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The top five Leeds United moments of 2022

It’s been a turbulent last 12 months for Leeds United to say the least. Marcelo Bielsa was sacked, the side conceded 2 goals a game in the league, and poor results saw the team stuck in relegation battles for the whole year. Given the way 2022 went for the whites, it’d be easy to be pessimistic ahead of the new year. However, it wasn’t all bad last year and there have been some positives to take into 2023. Here are Leeds’ best moments of the 2022 calendar year… 

#5 – Jack Harrison’s Hat-trick and 3-2 victory away vs West Ham 

Leeds started the new year positively, winning their first 2 Premier League games of 2022 – a vital home win vs Burnley and then this, an unlikely victory (in London mind you) against West Ham, who in the 2021/22 season defeated Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool and drew against Manchester City at the London Stadium. A real end-to-end thriller of a game that saw Jack Harrison net a hat-trick and a Mateusz Klich goal disallowed, this was the last true exhibition of ‘Bielsaball’. Ultimately, it’d be the final victory with the legendary manager in the dugout. 

#4 – Joe Gelhardt’s winner in the 2-1 victory at home vs Norwich 

From Bielsa’s final victory to Marsch’s first. When Kenny McLean got on the end of Teemu Pukki’s cross in the 90th minute to equalise for Norwich, for many it just felt that it wasn’t Leeds’ day, especially since the whites could’ve had 3 or 4 by this point. However, if there’s anything that this Leeds side under Jesse Marsch has taught us, it’s that they don’t give in and they love a late goal. Cue Joe Gelhardt to tap into an empty net after some marvellous trickery from Raphinha and pandemonium across Elland Road that would kickstart a 5-game unbeaten run ahead of the final 5 games of the season. 

#3 – Leeds defeat Liverpool at Anfield 2-1 

Many Premier League players and managers will tell you that one of the hardest away games of the season comes against Liverpool. With the Anfield crowd roaring on the Merseyside club, victory against Liverpool becomes nigh-on-impossible. Although, there has to be one anomaly that proves the rule, and every underdog has its day. The whites came to Anfield on a 4-game losing streak and Liverpool was hoping to bounce back from a disappointing defeat away to newly promoted Nottingham Forest. A ruthless display from the hosts was on the cards but it was not to be. A heroic performance in goal from Illan Meslier and an 89th– minute Crysencio Summerville winner delivered the 3 points back to Elland Road and dished Virgil van Dijk his first home league loss since joining in 2018. 

#2 – Dominating Chelsea 3-0 in August 

Whilst a victory at Anfield was more impressive, the result there was a smash and grab, and on another day, Liverpool could’ve scored 3 or 4. This, however, is arguably the best performance of the season and the greatest day in Marsch’s 10 months in charge of Leeds, and the game that made Leeds fans believe that the days of fighting for relegation were behind them. A complete performance under the sunshine at Elland Road, and goals from Aaronson, Rodrigo and Harrison had Leeds in a dreamland that most fans would like to return to soon. 

#1 – Final day survival and 2-1 victory away vs Brentford  

Leeds went into the final day of the season in the bottom three on goal difference and would need to better Burnley’s result away at Newcastle to secure their place in the 22/23 Premier League season. On paper, Leeds had the easier game, although the whites had always found it hard against Thomas Frank’s side and have historically struggled in games played in London. Things started well as Newcastle led 1-0 whilst Leeds dominated the early stages, having a Gelhardt goal ruled out in the first half. In the 2nd half, Raphinha scored a penalty for Leeds and Newcastle went 2-0 up.  

Things began to get a little nervy though as Burnley got one back and Brentford equalised through Sergi Canos. However, Burnley couldn’t equalise and Jack Harrison’s strike in the final moments was the cherry on the cake for Leeds. A victory and survival were secured on the final day. Cue relief amongst Leeds fans and overwhelming celebration. Whilst Leeds fans will not want a repeat of last May, it’s undeniable that this was the best result, and feeling, of 2022. 

 

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