Leeds U23s secure PL2 title despite late drama against Villa
16 Apr 2021 09:08 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Leeds United Under 23s side secured the Premier League 2 Division 2 title on Friday night with a two one victory over Aston Villa. A draw would have been good enough for Mark Jackson's side to lift the title and promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1 with nearest rivals Stoke City only managing a draw against Crystal Palace earlier in the week. But this team are not the type to settle for a draw though, having scored 56 goals already in their 22 games this season. With four minutes gone, Sam Greenwood curled a free kick round the wall and into the top corner for his eighth goal of the season to give Leeds a one nil lead.
Leeds had the chance to double their lead soon after as Joe Gelhardt stepped up to the penalty spot only to see his effort saved by Villa keeper Jed Steer. The save from Bobby Kamwa’s effort off the rebound was even better and Leeds went in one nil up at half time. The lead would be doubled on the hour mark as the ever dangerous Crysencio Summerville cut the ball back from the byline for Jack Jenkins to slot home at the second time of asking. There was late drama though as Charlie Cresswell received a second yellow card with an hour to go and Villa took advantage with Aaron Ramsey (not that one) pulling a goal back with a free kick with five minutes to go.
Leeds would hold out for the win though and will make the step up to play the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City next season. The team have been excellent this season, winning 17 of their 22 matches so far and scoring 56 goals in the process. They sit top of the pile in stats terms having taken most shots, scored most, completed more passes and had more possession than any of their rivals. Whilst the future may look bright, perhaps one of the most encouraging things about the game was a return to competitive action for Adam Forshaw who got 84 minutes under his belt.
The midfielder looked fit and sharp and made some lovely touches during the victory. If you didn’t know he hadn’t kicked a ball competitively you would have thought he had been playing week in week out. It was an encouraging performance and may be a sign that we may yet see Forshaw in the Premier League before the end of the season. With a full pre-season under his belt he could be a valuable asset for Marcelo Bielsa next season, providing cover across the centre of midfield, including the defensive midfield role Leeds struggle to fill when Kalvin Phillips is unavailable.