Elation at Elland Road! But Farke won’t get carried away before Wembley

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Elation at Elland Road! But Farke won’t get carried away before Wembley

Daniel Farke insists his Leeds United side will not get carried away despite thumping Norwich to reach the Championship play-off final.

After a goalless draw at Carrow Road on Sunday, Leeds blew their opponents away with a 4-0 victory in Thursday night’s return tie at home at Elland Road, booking their spot at Wembley.

First-half goals from Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter set them well on their way, while Crysencio Summerville added to the rout after the break.

Leeds will face Southampton or West Brom for a spot in next season’s Premier League on Sunday May 26.

Farke praises ‘clinical’ side, but won’t get carried away

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Daniel Farke gives high praise to his side after Leeds reach the Championship play-off final

Leeds boss Daniel Farke on Sky Sports Football: “When I watch the game back at home on the sofa I’ll enjoy it! During the game I was just focused on making the right decisions. But the team were brilliant, and a bit more brutal and clinical in front of goal to finish the game.

“In the last seasons I spent in this league I was promoted twice. Right now I’m in the play-off final.

“If someone had told us we’d get to Wembley and one game away from the Premier League back at the start of September, I’d have said no chance. But right now we have that chance.

“Well done to the boys. It was one of the most complete performances of the season against a really good side.

“We were up early and they tried everything to come back at us. But we made sure we came back in with the clean sheet.

“It wasn’t a perfect evening, sometimes we were a bit over-excited in possession and in our emotions, because we have a pretty young side.

“It was a great night for us. But there is more to come and I’m already focused on the next task.”

‘Farke words sending message to players that job’s not done’

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David Prutton is joined by Paul Heckingbottom, Chris Sutton and Jobi McAnuff look back at Leeds’ first half demolition of Norwich which saw the Yorkshire side almost certain to be in the final at half-time.

Former Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom on Sky Sports Football: “He was clearly wanting to send the message and get the mentality right for the next game.

“It’s a difficult spell they’ve got in the next 10 days. And you want to shift the focus quickly. He’ll want to get the next week as normal as he possibly can to prepare for the final.

Elation at Elland Road as Leeds make final

Sky Sports’ EFL editor Simeon Gholam: “Any fears of a play-off semi-final nightmare like the one they faced against Derby five years ago were quickly dispelled as there was near-enough 90 minutes of sheer elation at Elland Road.

“Leeds went for the jugular early on, and rarely let up. They simply blew Norwich away with a bombastic first half. It was among their best performances of the season, and it came at the perfect time.

“Will they go on to Wembley and take a further step now? Their record suggests no. But history is there to be changed, and bad records are there to be broken.

“If they play anything like they did on Thursday night at the national stadium, no one will be able to handle them.”

Leeds have appeared in the EFL play-offs five times previously and have failed to seal promotion on any occasion.

Ampadu: We can take this momentum into the final

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Ethan Ampadu reacts to Leeds’ 4-0 win over Norwich

Leeds defender Ethan Ampadu on Sky Sports Football: “Towards the end of the season, there was a lot of talk about how we were playing; how we weren’t on the front foot, how we weren’t aggressive, how we weren’t clinical. We always had our belief that, on our day, when we are firing, we can be hard for anyone to play against.

“When the front four, front five, front six all play like that, they make the job for us defenders a lot easier.

“Sometimes we like to leave it late, but once you score early, you can settle nerves and bring them onto you a little bit, which gives you a bit more space and it worked out that we scored a couple more.

“Whoever we play against in the final, it’s going to be a very hard game. It’s a final to get to the Premier League and we’re happy that we’re there. To put a performance in like this, I think we can take momentum and confidence into it.

“The boys who played against Derby [in 2019] when it didn’t work out were telling us about the atmosphere and the crowd. They were second to none today. We love their support.

“We’re going to enjoy it for maybe the next couple of days and then prepare for the big one.”

The goalscorers: Gruev and Rutter

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Ilia Gruev and Georginio Rutter react to reaching the play-off final at Wembley after beating Norwich 4-0 at home

Ilia Gruev on Sky Sports Football: “My goal was early in the game and I knew that the goalkeeper was speculating, so I thought I’d try to have a shot and it went in! It was my first goal for Leeds. It’s nice to score in such an important game.

“Everybody can hear the atmosphere and what’s going on and we are really looking forward to going to Wembley.”

Georginio Rutter on Sky Sports Football: “It’s incredible. Today we got to Wembley. We played a very good game, we were very concentrated. I’m happy everybody is happy. One more game and we will see!

“We played very good. We were mature and it was a very good performance from the team.”

‘Atmosphere energised the players’

Jobi McAnuff on Sky Sports Football: “It’s been a while since they’ve sung ‘I Predict a Riot’ here! I go back to the Leicester game, where there was a brilliant atmosphere, but I’ve got to say, from the minute we walked into the stadium, we spoke about the crowd and what part they could play – and they did.

“It energised the players, who then embraced it and were fantastic. We talk about results being the most important thing, but I thought it was really important to see that level of performance from Leeds.

“It hasn’t been there in recent weeks, but they look like they have clicked into that gear they were in when they were in that brilliant run of wins. It was a very, very good performance from them.”

The goals that took Leeds to Wembley

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Gruev gives Leeds an early lead as his clever free-kick caught out Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn

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Joel Piroe heads in from a Willy Gnonto cross to give Leeds a 2-0 lead

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Rutter makes it 3-0 to Leeds

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Crysencio Summerville taps into an empty net for the fourth goal

Sixth time lucky? Can Leeds finally end their play-off hoodoo?

  • 1986/87 – lost in Division Two (now Championship) final over two legs to Charlton Athletic. This was before the final was played as a one-off a Wembley.
  • 2005/06 – lost in Championship final to Watford 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
  • 2007/08 – lost in League One final to Doncaster at Wembley.
  • 2008/09 – lost in League One semi-finals to Millwall.
  • 2018/19 – lost in Championship semi-finals to Derby County.
  • 2023/24 – into Championship final at Wembley

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