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Three key moments as Leeds beat play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday

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Saturday’s early kick-off saw a Yorkshire derby in the Championship, as Leeds hosted Sheffield Wednesday. With both sides occupying playoff positions, the game looked to be pivotal in the race for a top-six finish.

Going into the match, both teams stood on 58 points, with only a single goal separating their league positions. In addition, they had a six-point cushion between themselves and 7th place, meaning that avoiding defeat may have been the top priority. Here are three key moments from the game, which ended 1-0 in the hme side’s favour…

Chris Wood goal – 24 minutes

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Considering their comparable performance levels this season, and the heightened pressure surrounding a potentially decisive derby, it was no surprise that the game began slowly.

In fact, the only registered shot on target from either side came in the 24th minute. After receiving possession on the left, Gaetano Berardi crossed towards Chris Wood who was able to score simply; following a disastrous missed header from Wednesday centre-back Vincent Sasso.

Wood, who has scored over 40 percent of Leeds’ league goals, was played marginally onside by right-back Jack Hunt. The forward’s 23rd of the season meaning he has scored in 21 different games, the most of any player throughout England’s top four divisions.

Crucially, the goal provided Leeds with a half-time lead. Their opponents would certainly have to improve to earn a result.

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Championship

Marcus Antonsson admits he has no idea where he will play next season

The Swedish striker has enjoyed his spell at Blackburn Rovers, but does he have a Leeds United future?

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Marcus Antonsson has had a good week. The Swedish striker won promotion with Blackburn Rovers after a 1-0 win against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night. It means they are now in a straight shoot-out with Wigan Athletic for the League One title.

But what next for Antonsson?

Whilst he may have won promotion with Blackburn, he is in fact on loan at the club from Leeds United.

Antonsson joined Leeds in the summer of 2016, arriving at the club whilst the current top scorer in the Swedish top flight.

However, despite his excellent form in Sweden, the forward found it difficult to translate his form from Scandinavia to the Championship.

After falling down the pecking order at Elland Road he was allowed to join Blackburn in the summer. After a campaign in which he scored eight goals in 33 games, Antonsson has an interesting summer ahead of him.

But speaking to Fotbollskanalen he admitted he was not yet sure where his future lied. The 26-year-old stated:

“I only know that I have a year left for the deal with Leeds, and that’s what I’m talking about. If something else pops up, you can get it from there. We have not yet talked to them or the like.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

“I know that those discussions (with Blackburn) will come in the future. They have not begun yet either…

“I have one year left on the contract with Leeds, which is also a fantastic club. I will, of course, do everything for them too, if I come back there. However, I do not really know what will happen.”

It will certainly be interesting to see what Leeds United do with Antonsson. The Swede arrived with high hopes in 2016 but only managed one league goal last term.

He has also struggled with niggling injuries throughout his time in English football, which will not leave Leeds over-enamoured with the idea of keeping him.

The fact is, an eight-goal season in League One is not likely to be enough to convince Leeds United to give Antonsson another chance next season.

Of course, they could give him the pre-season to prove himself. But Antonsson has looked far from the man who managed 25 goals in 46 games for Kalmar and was on the brink of the Swedish national team.

Despite their own striking woes, Antonsson looks unlikely to get a chance at Leeds next season

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Championship

Former Leeds United target Anthony Limbombe now valued at £13m

The Belgian winger is being tracked by Premier League clubs this summer.

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It has been a fine season for Belgian winger Anthony Limbombe. The Club Brugge star has cemented his place in his club’s starting XI, been one of the better players in the Belgian top-flight and even made his debut for the Belgium national team.

Now, an exciting summer appears to be in the offing. Limbombe could be on his way to the World Cup in Russia whilst he will also be the subject of plenty of interest. At least, that is, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

They report this week that teams from across Europe are keen on the player, including two Premier League teams. Huddersfield and Southampton are said to be interested in the player’s services this summer. French side Lyon are also said keen whilst Limbombe favours a move to the Bundesliga.

The Sun has since reported that the talented wideman will cost up to £13 million, an incredible increase in value from when Brugge signed the player. It is also a valuation which will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Leeds United fans.

(Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Back in 2015 Leeds had earmarked Limbombe as the man to improve their wide areas. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Leeds made a £1.5 million bid to bring the Belgian from NEC Nijmegen that summer.

Unfortunately for Leeds, the bid was rejected and they signed Jordan Botaka instead. The YEP reported that Leeds continued to monitor his progress that season, but Limbombe joined Brugge instead. Leeds brought in Hadi Sacko as an alternative. It is fair to say neither Botaka or Sacko have had the impact Limbombe has at Club Brugge.

Limbombe has played 36 times for Brugge this season. He has scored six times and has been a phenom in the wide positions for Brugge, also bagging six assists.

Leeds United did not sign many players of note during the Massimo Cellino but it seems they were barking up the right tree when it came to Limbombe.

Missing out on his signature is now looking like a big blow for Leeds, who could have had a £13m-worthy winger in their first-team. Based on the performances of their wide options now, that would have been a massive boost to the club.

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Leeds United

Leeds United fans must give credit to Victor Orta for under-23 squad

The Spanish director of football has brought in some great talent to the Leeds under-23 unit.

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It would be fair to say that Leeds United director of football Victor Orta is not the most popular man at Elland Road. Fans of the West Yorkshire side have continuously made their feelings about the Spaniard clear this season. His recruitment has been called into question, with several new signings failing to fire for Leeds in the Championship this season. In fact, it is hard to name any who have been consistently good all season after Samu Saiz’s recent dip in form.

But Leeds fans have to recognise one inconvenient truth about Orta … he has worked wonders with the under-23 recruitment.

Back in February former Leeds defender Ian Harte was publicly critical of the Leeds under-23s on Twitter. He felt the club was losing its identity and with it, the passion and desire to play for Leeds.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

At the time Leeds’ form at the youth level was middling. They were inconsistent and looked set for a bottom half campaign. But since that criticism, they have been fantastic. Carlos Corberan guided them to one defeat, and two draws from their final 10 games. Such blistering form saw Leeds finish the season in sixth position and hopes are high for the next generation of Leeds players.

Which is where Orta deserves credit. In their final under-23 game of the season against Bristol City, the Whites ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. Of the 15-player squad taken to Ashton Gate, 12 were brought to the club under Orta’s network.

Goalkeeper Kamil Miazek, defenders Bryce Hosannah, Pascal Struijk, Hugo Diaz, midfielders Jordan Stevens and Oriol Rey, strikers Sam Dalby and Alejandro Machuca and substitutes Oussama Siddiki, Adrian Balboa and Madger Gomes were all Orta signings this season. Only Tyler Denton, Ryan Shackleton and Harrison Male were at Leeds prior to Orta’s arrival.

Some fans have levelled criticism at Orta for his development of the youth-team over the seniors but he has built a solid base of young talent with the likes of Kun Temenuzhukov, Ryan Edmondson and Aapo Halme also worth keeping an eye on.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Leeds’ youth divisions had become thin in talent and the risk of losing the tradition of bringing through young players at the club was increasing.

Orta has done well to find a balance of bringing in talent from abroad as well as English players to create a solid Leeds United under-23 and under-18 unit – the latter of which recently won their respective league title.

Orta deserves plenty of criticism, but not for the work he has done with the under-23 unit.

Hopefully, he can now bring similar improvements to the current Leeds United first-team.

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