Daniel Farke praised his players’ “perfect” approach after Leeds thrashed Swansea 4-0 to climb into the top two of the Sky Bet Championship.

Leeds secured a seventh-consecutive league victory in south-west Wales before the added bonus of Southampton’s 3-1 defeat at Bristol City allowed them to move back into the automatic promotion places.

“The win is just about us and what we do, our points tally,” Leeds boss Farke said when asked about Southampton’s first defeat since September 23.

“If you want to finish in the top positions, you need a special amount of wins and average points per game.

“We have a better average of two at the moment and that is quite impressive.

“In the last 20 years, above two points per game was always enough in position one.

“It will be difficult with (leaders) Leicester, but overall our record is really impressive and the best that the club has had in its history at this moment.”

Crysencio Summerville and former Swansea striker Joel Piroe – who was promoted from the bench moments before kick-off after Patrick Bamford suffered a leg injury during the warm-up – rewarded a positive Leeds start inside 10 minutes.

Wilfried Gnonto added another before the break and wrapped up matters with his fourth goal in as many games, 18 minutes from time.

Farke said: “It was a massive win for us. Swansea are normally a really good possession side and we needed to be spot on with our pressing – and we were.

“Our players executed the game plan in a perfect way. We prepared our final pass very well and we did that in the first half.

“In the second half, we could have been more aggressive. We allowed them a few half chances and crosses.

“But overall, we scored four goals and kept another clean sheet. It was pretty impressive.

“In terms of how we executed the game plan, it was the most disciplined and spot-on performance of the season.”

Swansea remain seven points above the relegation zone and have won only one of Luke Williams’ six league games in charge.

Williams said: “It was a tough evening because we did not compete properly. Too timid.

“You cannot play like that. We played as if we were too scared to press and we allowed them time at the back of the pitch.

“We caused ourselves huge problems and then when we got in close contact, we didn’t win enough tackles.

“If we’re going to compete with these top teams we have to play a top model of football and that requires intensity and bravery.

“But you can’t compete against Leeds playing like that.”

Leeds boss Daniel Farke revealed his side’s 1-0 home win against Norwich came at a price with Daniel James and Archie Gray both sustaining injury.

James was withdrawn during the interval due to a hip problem after providing an assist for Patrick Bamford’s winning header, which lifted Leeds to within two points of the Sky Bet Championship’s top two.

Teenage defender Gray, whose brilliant second-half tackle denied Adam Idah as the Norwich substitute bore down on goal, was forced off in the closing stages after taking a knock to his knee.

Farke said: “Daniel James sadly, I had to substitute him because at the half-time whistle he overstretched his hip flexor.

“I think it’s a little strain. I hope it’s not too bad. I think he will definitely be out for the FA Cup game at the weekend, but hope he can return to training soon because we need him. He’s in brilliant shape.

“Archie Gray, in the beginning, I was concerned because he had a hit against his knee and overstretched it and was panicking a little bit.

“He was fearing something with the ligament and had to limp off. After the first assessment I’m carefully optimistic. It seems like ACL ligaments are OK and it’s more or less just a hit.

“We have to wait for further assessment, but I’m carefully optimistic it’s not a long-term injury.”

Farke’s side extended their unbeaten home run this season to 15 matches to keep the pressure on their promotion rivals, while also winning their first five games of the year in all competitions.

They dominated for long spells, but failed to find the killer second goal and came through an anxious finale.

“Credit to Norwich, first of all,” Farke added. “They are definitely one of the best sides that have played at Elland Road this season.

“It was a really complicated game and for that I’m more than happy that we won this game, three points, another clean sheet.

“Four clean sheets in January and scoring goals – I’m pretty pleased with this.”

Norwich had their chances – notably Kenny McLean and Gabriel Sara in the first half – but while head coach David Wagner was disappointed with the result, he was pleased with his side’s performance.

Wagner said: “We gave Leeds a real game, we were absolutely competitive, and games like this will get decided by small margins.

“Congratulations to Leeds, a top team with super attacking individuals. But I think we kept them quite calm.

“In the second half everyone could see when we were really able to pin them into their final third without, to be honest, having the final punch in the box.

“Result, frustrating, but I’m absolutely fine with the performance.”

Leeds climbed to within two points of the Sky Bet Championship’s automatic-promotion places with a 1-0 win against Norwich at Elland Road.

Patrick Bamford scored the game’s solitary goal with a thumping first-half header and that was enough to seal Leeds their fifth straight win in all competitions and keep the pressure on their promotion rivals.

Norwich were not without their chances – Gabriel Sara’s first-half effort was the best of them – but they slipped to their first defeat in six games and failed to climb into the play-off places.

In a fixture brought forward because both sides are in FA Cup action this weekend, there was little to excite the crowd in the opening quarter of an hour.

But Bamford changed that in the 16th minute after a concerted spell of home pressure as his fourth goal in five games put Leeds ahead.

Georginio Rutter and Daniel James combined on the edge of the box and the latter provided a pin-point assist to the far post where Bamford expertly headed back across a flat-footed Angus Gunn and into the far corner.

Norwich, Leeds boss Daniel Farke’s former club, did not stir until Josh Sargent’s shot was blocked in the 35th minute and captain Kenny McLean then blazed a golden chance over the crossbar.

But Leeds’ dominance was not reflected in chances and Norwich served another warning just before the break when Sara mis-hit Jack Stacey’s cross to the back post.

Jaidon Anthony replaced James at the break and helped set up Crysencio Summerville, who fired an early second-half chance off target before Norwich stepped it up.

The Canaries appeared to be gaining momentum, but Leeds pounced on a mis-placed pass from Sara and it took a last-ditch block from McLean to deny Anthony in front of goal.

Summerville’s cross, after racing on to Junior Firpo’s precision pass, deserved better than Bamford’s wayward effort and Rutter was denied by Gunn’s out-stretched boot as Leeds chased a killer second goal.

But it did not come and Norwich threatened an equaliser on the counter-attack when substitute Adam Idah was brilliantly thwarted by 17-year-old Archie Gray.

It was end-to-end action in the closing stages. Summerville’s shot curled just wide and Firpo’s low effort was saved by Gunn before the final whistle was met by huge roars of relief from the home fans as Leeds held on.

Daniel Farke hailed Leeds’ “most mature performance” of the season after his side strolled to a 3-0 win at Cardiff.

Fourth-placed Leeds had lost their previous three away games in the Sky Bet Championship, but Patrick Bamford, Daniel James and Georginio Rutter were on target as mid-table Cardiff were swept aside.

“We have had some electrifying performances in the home games with many goals,” said Leeds boss Farke.

“But this was our most mature performance of the whole season.

“Cardiff is always a difficult place to go, to be in so control of the game from the first to the last second makes me pretty happy.

“We kept them totally quiet in their possession and we dominated the ball in a fantastic manner.

“We probably should have scored a few more, but the win was never in doubt and I was especially pleased with the control we had.”

Leeds also had the luxury of missing a penalty at 2-0 ahead with 11 minutes remaining.

Crysencio Summerville struck a post before Rutter rounded off a one-sided contest two minutes from time.

Farke said: “Sometimes when you are so dominant in the first half with a 2-0 lead you are too comfortable and sit back a bit too much.

“But it’s important we stayed with the foot on the gas and pressed them high.

“Cardiff is by far the best side in terms of set-pieces in this league, so it’s important you keep their game from your goal.

“You have to press them high and make sure the ball is in their half and that you are really accurate in your possession.

“I like the mentality. I’ve criticised them in the last away games when we’ve had setbacks – penalties denied and red cards – and found it difficult to grind out a result.

“But we were really on it and showed resilience. It was nice to watch our football, it was pleasing on the eye.”

Cardiff remain within touching distance of the top six, despite taking only four points from their last seven home games.

Boss Erol Bulut is hoping to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window, but confirmed post-game that Fenerbahce striker target Mehmet Umut Nayir has joined fellow Turkish club Pendikspor.

Bulut said: “He has signed for Pendikspor. I do not know how the transfer window will go for us.

“We have many names on our list, but it is about the finance.”

On the defeat, Bulut added: “I am not in a good mood, this team can give much much more.

“We didn’t expect to lose a game like that. We know Leeds are a strong team but my players respect them too much.”

Patrick Bamford’s moment of brilliance lit up Leeds’ smooth FA Cup passage as they eased to a 3-0 win at Peterborough.

The forward was handed only his second start of the campaign as boss Daniel Farke rang the changes.

And Bamford responded by delivering a stunning strike shortly after half-time to double an advantage provided by Ethan Ampadu’s first goal in Leeds colours.

Captain Ampadu then sealed the win late on as his sudden taste for scoring continued.

The goalscorers were two of only five survivors from the Sky Bet Championship success against Birmingham on New Year’s Day as Farke shuffled his pack, but it did not hamper Leeds as they had three clear chances in the opening seven minutes.

Two Bamford headers – one wide from a corner and one clawed away by Posh goalkeeper Fynn Talley – sandwiched the best opportunity of all as Talley recovered to save from Archie Gray after picking out the Leeds man with an attempted pass.

League One top-scorers Peterborough began to trouble the visitors, with Ricky-Jade Jones stretching to steer an Ephron Mason-Clark cross wide before Hector Kyprianou failed to direct a header on target from Jadel Katongo’s cross.

It was no surprise when the deadlock was broken in the 34th minute, although few could have predicted Ampadu would be the scorer as he opened his Leeds account by firing past Talley after a Jaidon Anthony free-kick was chested down by Bamford.

The breakthrough was not without controversy as Posh players complained the set piece was taken before referee Sam Allison had blown his whistle, but the goal stood with Josh Knight booked for his protests.

Kyprianou then scuffed an effort wide in a goalmouth scramble as Peterborough looked to rapidly respond before Allison was again the centre of attention four minutes before the break – taking no action when Wilfried Gnonto tumbled under a Knight challenge in the box.

The Italian winger was staggered not to see a spot-kick awarded which would have led to a dismissal for Knight, while Posh felt Allison should have issued a second yellow card to Gnonto, who had been booked moments earlier for kicking the ball away.

The player count and scoreline remained unchanged going into the second half, but it did not remain that way for long thanks to the brilliance of Bamford as he brought down a long Ampadu pass on his chest before turning and unleashing a stunning volley into the top corner from 25 yards.

It was undoubtedly one of the finest goals in his 115-strong collection and ensured Leeds’ stranglehold on the clash was strengthened.

Anthony was denied a third goal on the hour by a smart Talley stop while Posh rarely looked like joining then non-League Sutton and fellow lower-league sides Newport and Crawley in claiming the scalp of Leeds in this competition in recent years.

The hosts’ fate was sealed when Ampadu rose to head in substitute Dan James’ corner in the 90th minute.

Alex Neil hopes Stoke’s 1-0 victory over Leeds helps to breed confidence and belief in his players as they secured successive Championship wins.

Leeds substitute Patrick Bamford could have put the Whites in front 15 minutes from time after being brought down by Ben Pearson, but blasted the resulting penalty over.

It proved costly as moments later Stoke striker Wesley headed against the bar and it went in off Leeds skipper Pascal Struijk as the Potters emerged victorious.

The win followed three points picked up against Sunderland over the weekend and Stoke boss Neil felt his players were energised after Bamford’s missed penalty.

Neil said: “When you go and deliver against two of the better teams in the division and you get six points off the back of it, and you can see how much the lads have put in, I think it breeds confidence in everything we’re doing and that belief is massive.

“I thought there was good spells in the first half where we used the ball really well, I thought there was a 20 to 25 minute spell where we were really on top and probably had two or three good opportunities, but we didn’t really take any of them.

“I think we got a let-off with the penalty, that was the one moment that rode in our favour and then we go up the other end, and I thought the fans completely blew the roof off once the penalty was missed, you could see our players get a bit of energy from that, and we went on and won the game.”

Leeds boss Daniel Farke felt his side missed the game’s biggest chance and Stoke took full advantage of that situation to net the winner.

He said: “You have to be clinical in using your chances and today we missed the biggest chance with the penalty and then you could feel for one or two moments a bit disappointed and the whole stadium was buzzing because we missed the penalty.

“They used this in order to create one or two set-pieces and out of the second they were able to score.

“This is football – we didn’t give one chance out of the game away in the second half, but because we missed this penalty and didn’t put the game to bed, we were for this one moment not switched on and they were able to use this chance and once they were in the lead with just 10 minutes to go, they tried everything, put their bodies on the line to block every shot.

“It’s the Championship, it’s relentless, so congratulations to Stoke and a hard-fought win but I also get the feeling you should travel away with points.”

Patrick Bamford’s penalty miss proved costly as Leeds saw their three-match winning run in the Championship end with a 1-0 defeat at Stoke.

Whites substitute Bamford could have put the Yorkshire side ahead at the bet365 Stadium in the 75th minute but fired over from the spot.

And minutes later at the other end, Wesley’s header clipped the bottom of the crossbar and went in off Leeds captain Pascal Struijk for what proved to be the winner.

Daniel Farke’s side came into the encounter with a 100 per cent record in October, while Alex Neil’s Potters were aiming for successive victories after Saturday’s home triumph against Sunderland.

The Potters had first sight of goal in the opening minute when Andre Vidigal swept in a low shot after meeting Ki-Jana Hoever’s cross but it was straight at Illan Meslier.

Vidigal nearly turned creator in the fifth minute as Ryan Mmaee tested Meslier as Stoke’s bright start continued.

Aside from a misplaced Jordan Thompson pass which they could not capitalise upon, Leeds had very little joy in the final third in the opening stages.

Hoever’s fantastic work on the right led to a dangerous cross for Vidigal but Meslier was once again in the right place, while Mmaee curled over shortly after as Stoke’s onslaught showed no sign of stopping.

Leeds’ first real chance came when Georginio Rutter released Joel Piroe into the box and Mark Travers denied the 26th-minute effort with his legs, before claiming Rutter’s header from the resulting corner.

Stoke’s penalty appeal was waved away by referee Paul Tierney when Mehdi Leris turned and went down under Sam Byram’s challenge on the half-hour.

Mmaee’s endeavour in the box nearly forced an opener in first half stoppage time and Struijk was alert to clear the danger as the ball trickled towards goal.

After the break, Joe Rodon was in the right place to cut out Hoever’s low cross from the right as Stoke continued to threaten, though Jaidon Anthony cut into the box at the other end and curled wide.

Travers was equal to Rutter’s low drive before the hour as Leeds grew in confidence, the Whites striker later firing wide after darting into the box.

Leeds substitute Crysencio Summerville’s first act was to curl a promising effort just wide after 70 minutes.

Bamford won a penalty 15 minutes from time when Ben Pearson brought him down in the box and referee Tierney pointed to the spot, but the striker blasted it over the bar.

And it proved costly as from an 80th minute Hoever corner, Wesley headed against the bar and the ball went in off the unfortunate Struijk for what proved to be the winner.

Leeds boss Sam Allardyce has urged Patrick Bamford to respond to threats made on social media by scoring the winner at West Ham on Sunday.

Allardyce also wants “the police to do a lot more” after Bamford’s penalty miss in last week’s home draw against Newcastle prompted online abuse directed at both the striker and his family.

Leeds issued a statement this week condemning the threats posted on Twitter and Allardyce said: “He’s been OK, he’s obviously extremely upset about the situation. It’s something which leaves a very, very bad taste indeed.

“I would like the police to do a lot more, but it appears when it’s social media, they rule and run the world and can say and do what they want unfortunately, which is why the world is in such a big mess, isn’t it?

“He’s handled it pretty well, I think the club gave him as much support as he needed, particularly security-wise.

“It wasn’t just about him, it was about his family. The best way to respond is to go out on the pitch on Sunday, perform to his highest level, try and score.

“And it would be even greater if he scored the winner. Hopefully it won’t affect his performance.”

Leeds are desperate for all three points at West Ham in their bid to climb out of the relegation zone and cling on to their top-flight status.

They sit third from bottom, one point from safety, with Sunday’s trip to the London Stadium followed by a home game against Tottenham on the final day.

West Ham reached the Europa Conference League final with victory over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday and Allardyce hopes his former club’s success could play to Leeds’ advantage.

He said: “They’ve got a final to think about, haven’t they? Subconsciously, you’ll never know whether that may affect the players in terms of when they go out and play.

“They’ll go out and play and try their best, (but) subconsciously, they won’t want to get injured.

“So they might be a little more tentative, who knows? But my job is about my team playing to the best they possibly can play.”

Leeds will be without suspended defender Junior Firpo on Sunday, but skipper Liam Cooper has returned to training and could be included in the squad.

Tyler Adams (hamstring), Luis Sinisterra (ankle) and Stuart Dallas (fractured femur) remain long-term absentees.

Sam Allardyce refused to criticise Patrick Bamford after the Leeds striker’s saved penalty proved costly in Saturday’s 2-2 Premier League draw against Newcastle.

Bamford had the chance to atone for his glaring miss in last month’s home draw against Leicester and put relegation battlers Leeds 2-0 up at Elland Road.

Luke Ayling had given Allardyce’s side an early lead, but after Joelinton had hauled down Junior Firpo, Bamford’s weak spot-kick was comfortably saved by Nick Pope.

Allardyce said: “I thought he was good today. He held the ball up, he caused a few problems. He got the cross in for the (opening) goal. We were doing OK with him.

“Hopefully, like everybody needs to do when it gets a little bit better next week and better again, he scores goals when he gets a chance.

“We need goal-scorers on the pitch and also, we’ve not got that many.”

Four minutes after Bamford’s effort, Callum Wilson converted the first of his two penalties following Max Wober’s reckless challenge on Alexander Isak.

Wilson then struck his 17th league goal of the season from the spot early in the second half after VAR had referred referee Simon Hooper to the pitch-side monitor to check Firpo’s handball.

Rasmus Kristensen’s 79th-minute equaliser rescued a point for Leeds, but some fans were left angry that Bamford, low on confidence, had taken the penalty instead of leading goalscorer Rodrigo.

Allardyce added: “Well, I left it how it used to be like before I got here. I mean, I haven’t seen them take many penalties.

“It is what it is. I would have thought if Rodrigo really wanted it he’d have gone and snatched it off Patrick and said ‘I’m taking this’.

“So you miss it, it can happen to anybody. It happened to us today, but at the worst possible time. And that’s very unfortunate for us.”

Newcastle’s point ensured them a top-six finish and they remain on course for Champions League football next season with back-to-back home games against Brighton and Leicester to come before a last-day visit to Chelsea.

Magpies boss Eddie Howe said: “We can wait a few more days if we achieve it. It is the toughest league in the world and we knew how difficult it would be today.”

Nerves frayed on and off the pitch in a highly-charged clash at Elland Road. Firpo was sent off in the closing stages after his lunge on Anthony Gordon earned him a second yellow card.

And before the subsequent free-kick was taken a Leeds fan leapt from the crowd to confront Howe before being dragged clear by match stewards.

“I’m struggling to make sense of it all,” Howe added. “We hadn’t created clear-cut chances. I thought we played well at times without hitting our best form and we were rushed around the box.”

Leeds issued a statement shortly after the match to confirm the fan who confronted Howe had been arrested and issued with a lifetime ban.

West Yorkshire Police added in a statement on Sunday: “Police have charged a man with assault and entering the field of play following an incident at Elland Road football stadium during the Leeds United versus Newcastle United football match yesterday.  The man has been bailed to appear before magistrates on July 21.”

Leeds boss Javi Gracia and his players have rallied behind Patrick Bamford after his glaring late miss in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against relegation rivals Leicester.

Bamford steered the ball wide at the back post from two yards out following a corner in the closing moments and Leeds had to settle for a point in their fight for survival.

Leicester substitute Jamie Vardy cancelled out Luis Sinisterra’s first-half header with his first Premier League goal since October to rescue his side a crucial point.

Gracia said Bamford had been in an offside position when scooping his late chance off target and felt that Marc Roca had spurned Leeds’ best chance to snatch victory when his header from an earlier corner was saved by Daniel Iversen before being hacked clear.

The Leeds head coach said: “I like to be honest with you. That (Bamford) chance is coming from offside position.

“Patrick’s chance in my opinion, is offside position. For me, the clearest chance is in that moment was the corner kick and Marc Roca in a good header.

“It was for me the chance to get a better result in that moment. We tried, but it was late.”

Jack Harrison, who assisted Sinisterra’s first-half opener with an excellent cross, has backed Bamford to bounce quickly back.

“It happens in football. This is part of the game,” Harrison told LUTV. “It wasn’t just him, there were maybe some other people that might have had chances here and there and things we could have avoided so there’s always things we can work on.

“It happens to the best of the players in the world. I know him as a person, he is going to be looking forward to redeeming himself on Sunday and getting another goal back so we are all behind him.”

The shared point at Elland Road did little to ease the survival chances of either side. Leeds remain 16th and Leicester 17th, two and one point above the drop zone respectively having played a game more than the bottom three clubs.

Foxes boss Dean Smith was the happier of the two managers after collecting four points from his first three games in charge since replacing Brendan Rodgers.

Smith was delighted for Vardy after he ended his goal drought, but faces an anxious wait to learn the full extent of an injury sustained by fellow striker Kelechi Iheanacho in the build-up to Leicester’s equaliser

“He’s pulled up with his groin,” Smith said. “Well, I say pulled up, he kept going and played it through to Madders (James Maddison). It didn’t look great and we’ll have it scanned (on Wednesday).”

Smith added: “In the end, I feel a tad disappointed we haven’t gone away with all three points, but also know we could have lost it with the set-piece efforts they had.”

Mikel Arteta declared "thank God" for VAR after Premier League leaders Arsenal held on for a 1-0 win at Leeds United.

Sunday's game at Elland Road was suspended just a couple of minutes after it started, as a power cut was affecting Hawk-Eye and communications between referee Chris Kavanagh and the VAR.

The match resumed following a delay of around 40 minutes and Bukayo Saka's fourth goal in three matches gave the Gunners a half-time advantage, the England international becoming the first player to register 50 goal involvements during Arteta's reign.

Leeds dominated the second half, Patrick Bamford having a goal disallowed for a push on Gabriel Magalhaes within a minute of coming on before missing a penalty.

Bamford wasted further clear-cut chances as Aaron Ramsdale kept Leeds at bay and there was one final twist when the Leeds striker was awarded another spot-kick after being kicked by Gabriel, who was shown a red card for retaliating.

However, referee Kavanagh instead awarded Arsenal a free-kick and showed Gabriel a yellow card, having seen on the pitchside monitor that Bamford had shoved the centre-back to the ground.

A seventh consecutive victory put the Gunners four points clear ahead of second-placed Manchester City's trip to Liverpool and Arteta was relieved after an action-packed afternoon in West Yorkshire.

Asked to reflect on the match, the Arsenal boss told Sky Sports: "Hectic! It is always really intense here, we were exceptional in the first half and should have been two or three up.

"Credit to Leeds in the second half, we made so many errors and did not generate momentum but I just love the relentless passion the team played with and how we found a way to win."

He added on the late VAR decision: "I have not seen it but everyone is saying the decision was clear. Thank God they made the system work, that delay was worth it because without VAR I don't know what would have happened!"

Arteta praised the character shown by his players on the back of a 1-0 Europa League win at Bodo/Glimt, where Saka scored the only goal of the game following his double in the 3-2 victory over Liverpool last weekend.

The Spaniard said: "This is something special. This is not a coincidence it shows the willingness that I see in the eyes of the players to win, to compete.

"A lot of players played in Norway two and a half days ago, travelled back on Friday and were still willing to win so credit to them."

Bukayo Saka was Arsenal's match-winner once again and Patrick Bamford endured a nightmare as the Premier League leaders secured a dramatic 1-0 win at Leeds United.

The Gunners would have been braced for a typically energetic start from Leeds, but play was suspended less than two minutes after it started as a power cut was affecting Hawk-Eye and communications between referee Chris Kavanagh and the VAR.

The in-form Saka gave the Gunners a first-half lead with his fourth goal in three matches after the game resumed following a delay of around 40 minutes.

Arsenal rode their luck to secure a seventh consecutive victory in all competitions, half-time substitute Bamford having a goal disallowed and missing a penalty.

Leeds were then awarded another spot-kick in stoppage time and Gabriel Magalhaes was shown a red card for kicking out at Bamford, but referee Kavanagh overturned his decision following a VAR check as the striker had pushed the Brazil defender – who was instead issued with a yellow card – before he lashed out.

 

Patrick Bamford says Kalvin Phillips' former team-mates were "almost pushing" for the midfielder to leave Leeds United and fight for trophies.

Leeds academy product Phillips left Elland Road this month to joined Premier League champions Manchester City for a reported £45million, signing a six-year deal.

The 26-year-old caught the eye in his first top-flight season under Marcelo Bielsa in the 2020-21 campaign before making a name for himself at Euro 2020 for England alongside Declan Rice.

Phillips recovered possession a team-high 45 times, while only three England players completed more than his 293 successful passes as the Three Lions reached their first major final in 55 years.

He was limited to 20 league appearances in the 2021-22 season, but still ranked third for recoveries (180), sixth for tackles (54) and seventh for successful passes (777) among Leeds outfield players.

While Bamford was disappointed to see his team-mate depart for the Etihad Stadium, he acknowledged Phillips deserved the opportunity to play in the Champions League and compete for titles.

"It said it all when Kalvin went straight from getting promoted to being in the England team and becoming a mainstay there," Bamford told reporters.

"He deserves this chance to fight for trophies on all fronts.

"None of us can begrudge him for going. As sad as it is, we were almost pushing him because he deserves it and it's his time."

Leeds also lost Raphinha to Barcelona as another key star departed from Jesse Marsch's side, who narrowly avoided Premier League relegation on the final day of the last campaign.

Marsch's team have been busy in the transfer window, though, bringing in Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen to bolster their squad.

With the new arrivals, Bamford assures Leeds will still play an entertaining brand of free-flowing football that supporters became accustomed to under Bielsa.

"We've retained our Premier League status and the squad's changed a lot," the 28-year-old added.

"We've had time to work on what Jesse wants and understand his tactics and work on them. I think this year will still be an entertaining Leeds United – but slightly different."

Kalvin Phillips has paid tribute to Marcelo Bielsa following Leeds United's decision to part company with their manager.

Leeds confirmed on Sunday that Bielsa had left the club in the wake of Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

That loss came on the back of a 6-0 hammering at Liverpool, a 4-2 defeat to Manchester United and a 3-0 reverse at fellow strugglers Everton.

Indeed, Leeds have lost five of their last six Premier League games since beating West Ham in January and conceded 20 goals in the top flight across their five games in February – the most in a month by a top-flight side in England overall since Newcastle in April 1986 (21) – leaving them only two points above the relegation zone.

Phillips was a crucial figure for Leeds across Bielsa's first three seasons at the club, with his ability to anchor the midfield enabling the Whites to flood forward in attack as they gained promotion to the Premier League and secured a ninth-place finish in 2020-21.

Only four players made more appearances in all competitions under Bielsa than Phillips (131), who posted to Twitter: "Thank you Marcelo for everything you have done for me.

"You saw in me what I didn’t even see in myself. You helped me grow as a player but most importantly as a person.

"Wishing you all the best in your next chapter. Gracias Marcelo. Vamos Leeds Carajo!!"

Phillips' neat passing and ability to switch the play was another key facet for Bielsa, with the England international achieving over 80 per cent passing accuracy across his three full seasons under the Argentine, while also winning over 50 per cent of his duels in each of those campaigns.

However, his influence has been sorely missed this season, with the 26-year-old – who has been linked with a move away from his boyhood club – hampered by injury.

Phillips has featured just 15 times for Leeds this term and has not featured since December due to a thigh problem. He is due back next month, and is sure to be key to the Whites' survival hopes under a new coach.

Patrick Bamford has also endured an injury ravaged campaign, with the striker – who netted 17 league goals last season – making just six top-flight appearances.

"Thank you, the man who changed everything for everyone," Bamford posted to Instagram.

Raphinha, who has been Leeds' standout performer this season and has been linked with Liverpool and Bayern Munich, wrote "thank you very much Marcelo, for everything," on his official Instagram account.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has received a first England call-up for three World Cup qualifiers next month.

Bamford has been given the nod by Gareth Southgate for the games against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.

The 27-year-old scored 17 goals in 38 games for Leeds on their return to the Premier League last season.

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope were also named in a 25-man squad after missing Euro 2020 due to injury, while Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard has been recalled.

There is no place for United's in-form teenage forward Mason Greenwood or Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell.

England boss Southgate said "This is a fresh cycle. We were never looking to make a lot of changes. Ben White has had a situation with COVID [the Arsenal defender tested positive], Ben Chilwell hasn't played a game since the Champions League final.

"Those two are ruled out. [Phil] Foden and [Marcus] Rashford injured. We were very pleased with Ollie Watkins, now it's an opportunity for Patrick. His progress at Leeds has been excellent. We've worked with him at Under-21, it's a fabulous moment for him and his family."

The Three Lions, beaten by Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last month, face Hungary at the Puskas Arena on September 2 before taking on Andorra at Wembley three days later and travel to Poland's Stadion Narodowy on September 8.

England are top of Group I with three wins out of three, leading Hungary by two points.

 

England squad: Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United); Patrick Bamford (Leeds United), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

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