Leeds United 4 (White 13, Dallas 28, Roberts 51, Shackleton 66)
Charlton Athletic 0
Wow! What a way to end the season! Playing our strongest side, with no pressure on our players and playing against a poor and relegation threatened side, we saw the real Marcelo Bielsa inspired Leeds United finally let rip! Leeds were simply awesome tonight and it was almost as if the players had got together before the game to sort out and plan the final few things that needed addressing to make this the perfect season!
We finally saw Ben White break his duck and cap a memorable personal season for himself with a peach of a goal that we will remember for years to come, especially if we can find a way to ensure he’s still in a Leeds shirt next season.
We saw one of those very rare things, a Leeds United goal scored with a header direct from a corner kick! Pablo delivered, Tyler Roberts soared in front of the Kop, and the ball was thumped into the net.
And we saw a glimpse of the future as three of the young pretenders showed that we have some serious talent at the club that is only just beginning to shine through. The way Pascal Struijk launched the ball 60 yards into the path of Ian Poveda showed that we may well have a very special player there, and one that might just have found his true position; watch out Kalvin, Pascal is coming for your shirt! For Poveda to have the skill and awareness to then slide the ball in front of Jamie Shackleton and for Jamie to finish like an old stager was, well, sensational! We have not seen much of the youngsters on the Championship stage but several look ready to push on, perhaps now helped if the Premier League agrees to the use of five substitutes next season.
The other Leeds goal tonight was a reprise of the Pablo nutmeg we have seen so many times this season and was a well-deserved reward for Stuart Dallas who got on the end of it.
We should not forget, when discussing the youngsters, the part played tonight by Illan Meslier too; with little to keep him warm he was still faultless on the few occasions he was exposed.
So, now that the final totals are on the board, Leeds have won the title by a clear and decisive ten points! We all know it was tighter than that chasm suggests but it also makes a big statement. Leeds have been the best team in the Championship this season and, despite probably having more pressure on our shoulders than any other side following last season’s collapse and the weight of 16 years of failure on our shoulders, we have stood up and stood up strongly.
Now we move on and there are vital decisions that need to be made in the coming days to give us comfort that we will be in a position to compete well in the Premier League, not least a confirmation from Marcelo that he wants a crack at it. We’ll need a couple of decent signings too; a goal scoring striker who can finish a greater percentage of the chances we create is a must for example. The club is already on with providing the infrastructure improvements the Premier League demands and I’m confident the management will support the manager too. If Marcelo is with us I have every confidence that we can hold our own and even maybe surprise the big boys.
For a few weeks though let’s just savour the season we’ve just completed; we have seen some special goals, had many special moments and we have that rich seam of young players coming through. We are in good shape folks! Have a few weeks off and I look forward to seeing you all in September, hopefully at the grounds!
Leeds Utd Charlton Ath
Possession 67% 33%
Shots 21 10
On Target 8 4
Corners 10 4
Fouls Committed 14 10