Leeds United has resumed participation in the Premier League for all of seven days, and already fans have been rewarded by their presence.
Leeds beat Fulham 4-3 in a wild affair at Elland Road on Saturday, taking an early lead and then going up 4-1 and then nearly blowing it.
This comes one week after Liverpool escaped Leeds 4-3 on a hat trick by Mo Salah. And as much as that was a wake-up call for the reigning champions, it was also a statement of intent™ for manager Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Bielsa’s tactics are an up-tempo razorblade that press like hell and morph between a 4-1-4-1 and something closer to three forwards in possession. On paper, that makes for entertaining games, and it’s delivered in practice, too.
Hélder Costa roofed two goals on Saturday, including this one in the 57th minute after a nice bit of work by Patrick Bamford that ended up being the game-winner:
Costa scored the opener five minutes into the game from a fairly absurd angle:
Fulham and Leeds traded penalties later in the first half before Bamford scored shortly after halftime and Costa finished off his brace.
Aleksandar Mitrović scored two goals of his own for Fulham, including this authoritative header in the 67th minute that cut the lead to one goal after teammate Bobby Reid had scored five minutes prior:
Back in the Premier League this season for the first time since 2004, Leeds had a chance or two to put Fulham away, but didn’t end up punished for failing to convert those chances.
That may change in two weeks, when title favorite Manchester City visits Elland Road. Leeds may well lose that one. Just expect another slobberknocker in the process.
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