Sensational Leeds humiliate Norwich to reach play-off final at Wembley

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Crysencio Summerville of Leeds United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 4-0 during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England.

Crysencio Summerville and Georginio Rutter both netted for Leeds – Getty Images/Robbie Jay Barratt

History beckons for resurgent Leeds United, who will head to Wembley on May 26 aiming to win promotion via the play-offs for the first time.

Daniel Farke’s men had won only one of their previous seven games, but this stunning victory will ensure they contest the Championship play-off final overflowing with self-belief.

Leeds’ teamwork was matchless, their conviction unshakeable as they reduced Norwich to rubble at a raucous Elland Road.

The match and the tie was effectively over at half-time with the hosts 3-0 up and in total control.

Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter scored before the break and Crysencio Summerville added a fourth in the second half, sparking wild celebrations amongst the jubilant Leeds fans.

Leeds celebrate after Crysencio Summerville makes it 4-0Leeds celebrate after Crysencio Summerville makes it 4-0

Leeds celebrate after Crysencio Summerville makes it 4-0 – Getty Images/Robbie Jay Barratt

It was a special victory for Whites boss Farke, who guided Norwich to the Premier League as Championship title winners twice in the past five seasons.

The German will now look to finish the job against Southampton or West Brom on Sunday week.

Leeds, though, will have to get a huge monkey off their backs to realise their dream, having failed to go up in their previous five play-off campaigns.

Perhaps this is their time. Certainly the way Elland Road celebrated this famous victory suggested that Leeds could take some stopping.

Norwich’s players must have felt like they were entering a lion’s den with the ear-splitting noise that fell from the stands before kick-off.

Leeds had laid out a scarf on each home seat for fans to twirl and raise aloft, underlining the magnitude of the occasion.

The club’s famous ‘Marching on Together’ anthem was belted out with remarkable gusto before kick-off and Yorkshire blood stirred.

Desire was visible and audible amongst a fanbase who are crying out for a regular place at English football’s top table.

Achieving an instant Premier League return is the immediate aim and Daniel Farke’s men effervesced with energy from the off.

They came close early on when Crysencio Summerville swapped passes with Georginio Rutter before thumping a right-foot shot over the crossbar.

When on-loan Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Joe Rodon strode forward inside the Norwich half and was felled in the seventh minute, midfielder Ilia Gruev curled home the free-kick left-footed from 25 yards.

The Canaries’ defensive wall was pitiful but bedlam greeted a first goal in the white jersey for Gruev, who raced away to the home dug-out before being mobbed by nearly the entire Leeds bench.

That poured confidence into Farke’s team and their second goal duly arrived in the 20th minute when the ball was worked to Willy Gnonto on the right flank.

The Italy forward delivered a deep cross to the far post where Joel Piroe was unmarked to plant a header past Angus Gunn.

Yellow and blue flares were thrown from the jubilant home stands, but moments later Norwich almost scored out of nowhere.

Josh Sargent escaped the attention of Leeds captain Ethan Ampadu and burst through on goal, where Illan Meslier produced a superb save to repel his shot.

Hard Sargent scored, Norwich might have been back in the game.

Probably not, though, as Leeds always gave the inescapable impression they could move through the gears when the opportunities arose – and so it proved in the 40th minute.

Good work from Summerville led to the ball being played to the far post where Rutter was on hand to thrash home a right-foot shot via the woodwork, sparking more wild celebrations.

Moments later, Gnonto broke clear and fired straight at Gunn before Rutter was denied on the stroke of half-time.

The end of a torrid first half came as a blessed relief for shellshocked Norwich, who were lucky to be only 3-0 down.

Immediately after the restart, Piroe should have increased Leeds’ advantage but fired straight at Gunn from six yards out.

Gunn continued to make a number of saves to spare his side further embarrassment.

But a fourth Leeds goal arrived in the 68th minute when Gnonto’s low shot from 18 yards was parried by Gunn straight to Junior Firpo, who cleverly pulled the ball back for Summerville to fire home close range.

Amid mounting scenes of mounting euphoria, the match turned into a doddle for Leeds, whose Wembley preparations can now begin in earnest.


Follow latest reaction below…


10:27 PM BST

A bit more Kaiser Chiefs?

Yes please…


10:24 PM BST

‘They were brilliant today’

Daniel Farke speaking to Sky Sports: “Well done to the boys. One of our most complete performances of the season. There were a few things that I will have to moan about. Few chances missed, a bit too excited at times but otherwise we were excellent. They were brilliant today.”


10:21 PM BST

Live from Elland Road


10:11 PM BST

‘I should try and have a shot’

Leeds midfielder Ilia Gruev speaking to Sky Sports: “It was early in the game and knew that there keeper sometimes speculates on the cross. I just thought I should try and have a shot. It went it and it was amazing – my first goal for Leeds. It’s nice to score in such an important game.”


10:08 PM BST

Scenes

Come to see the final whistle…stay to hear Leeds fans belt out ‘I Predict A Riot’.


09:55 PM BST

FULL TIME: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

Well that was convincing. Leeds will face either Southampton or West Brom at Wembley a week on Sunday in the play-off final.

Crysencio Summerville of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with teammates Junior Firpo and Georginio Rutter of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandCrysencio Summerville of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with teammates Junior Firpo and Georginio Rutter of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

Crysencio Summerville of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with teammates Junior Firpo and Georginio Rutter of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England


09:52 PM BST

90 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

Just two minutes added on. The torture is nearly over for Norwich.


09:50 PM BST

87 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

I suppose the only mild frustration for Leeds tonight will be that had they played anywhere close to this in the second half of the season, they may well have topped the Championship. They have been that good. Absolute quality front to back.


09:46 PM BST

84 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

On comes Liam Cooper, five years on from his night of horror against Derby. This may just help to banish some of those demons.


09:41 PM BST

79 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

This game has entered the meandering phase. Result assured, Norwich spirit broken and Leeds seemingly keen to coast to the finish line. The last challenge for them will be to earn a clean sheet. If they do, this will be about as close to a complete performance as you could get.


09:39 PM BST

76 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

Ashely Barnes takes an  age to get to his feet and losing another 50/50 collision in the middle of the pitch. He and Norwich have not been allowed to offer anything from this insatiable Leeds outfit.

A dejected Ashley Barnes of Norwich City during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandA dejected Ashley Barnes of Norwich City during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A dejected Ashley Barnes of Norwich City during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England


09:36 PM BST

73 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

Rutter and Summerville are removed from the fray to a standing ovation from the Elland Road faithful. Those two have been simply outstanding tonight. Roberts and Anthony come on in relief.


09:33 PM BST

70 mins: Leeds 4 Norwich 0 (agg 4-0)

You’ve got to feel for the Norwich travelling support. They look desolate up in the away section of Elland Road. However, the truth is that their side are simply not at the level of this Leeds outfit and that has been made painfully clear this evening.


09:29 PM BST

GOOOOAALLLL

Show really is over now…I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, knife through butter. Summerville carries the ball forward and feeds Gnonto. His shot is parried by Gunn but Rutter is there to cut the ball back into the area for Summerville to put away. Wembley here we come.

Leeds United's Crysencio Summerville scores their fourth goalLeeds United's Crysencio Summerville scores their fourth goal

Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville scores their fourth goal


09:29 PM BST

66 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Better from Norwich. A good ball in from Sainz has Ampadu stretching before Nunez picks up the ball on the edge of the area. He has time to line up a shot but Rodon is there with the block,


09:26 PM BST

63 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Rutter wins a free-kick in a dangerous area. Norwich protest but that is the right decision. The ball is lifted to the back post Gruev, where Ampadu is waiting. He gets his head back across goal before Norwich clear.


09:23 PM BST

60 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Stacey gets on the end of a prodigious cross-field ball from Sainz. He gets the ball to the by-line and gets his cross in but the only man in a dangerous area is Ashley Barnes and Leeds clear with ease.

Norwich City's Jonathan Rowe (left) and Leeds United's Ilia Gruev battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2024Norwich City's Jonathan Rowe (left) and Leeds United's Ilia Gruev battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2024

Norwich City’s Jonathan Rowe (left) and Leeds United’s Ilia Gruev battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2024


09:20 PM BST

58 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

You feel for the Norwich defenders. They are getting no help whatsoever from those in the middle of the park. Leeds attackers are practically being waved through.


09:19 PM BST

56 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Sainz draws a foul from Rutter on the left side. The Frenchman has been outstanding tonight but he is running hot here. He needs to calm down a touch.


09:16 PM BST

54 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

How this game is not 4-0 is beyond me. Sara gives the ball away far too easily in the middle of the park and Leeds simply walks through the Norwich defences. Summerville finds Piroe on the overlap. He should score but Gunn gets a strong hand out.


09:13 PM BST

51 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Gray is put into acres of space down the, Norwich should be closing that space down. His cross finds Summerville, who can’t keep the header down. Moments later, Summerville has a shot from an acute angle but Gunn is up to the challenge


09:11 PM BST

49 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

McLean has a chance to cut in on his left foot but gets his effort all wrong, slicing it out for a throw-in…not even a goal kick.


09:10 PM BST

47 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

Norwich can’t hold the ball in midfield for longer than a few seconds. One pass out from back and the Leeds are swarming all over them.


09:08 PM BST

We are back underway at Elland Road

And Leeds should be 4-0 up within seconds. Piroe has a clear sight of goal but smashes it straight at Gunn!


09:06 PM BST

What do Norwich have in the locker?

The climb could not get harder for Norwich here. This is several mountains…and its looks like Josh Sargent is off.


09:03 PM BST

These two…

…will be delivering two VERY different half-time team talks right now.

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke reactsLeeds United manager Daniel Farke reacts

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke reacts


08:51 PM BST

HALF-TIME: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

What a half from the home side. That could not have gone any better and it will take something quite extraordinary for them not to qualify for Wembley from here. For Norwich, they have simply not been on the same level – their fate looks sealed.


08:49 PM BST

45+1 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

How have Leeds not gone 4-0 up there? Firpo fires a ball across the six-yard box and Norwich are at sea. Rutter makes space to get a shot off but Giannoulis does superbly to get a toe on the shot and send it off the post.


08:45 PM BST

43 mins: Leeds 3 Norwich 0 (agg 3-0)

It should be four. Norwich commit bodies forward and Leeds take advantage with a sweeping counter. Gnonto is clear. He has Rutter and the far post but takes the shot on himself. It’s straight at Gunn, saving any more first-half embarrassment for Norwich.


08:42 PM BST

GOOOOAAALLLL

3-0…..game over. Norwich simply are not up to the level of this Leeds side. It’s another rapid break from the home side. Summerville does well to get a touch that sends the ball wider to Rutter. His finish is unstoppable, off the underside of the bar.


08:38 PM BST

37 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

Norwich simply can’t keep the ball. They look outmatched here. If Leeds maintain these levels it’s going to be virtually impossible for the visitors to get back into this game. Rowe is then booked for simulation much to David Wagner’s chagrin.


08:37 PM BST

34 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

Lovely build-up from leads creates space for Gnonto on the right. He looks to take the shot early but doesn’t catch it cleanly as a result and wastes what is a another decent chance for the hosts.


08:33 PM BST

31 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

Leeds knocking it about with confidence now and Norwich are back to chasing shadows. Firpo overlaps Summerville and fires the ball into a dangerous area. Corner to Leeds. Rodon then has a free header as well but can’t direct it goalwards.


08:29 PM BST

28 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

Barnes and Firpo get into some superb handbags in the Norwich box. The former is a renowned wind-up merchant but the way he crumpled like a stamped Coke can there was worthy of a Tony award.


08:27 PM BST

25 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

The game is stretched now. Norwich know they need to roll the dice and are doing just that. However, that opens the door for Gnonto, who goes on a weaving run but is dispossessed at the key moment, just outside the Norwich box.


08:24 PM BST

21 mins: Leeds 2 Norwich 0 (agg 2-0)

WHAT A CHANCE FOR NORWICH! Ampadu makes a shocking error at the back and Sargent has one-on-one with Meslier. He tries to dink it but the Leeds keeper does brilliantly to stop the shot.


08:21 PM BST

GOOOOOAAAALLLLL

Leeds double their lead! It’s a superb goal as well and it’s Gnonto who should take a bow. His ball in is a peach, floating perfectly to the back post where Piroe is unmarked. He has the simplest of headers but takes his goal well. All uphill for Norwich from here.


08:20 PM BST

18 mins: Leeds 1 Norwich 0 (agg 1-0)

Leeds seem happy to allow Norwich to keep the ball inside their own half here. They look so dangerous off Norwich mistakes and hunting the visitors with a heavy press.


08:18 PM BST

15 mins: Leeds 1 Norwich 0 (agg 1-0)

The game has just settled down a touch after that breathless opening 10 minutes. If Norwich wanted to keep things tight for at least the opening quarter of an hour or so, they’ve failed. But they have managed to do just that in the five minutes since the goal.


08:15 PM BST

12 mins: Leeds 1 Norwich 0 (agg 1-0)

Giannoulis makes a smart run in behind young Archie Gray and looks to get a ball into the six-yard box . Gray gets back to recover but that was a warning for the home side.

Dimitris Giannoulis of Norwich City and Archie Gray of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandDimitris Giannoulis of Norwich City and Archie Gray of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

Dimitris Giannoulis of Norwich City and Archie Gray of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England


08:12 PM BST

10 mins: Leeds 1 Norwich 0 (agg 1-0)

Norwich have barely touched the ball in the opening ten minutes and Leeds look dangerous every time they move over the half-way line. The team in yellow need to get a hold of this before the game runs away from them.


08:08 PM BST

GOOOOOAAAALLLLL

Gruev puts Leeds ahead! Gunn is expecting Gruev to cross from a position just in from the touchline on the right side. The Leeds midfielder tries his luck though and completely catches out the Norwich keeper. Brilliant opportunism but poor keeping you have to say.


08:08 PM BST

6 mins: Leeds 0 Norwich 0 (agg 0-0)

Piroe makes himself a nuisance causing a momentary confusion between Gunn and his centre-backs but it’s all Leeds in these early moments. Rutter should feed Gnonto on the right but cuts back and has his own shot blocked.


08:06 PM BST

4 mins: Leeds 0 Norwich 0 (agg 0-0)

Brilliant from Summerville and Rutter off the left side. The little flick pass from the former puts Summerville in and he really should hit the target but he fails to test Gunn between the Norwich sticks.


08:04 PM BST

2 mins: Leeds 0 Norwich 0 (agg 0-0)

Boos ring out around Elland Road every time a Norwich player touches the ball, the atmosphere is incredible. A cagey start on the pitch as both teams look to feel each other out in the early moments.


08:02 PM BST

Kick-off

What a 90 minutes ahead…


07:58 PM BST

The teams exit the tunnel

Leeds fans begin their rendition of ‘Marching On Together’…spine tingling.


07:56 PM BST

Five minutes from kick-off

The atmosphere is bubbling nicely at Elland Road. White scarves aplenty.


07:52 PM BST

‘Compact and aggressive’

Daniel Farke speaks to Sky Sports: “Norwich are a brave side with technically good footballers in the middle. They have experienced strikers and we have to make sure we are compact and aggressive. We have to be spot on today.

“We have a pretty good record when we go in the lead and scoring the first goal would make it easier from a tactical point of view. But the players know they have to be on it from the first to the last second.”


07:43 PM BST

Car crash drama

An extraordinary start to the day in Leeds saw defender Charlie Cresswell involved in a car accident with a police car outside Elland Road.

Read the full story HERE

Police car after Charlie Cresswell accidentPolice car after Charlie Cresswell accident

Police car after Charlie Cresswell accident


07:40 PM BST

‘Barnesy is a tough guy ‘

Norwich City manager David Wagner: “We know it will be decided tonight and we are prepared for all scenarios. It’s important we start well, stay in the game. If we are able to score the first goal it will be a massive boost.”

On the fitness of Ashley Barnes: “The medical department worked tirelessly. Barnesy is a tough guy and he was desperate to be involved. Josh Sargent’s ankle is fine; he was never a doubt.”


07:30 PM BST

We have ‘12th man’

Leeds defender Ethan Ampadu: “Whenever we play at Elland Road we always have confidence. They have proved time and time again that they’re the 12th man and we don’t expect any less today. They’ll guive you their full support and now it’s time for us player to step up.”


07:25 PM BST

The dulcit tones…

…off Chris Brown and Benny Bennasi welcome the Leeds squad to their dressing room. Tune to be fair.


07:23 PM BST

The scene in Leeds

A general view of a house with a mural of Eddie Gray on the side seen on Heath Mount ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England.A general view of a house with a mural of Eddie Gray on the side seen on Heath Mount ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England.

A general view of a house with a mural of Eddie Gray on the side seen on Heath Mount ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England.

A fan of Leeds United wearing a customised jacket ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandA fan of Leeds United wearing a customised jacket ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A fan of Leeds United wearing a customised jacket ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A fan of Leeds United ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandA fan of Leeds United ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A fan of Leeds United ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A fan of Leeds United driving around in an electric vehicle branded up in Leeds United stickers during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, EnglandA fan of Leeds United driving around in an electric vehicle branded up in Leeds United stickers during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England

A fan of Leeds United driving around in an electric vehicle branded up in Leeds United stickers during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England


07:18 PM BST

Wagner rolls dice

Both Josh Sargent and Ashley Barnes have been deemed fit enough to start this evening despite each carrying significant injury concerns in the run-up to tonight.

The real level of their fitness will og a long way to influencing Norwich’s fate this evening.


07:11 PM BST

Here comes the home side


07:05 PM BST

Here are those teams in a more digestible format

Leeds XI: Meslier, Gray, Firpo, Rodon, Ampadu, Gruev, Kamara, Summerville, Gnonto, Georginio, Piroe

Norwich XI: Gunn, Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, Giannoulis, McLean, Nunez, Rowe, Sara, Barnes, Sargent


07:03 PM BST

Confirmed Norwich XI


07:03 PM BST

Confirmed Leeds XI


06:57 PM BST

‘It will be an amazing atmosphere’

Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeLeeds United manager Daniel Farke

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

Leeds manager Daniel Farke: “I think it will definitely be an amazing atmosphere, probably much whiter than yellow. But, we also have to make sure that we are again not overexcited. So to show a good mental strength in this moment will be also quite important.”

On the challenge posed by Norwich: “Everything is still possible. Norwich is just a really good side and also a threat on the counter attack. If you’re too greedy and open too many spaces, then they could punish you. We have to make sure that we find a good fine margin.

“Obviously we like to play at home, there’s no doubt about this. We have overall a really good home record in the season, but it’s no guarantee. So still 50-50 and then both sides have the same chance to earn their spot in the final.

“I’m pleased with the performance [in the first leg], also overall happy with the result but nothing is done yet. So it’s still a tight game and we have to make sure that we keep going because Norwich are really, really dangerous.”


06:52 PM BST

Revisit first-lef stalemate…

…if you dare.


06:51 PM BST

Injury latest

Pascal Struijk and Patrick Bamford are big losses for Leeds, with both now likely to miss the playoff final should Leeds win tonight. Other than that, the hosts look to have a fairly clean bill of health, with Daniel James’ recovery from an oblique injury a real plus for Farke.

For Norwich, the concern is all about the fitness of leading scorer Josh Sargent, who limped off in the first leg with an apparent ankle injury. To make matter worse for David Wagner, back-up Ashley Barnes is also a doubt due a calf problem, meaning Sydney van Hooijdonk could be in line for a first start since joining the club in January.


06:44 PM BST

Match preview

What’s more exciting than the playoffs? Really. It just has everything and tonight we have the first of Championship semi-final second legs as Norwich City travel north to face Leeds United at Elland Road – the finest ground in the country for this sort of clash, I would posit.

The atmosphere for this same fixture in 2019 – when Leeds ultimately fell to Derby County – was truly electric and while the home fans will be without the torment of a 16-year top-flight absence weighing them down this time, similar can be expected tonight.

That said, the first leg of this tie failed to deliver the sort of excitement with which the playoffs are usually associated. A drab 0-0 draw at Carrow Road saw just 13 total shots in total, leading to an xG of 0.76 – only four Championship matches this season have ranked lower on that statistic.

Daniel Farke will surely be the happier of the managers going into this tie, knowing he has Elland Road on his side, but Leeds’ form of late must be a worry. His side have only won once in their last eight, a run which ultimately ended their hopes of automatic promotion.

Norwich bring a similar run into this one, having won just twice in their last eight and David Wagner will not be buoyed by his side’s recent history against Leeds which amounts to just two wins in 12.

The pressure cooker will undoubtedly be cranked up to the max this evening but let us all hope for a match that properly befits the occasion. The 2019 semi-final second leg was one of the most exciting matches of that decade – fingers crossed tonight can be the same.

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