LONDON (Reuters) – Jack Harrison’s stoppage-time winner meant Leeds United ensured Premier League survival on Sunday with a 2-1 victory away at nine-man Brentford that saw Burnley go down instead.
A Raphinha penalty gave Leeds a second-half lead but they conceded a goal from Sergi Canos in the 78th minute before Harrison fired home four minutes into stoppage time to spark ecstatic celebrations.
Burnley’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle United at Turf Moor meant Leeds finished three points above them, with 38 points being enough to ensure their safety. They had trailed Burnley on goal difference going into the final day’s fixtures.
Leeds, who had collected two points from their previous five league games, rode their luck initially before taking advantage of their numerical superiority to set up a dramatic victory.
Early mistakes betrayed Leeds’s anxiety but they were first to have a shot on goal as Sam Greenwood’s driving run in the 17th minute ended with a poor shot over the top of the target.
Two minutes later his pass allowed Joel Gelhardt to finish from close range, sending the visiting fans into ecstatic celebration, only for the effort to be chalked off for offside after a VAR check.
The disappointment for the Leeds supporters was quickly alleviated by news from Turf Moor where Burnley went behind to Newcastle after 20 minutes.
Despite the boost, Leeds continued to make unnecessary errors as they allowed Brentford four chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half, with Bryan Mbeumo having the best effort but firing across the face of goal.
The striker had an even better opportunity two minutes into the second half but hit his shot straight at Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal.
Raphinha had a good chance in the 53rd minute but was foiled by Brentford’s David Raya, then the goalkeeper gave away the penalty 60 seconds later by tripping the Brazilian, who tucked away the pressure kick with his left foot.
Brentford’s Kristoffer Ajer went off injured with 15 minutes left, after they had already made three changes, but the 10-man hosts equalised at the end of a sweeping move from deep in defence with Yoane Wissa crossing for substitute Canos to head home.
Canos removed his shirt in celebration, earning a caution, and then picked up a second yellow card two minutes later for a trip of Raphinha.
With Brentford two players short, Leeds pushed forward for a winner but left it late before Harrison’s last-gasp winner.
“I believed all the way we were going to do this,” said Leeds manager Jesse Marsch.
“This business is about belief and exuding it as a leader. I believed in the players and their resolve.”
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)