Leeds United’s under-23s did their best to put the fans’ weekend disappointment to bed by thrashing Fulham 7-1 at Thorp Arch on Monday – in a game which saw Joe Gelhardt produce another breathtaking performance.
Mark Jackson once again had the luxury of picking a number of first-team players who needed minutes after playing no part in the trip to Old Trafford.
The inclusion of the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts meant however, that Gelhardt started the game on the bench.
He may have felt hard done by by the decision, but he certainly made up for lost time once he came on on the hour-mark.
It was Gelhardt who won the penalty for Leeds’s fifth goal. And he did it in some style, producing an outrageous run into the box and taking on all comers.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, the goal actually came from Bobby Kamwa as his penalty came back off the post. But he did not have to wait too long for a goal of his own.
It was a sumptuous finish from Gelhardt from the edge of the box. He opened his body up as if he was going to try and put his attempt towards the far post. However, he fooled everyone and found the bottom corner on the other side of the goal.
Gelhardt was outstanding throughout his half-hour on the pitch. He glided past a number of Fulham players and was tireless when out of possession. He produced one stunning slide challenge in his own half at one stage.
And his performance prompted plenty of Leeds fans to take to social media to insist that it is now time for Marcelo Bielsa to promote Gelhardt.
He has been a fantastic signing since arriving in the summer. And it is clearly surprising to some that he is still awaiting his first-team debut for Leeds.
Based on how he played on Monday, it will not be too long until that wait ends.
Here is what some of the fans were saying about Gelhardt’s performance…
Get greenwood and gelhardt on the first team bench I beg
— Fog #signdepaul 💙💛 (@FogLUFC) December 21, 2020
Joe Gelhardt makes up for yesterday. That’s how good he is.
— Chris McMenamy (@cmcmenamy95) December 21, 2020
Gelhardt, Greenwood and Drameh all look ready for the first team, great performance from the u23s today!
— Adrian Yearsley (@adyleeds) December 21, 2020
Gelhardt looks unbelievably good. What a talent! https://t.co/jxlb15KR8b
— Pablo “El Loco” Bielsabub 🏆💙💛 (@Pablo_Lassoggy) December 21, 2020
Get him and drameh in the first team
— TGT02 (@TxmGT02) December 21, 2020
Surely he’s close to making the first team bench? 🤷🏻♂️⚽️ https://t.co/6MhaDCu6EU
— Paddy Miller (@padwar11) December 21, 2020
Joe Gelhardt deserved his goal, another class player coming through
— Dion (@dijonevans6) December 21, 2020
Joffy is quite a player. #lufc
— Liam Tunney (@ismiseliam) December 21, 2020