Leeds United’s rampant performance at Aston Villa on Friday was a joy to behold for both Whites supporters and the neutral.
Marcelo Bielsa’s team were at their fluent and high-pressing best, pummelling Villa into submission and seeing Patrick Bamford net his first Premier League hat-trick along the way.
It was the perfect performance from Leeds, inspired by their brilliant manager. Indeed, Bielsa made the call in the game to remove Pascal Struijk from the action with less than half an hour gone, a move that turned out to be a masterstroke.
Wave after wave of attack from Leeds meant Villa were always going to have a hard time of it. And so it showed, as Bamford punished a Villa defence that had, up until then, been very solid indeed.
But it was the remarkable stat coming out of the game from Leeds in attacking areas that raised eyebrows. The Whites registered 27 shots during the game, with nine on target.
However, it wasn’t just the fact that those shots came in, it was the amazing effort of 19 of those being from inside the penalty area.
Stats, of course, are not everything, but if you keep doing those sorts of numbers, you will win a lot more games than you lose!
Europe a possibility?
We saw last season with Sheffield United that it’s not unreasonable to suggest Leeds might qualify for Europe. The Blades hung in for much of the campaign and but for the lockdown, may have pushed on.
Leeds are like the Blades. They have a way of playing, they stick to it, and they believe fully in their manager’s philosophy. It’s a recipe for success and one that could work even better given the quality they’ve added in the summer.
27 shots on goal is a ridiculous stat. 19 being inside the area is even more remarkable. At the moment, per Infogol, Leeds are scoring two goals a game while conceding 1.5. Of course, the defensive side of things would need to be tightend.
But over a 38 game season, at two goals per game, that gives Leeds 76 goals. For context, only Man City and Liverpool scored more than that last season.
On this current trend, Leeds could very much land themselves in Europe come May.