In the opening match of Leeds United’s thrilling inaugural season under Marcelo Bielsa in March 2019, the team put on one of its most breathtaking performances.
The Whites’ prospects of receiving an automatic promotion seemed to be in jeopardy at the time. Leeds was outside the top two and had lost five of their previous ten league games.
Furthermore, Leeds had just lost badly to Queens Park Rangers 1-0, a match that would go down in history due to a picture of Marcelo Bielsa appearing nearly defeated in the Loftus Road tunnel before the match against the Baggies.
Daniel Farke’s first victory as Leeds manager was against West Brom.
But as the West Brom game began, Leeds’ push for promotion picked back up after 16 seconds. It was, of course, Pablo Hernandez who, in the first few seconds, found the upper corner to set Elland Road ablaze.
After two goals from Patrick Bamford before halftime and a goal from Gjanni Alioski in stoppage time, Leeds defeated their opponents for promotion by a score of 4-0. The outcome caused the side to reclaim the top spot in the table.
Daniel Farke seems to have experienced his West Brom moment nearly five years later.
It was amazing that Leeds’ match against Ipswich right before Christmas seemed to be a make-or-break situation for the Whites’ aspirations of placing in the top two. Leeds would have fallen 13 points behind the Tractor Boys if they had lost at Elland Road.
Leeds have played two games before to this one, losing one and drawing the other. Farke therefore had a point to make.
Leeds, though, couldn’t have been any better. What about the score? Well, a 4-0 victory was aided by goals from Joel Piroe, Crysencio Summerville, and Pascal Struijk. Returning to his home ground, former Leeds defender Leif Davis added an own goal to his total.
After Whites win, there might be a wide-open promotion race.
There’s a tonne of work left to be done. But hopeful Leeds supporters will be hoping that by Tuesday, they will only be four points behind Kieran McKenna’s team, as Ipswich takes on Leicester City on Boxing Day.
Naturally, Farke will need to perform exceptionally well if Leeds supporters are to ever hold him in the same respect as Bielsa. And the current Leeds manager has access to amazing quality, especially in attack.
However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that in their first years in command at Leeds, the two managers have both now presided over 4-0 victories against opponents vying for promotion at pivotal points.
Farke will be looking to do in the promotion race what Bielsa was unable to fully accomplish in his first season: cross the finish line.