Leeds United thumped Norwich City 4-0 in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final to seal their place at Wembley.

After a goalless draw in the first leg left it all to play for at Elland Road on Thursday, Leeds turned on the style in front of a raucous home crowd to cruise into the final on May 26.

Ilia Gruev settled the majority of Elland Road's nerves with just seven minutes played as he caught out Angus Gunn with a long-range free-kick, curling into the space vacated by the Norwich goalkeeper's expectation of a cross.

Joel Piroe then doubled the hosts' advantage 13 minutes later, again capitalising on poor goalkeeping to beat Gunn to Wilfried Gnonto's cross and nod home.

The tie was effectively over five minutes from half-time, Georginio Rutter getting on the end of Crysencio Summerville's squared pass to rifle off the underside of the crossbar and in.

And after Gunn spilled Gnonto's low shot in the second half, Rutter cut the ball back for Summerville to poke home and secure Leeds' place in next Sunday's final, where they will meet either Southampton or West Brom.

Data debrief

Leeds may have looked pretty blunt in attack at Carrow Road, but that was far from the case on home soil as they put the Canaries to the sword in brutal fashion while keeping a 21st Championship clean sheet this season, more than any other side.

Daniel Farke's men produced 2.45 xG (expected goals) to Norwich's 0.51, while Summerville made it 20 league goals for the season, more than any other Leeds player.

Leeds manager Daniel Farke believes Leeds’ 4-3 victory over Middlesbrough was a “good advertisement” for Championship football.

An end-to-end encounter at the Riverside produced five goals in just the first half, starting with the hosts taking an early lead through Isaiah Jones.

Leeds netted two goals in 11 minutes when Summerville slotted home from the spot and Patrick Bamford came back to haunt the Riverside after bundling a goal home.

Emmanuel Latte Lath drew Boro level on the 30 minute mark but Wilfried Gnonto restored the visitors’ advantage in a frenetic first 45 minutes.

Summerville bagged his second of the game after the break with a curling strike and there was late drama when Latte Lath scored a looping header in the 87th minute but Leeds held on for the three points.

Reflecting on a thrilling clash, Farke believes his players showed “great mentality” to see out victory.

He said: “First of all a good advertisement for Championship football, I think all the supporters have enjoyed the game.

“(It was) a great piece of football from two good sides who really went for it to win this game.

“To start the game with this unlucky goal, deflected pass that normally wouldn’t have been a chance, they scored out of this.

“Middlesbrough played today with freedom because it was more or less their last highlight, they could go for it and had a really good shape, then they are 1-0 up after just a few moments.

“To show such a reaction in the first half to come back to create so many chances, to score fantastic goals, was great for us to have.

“Compliments to Middlesbrough, they showed a fantastic performance, but great mentality from our players to lead 3-2 at half-time.

“We needed to show some steel and resilience in the last minutes to dig in and grind out this important result for us and we did.

“Many compliments for the heart, the mentality and the character of our players today and for their offensive quality.”

The result means Leeds climb to second in the table, overtaking Ipswich who have three games left this season compared to the Yorkshire club’s two.

Boro remain ninth in the table and boss Michael Carrick praised his side for their “incredible effort” but believes Gnonto’s goal, which appeared to be offside, was a “massive decision” in the game.

“I enjoyed the game, I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said.

“They’ve got some good quality and they’ve showed it all season. At the top end of the pitch they’re really dangerous.

“I thought we defended largely in shape really well, we were really good with the ball and dominated and controlled large parts of the game.

“I was really pleased with the boys and the effort was an incredible effort all the way to the end. We went for it, we had to go for it, we threw everything at them.

“The offside goal is a massive decision. We asked the boys to defend well and hold the line together, the line’s impeccable really and I think there’s three of them in the line around the edge of the box hold the line.

“You expect offsides given, which it was too clear not to be.”

Daniel Farke admitted the killer instinct of Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics was lacking from his Leeds side after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat dealt a blow to their automatic promotion hopes.

Leeds dominated the Championship encounter at Elland Road but could not turn possession into goals.

Farke’s side remain third in the table when a win would have seen them seize the initiative from top two Leicester and Ipswich.

Farke said: “When you face a side like Blackburn with a player like Szmodics, he showed the quality which we didn’t show today and he needed just one chance to score.

“So many balls went through the box, but you also need to show the quality to put the ball in the net.

“If you don’t score you have so much more risk. There is also a danger there will be one moment for your opponent and they can score. It’s pretty disappointing and frustrating for us.

“We didn’t put the ball into the net. If you don’t score, you can’t win the game.”

Despite his players missing the chance to steal a march on their rivals, Farke refused to put the blame on them.

He said: “It’s up to me if we don’t score – to find solutions. I have to work with them so that in the next game we create more chances.

“It’s up to us in training to work on our efficiency and create more chances. Today we have created more than enough chances to score. I’m not the guy to point the finger at the players when we don’t score.

“If a team fights to survive and fights against relegation, if they try to annoy us with time wasting and whatever, it’s nothing that I can influence.”

Szmodics dealt the killer blow with a cool finish eight minutes from time as the visitors went route one.

Sam Gallagher headed on a long ball from Aynsley Pears before Tyrhys Dolan turned and fed Szmodics and he did the rest with a composed finish past Illan Meslier.

The Leeds goalkeeper had saved from Szmodics with Blackburn’s only effort of the first period, while Pears had saved from Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts as the home side failed to make their dominance pay.

Blackburn head coach John Eustace was full of praise for his side.

He said: “I was very proud of the effort the boys have given me since I came in, it has been outstanding.

“To come here and play like we did was great. We had a game plan without the ball. I am delighted with the effort and very proud of them.”

Blackburn bounced back from a 5-0 defeat at Bristol City in midweek and that resilience was what pleased Eustace the most.

He added: “Wednesday was a bit of a blip. That certainly wasn’t a team that I have been a part of. We have been very difficult to beat.

“It’s very important that we keep working hard, sticking together. We have three games left and we still need points.”

Eustace praised Szmodics, adding: “Sammie, without his goals this season, we really would have been in trouble. The rest of the group have created those chances for him.

“Since I’ve been here he has been magnificent. To score 30 goals in the Championship is a fantastic effort.”

Sammie Szmodics dealt a crushing blow to Leeds’ automatic promotion hopes as Blackburn claimed a late 1-0 Championship win at Elland Road.

Defeat stopped the home side going top of the table as Rovers defended for long periods of the game.

Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts all tested Blackburn goalkeeper Aynsley Pears in a dominant first half for Leeds.

The home side also had chances after the break but were punished by Szmodics with eight minutes to go.

Leeds were on the front foot from the off as Joel Piroe’s shot was deflected for a corner.

Hayden Carter tripped Summerville and his free-kick from a narrow angle was saved by Pears, who also punched away the follow-up shot from Gnonto from the edge of the area.

The game was being played mostly in Blackburn’s half and Leeds forced two corners in succession with 20 minutes gone – but they were unable to break the deadlock.

Ethan Ampadu headed a Roberts free-kick off target as Leeds kept up the pressure with nearly half-an-hour on the clock.

Ilia Gruev missed the best chance so far but his near-post shot from Gnonto’s low ball following a corner did not trouble Pears.

Roberts was the next to test the Rovers stopper with a curling shot from outside the area which he saved high to his left at the expense of a corner.

Szmodics forced Illan Meslier into action for the first time from a Blackburn breakaway with the goalkeeper diving low to his left to keep out the shot, five minutes before the break.

Gruev fired at Pears with the first effort of the second half after Joe Rodon’s vital interception and surging run.

Gnonto shot wide across the face of goal but with nearly an hour gone, Leeds were still looking for the opening goal.

Meslier put his side under pressure when his throw went to a Blackburn player but luckily for him when the ball was passed to Joe Rankin-Costello, he fired wide.

Blackburn sensed a chance and Szmodics crossed low from the right but he could not find a team-mate with the Leeds goal gaping, with Roberts stretching to stop Tyrhys Dolan getting a touch.

Georginio Rutter’s shot into a crowded area saw Pears dive low to his left then claim the loose ball.

A cross from Gnonto spun onto the post and then the winger just failed to get a touch to a Dan James cross.

Substitute Patrick Bamford headed over as Leeds cranked up the pressure and they were made to pay when Szmodics struck the decisive blow, eight minutes from time.

Sam Gallagher nodded on Pears’ kick, Dolan turned and released his team-mate and Szmodics finished coolly past Meslier.

Leeds moved to second in the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 win at Plymouth thanks to goals from forwards Wilfried Gnonto and Georginio Rutter.

Daniel Farke’s side made a flying start and their early pressure was rewarded with a 10th minute goal for in-form Gnonto, taking his goal tally to five in as many games.

Rutter’s audacious high ball into the area split the home defence and Gnonto brilliantly brought the ball down and stroked it home past goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Argyle’s best attempt in the opening 25 minutes was a long-range shot which flew over by midweek scorer Mickel Miller, recalled to the starting eleven following his impressive display against Coventry.

Miller was also on hand to stop a lightning break in the 32nd minute as Crysencio Summerville looked to pounce on the counter-attack in a one-on-one break.

Seconds earlier United keeper Ilian Meslier did well to punch Morgan Whittaker’s in-swinging corner clear, in a rare Argyle attack.

Rutter came close to putting Leeds 2-0 up in the 38th minute with a first time shot that flew back off the post, with Hazard beaten, after being set up by Joel Piroe.

Piroe did superbly to beat three Argyle players before putting Rutter in on goal.

Miller continued to be a thorn in Leeds’ side in the second half and his pacey 52nd minute cross from the left should have been converted by Kiwi striker Ben Waine, as he slid in on the increasingly wet playing surface.

Three minutes later Miller forced a near-post save from Meslier as he let fly with a rising shot from the left.

Waine headed over from Matthew Sorinola’s cross from the right after 57 minutes.

Meslier punched Adam Randell’s in-swinging corner clear and then was equal to the Plymouth playmaker’s cross as he swept the ball back into a crowded six yard box from the wide on the right.

Summerville fired high and wide after making room for himself in the Plymouth penalty area from Rutter’s cutback.

Within minutes Rutter was at the centre of the action again.

The striker ran on to Joel Piroe’s defence-splitting through ball and beat diving Hazard with a thumping shot on the run into the box, which gave the home keeper little chance on 72 minutes.

Scottish striker Ryan Hardie announced his arrival – as a replacement for Waine – by forcing an acrobatic save from Meslier.

The French keeper made a low save at his near post to keep out 18-goal top scorer Morgan Whittaker’s 88th minute free kick from the right.

Leeds came close to making it three in stoppage time as substitute Daniel James’ thumping strike smashed off the cross bar.

Leeds swept aside Swansea 4-0 to claim a seventh-consecutive Sky Bet Championship victory and equal their biggest win of the season.

The hosts were left facing an uphill battle that proved well beyond them after Crysencio Summerville and former Swansea striker Joel Piroe struck inside the opening 10 minutes.

Wilfried Gnonto added a brace to make it four goals in as many games, with Daniel Farke’s side maintaining their push for an automatic promotion spot in style.

Leeds had four former Swansea players in their matchday squad.

Joe Rodon was at the heart of the defence and Piroe was drafted in to the attack after Patrick Bamford was injured during the warm-up.

Wales internationals Connor Roberts and Daniel James – fit again after three weeks out with a hip injury – were among the substitutes.

Relegation clouds were starting to hover over Swansea but they had been lifted by their weekend win at Hull, their first league success under Luke Williams at the fifth attempt.

The Welsh club’s feel-good factor quickly evaporated as Leeds cut through them at will in the opening stages and showed a ruthless edge in front of goal to match.

After Swansea failed to clear their lines, Summerville scored his 16th goal of an increasingly-productive campaign with the help of a deflection off Jay Fulton.

Two minutes later, Piroe – who scored 46 Swansea goals before joining Leeds for a reported £12million fee in August – was granted the freedom of a familiar penalty area to race on to Gnonto’s pass.

Piroe’s shot had enough power to beat Carl Rushworth, who got a hand to it but was unable to deny the Dutchman his 11th Leeds goal.

Rushworth prevented Gnonto and Georginio Rutter from adding to Swansea’s misery, while Illan Meslier thwarted Brazilian winger Ronald at the other end.

Ronald tangled with Junior Firpo, while some Swansea fans called for a penalty, but those appeals fell on deaf ears and Leeds effectively settled the contest after 35 minutes.

Gnonto burst onto Archie Gray’s clever pass and advanced unchecked before cutting inside Ben Cabango.

The Italy international kept his composure to find the bottom corner of Rushworth’s net from 10 yards.

Swansea almost reduced the deficit at the start of the second half with Ronald, their main source of danger, firing a shot goalwards that Jamie Paterson diverted just wide.

Paterson was on the end of another chance moments later but he sent his volley over before striking the Leeds wall from a free-kick.

Leeds had taken their foot off the throttle in the second half as if the job was done.

But Gnonto profited from another quick break, fed by Summerville and driving low past the exposed Rushworth as Leeds matched their four-goal December victory over Ipswich.

Leeds moved into the Championship automatic promotion places as Wilfried Gnonto’s 48th-minute goal earned a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The Italy winger beat goalkeeper Max O’Leary with a clinical left-footed finish from 10 yards after running on to a deflected long ball forward from Junior Firpo.

It was no more than Leeds deserved for a hugely impressive display in a largely one-sided contest, with their hosts out of sorts and only able to create a few openings.

City head coach Liam Manning made three changes from the 2-2 draw at Coventry, with Ross McCrorie, Matty James and Tommy Conway named in the starting line-up.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke made one team change, bringing in Gnonto for the injured Dan James.

Leeds made a bright start and had the first effort on goal in the ninth minute when Joe Rodon fired over from a Glen Kamara pass.

At the other end Nahki Wells had a low shot blocked after running on to a Cam Pring header.

Leeds had a great chance to take the lead after 13 minutes when Crysencio Summerville caught George Tanner in possession and raced clear down the middle only to shoot too close to O’Leary, who saved with a hand above his head.

O’Leary was in action again five minutes later parrying a Patrick Bamford shot from inside the box. Then Summerville cleared the crossbar from another good shooting position.

Leeds began to dominate and O’Leary denied them again after 34 minutes, blocking a close-range shot from Georginio Rutter for a corner after Bamford had outstripped Zak Vyner to cross from the right.

City were relieved to reach the interval on level terms, taking their time over throw-ins and set-pieces.

Leeds only needed to find an end product to their slick approach play, and they put that right immediately after the break with Gnonto’s clinical finish.

It should have been 2-0 three minutes later as Summerville robbed Pring and raced through to feed Kamara, whose shot was deflected for a corner with only O’Leary to beat.

O’Leary saved a low drive from the dangerous Summerville, but Leeds almost paid for not putting the game to bed in the 66th minute when Tommy Conway’s pass found Bristol City substitute Anis Mehmeti and his shot almost squeezed under advancing goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Still Leeds squandered chances, the elusive Summerville firing wide after another penetrating break.

But there was little threat at the other end from a tired-looking Bristol City outfit and the final whistle brought scenes of celebration as the Leeds players saluted their large band of travelling fans.

Leeds manager Daniel Farke insisted his side should have had a penalty after losing more ground in the battle for automatic promotion from the Championship with a 1-0 defeat at West Brom.

Farke was frustrated at referee Graham Scott’s refusal to award a spot-kick for a challenge by Baggies defender Cedric Kipre on Wilfried Gnonto in the 30th minute as Leeds suffered a second successive loss for the first time this season.

Seven minutes later, Grady Diangana scored the only goal to make it back-to-back home wins for the Baggies and move them to within three points of fourth-placed Leeds.

“Why should he go down when he’s one against one with the goalkeeper?” said Farke.

“I think the whole stadium saw the situation but they decided not to give us a penalty.

“Normally if that had been a penalty, it would also have been a red card.

“There was no intention to play the ball so it was a decisive moment in the game.

“It changed so much against a side who was so focused on defending.”

Diangana’s goal came off his knee after his first attempt was blocked by Joe Rodon after Okay Yokuslu split the Leeds defence for Jed Wallace to cross.

Despite having 63 per cent possession, Leeds failed to seriously test goalkeeper Alex Palmer and Farke admitted his team lacked a cutting edge.

“We started well, but the last two or three per cent brutality to get the shot away was not there – that’s why we lost,” said Farke.

“We changed our base formation and brought on offensive players, they brought all their defensive players on and showed great commitment to block our strikes.

“We needed that last few per cent brutality to win those headers or to shoot after a really tidy first touch to get the shot away.”

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan saluted a “special” performance from his side.

“It was special in terms of the commitment the players put into the game,” he said.

“We knew that to beat Leeds you can only have these special wins if you have a lot of good players, if you’re a very strong team and you play with a lot of team mentality, team spirit and personality.

“We found good possibilities to cross from our right side with Jed Wallace, and from one of these actions, we scored.

“The second half started balanced, but then they changed formation and were very aggressive with a lot of attacking players and we had to adapt our shape and to defend the goal we scored.”

On Leeds’ claims for a penalty, Corberan added: “I don’t know because I haven’t seen the action back yet.

“But Leeds have some of the best players in the last third of the pitch and normally they want to challenge your defenders a lot.”

Daniel Farke had no hesitation in playing scoring duo Wilfried Gnonto and Luis Sinisterra in Leeds’ 4-3 win at Ipswich.

The pair have been missing for a fortnight; Gnonto after submitting a transfer request as he tried to force a way out of the club and Sinisterra as his own future remained unresolved.

Farke sidelined the pair and was firm when discussing them in the week, particularly on the subject of Italy international Gnonto who he said had apologised after refusing to play.

The duo came back into the side as Farke secured his maiden league win as Leeds boss, with first goals for Georginio Rutter and Joel Piroe on his debut ending Ipswich’s perfect record.

“I wasn’t too concerned about these two decisions (to pick Gnonto and Sinisterra) to be honest because I’ve watched them during the training week and they looked really, really sharp and disciplined and I had a really good feeling with this decision,” Farke said.

“I was in general pleased with our offensive firepower, especially because we played a side who just conceded one goal over their first four games.

“It’s a difficult place to come here, they played full of confidence and excited the home fans in the stadium and for us then to dig in and to grind out a result and to score four times is really, really good and especially the offensive play on the scoresheet.

“I am pleased for my offensive players that they showed real quality today and also clinical finishes and it’s good for the mood, good for the confidence, good for the table, good for them also to be off the mark in terms of goals and I am happy with this.”

Ipswich went ahead through a Joe Rodon own goal and pulled further strikes back through Nathan Broadhead in first-half injury time and Conor Chaplin late in the second.

It was not enough to extend Town’s unbeaten run to 22 games, though, and boss Kieran McKenna said. “I thought there was a lot more good than bad (from us), there are so many positives to take in the game.

“I thought we were the better and more dominant team in so many aspects of the game on and off the ball and there’s lots to be pleased about.

“On another day the game could have went differently.

“There was of course things for us to improve, big lessons to learn. Of course disappointment with the goals that we conceded in the first half.

“But that’s part of the adjustment about playing against a much better team, with much higher players – we’ll improve and we’ll learn from those mistakes and continue working to get better.

“I think overall there are so many things to give us confidence.

“It was a really intense start to the game … we were competing and got the goal, we were in a great position to go on and take control of the game and if we had been able to do that for a little while we would have been able to build up a lot more momentum.

“I had a feeling that today would be a high scoring game.”

Kayden Jackson’s darting run led to the first goal after seven minutes when his cross took a big deflection off Rodon to beat goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Leeds equalised three minutes later through Rutter’s individual brilliance and the visitors took the lead in the 14th minute through Gnonto.

They went further ahead with 19 minutes on the clock when Town goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky could only parry a shot from Sinisterra to Piroe who gobbled up the rebound.

Ipswich got their second through Broadhead but Sinisterra netted the fourth before Chaplin’s goal.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.