe (Sorensen 80); Barnes (van Hooijdonk 80), Sargent (Sainz 45).

Referee: Jarred Gillett.

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