If you thought Leeds United were just going to coast towards the end of the Premier League season, then boy did they prove everyone wrong.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side turned on the style at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon, thrashing Burnley 4-0 and blowing the Clarets away completely in the second-half.
While Jack Harrison enjoyed an outstanding game and picked up a goal and two assists, it was arguably Rodrigo’s superstar cameo off the bench that really shone brightly for Bielsa.
Who was your Leeds MOTM?
With niggling injuries and difficulties adjusting to English football, it’s been a rather disappointing debut campaign at Elland Road for the Spaniard, but his goal against Spurs last week would no doubt have boosted his confidence.
And if that strike against Ryan Mason’s side was a taster, then Leeds fans got an even bigger glimpse at what is potentially to come with a fully fit and in-form Rodrigo.
The former Valencia man came on in the second-half for Patrick Bamford, and added a real energy and dynamism to the game that was badly missing from the opening period.
As per Sofascore, he made just eight total passes in the time that he was on the pitch, but two of them were defined as ‘key’, while he also completed 100% of his dribbles.
He was a real live-wire with his pace and movement, and his first goal in particular was a real thing of beauty. The first touch to get away from Burnley’s centre-backs after Harrison’s inch-perfect pass was magnificent, and then the impudent little chipped finish over the onrushing Clarets goalkeeper was the kind of “international class” Leeds thought they were getting when they signed him last summer.
Calling his performance “sensational” on Twitter, Leeds Live’s Beren Cross gave the Spaniard an eight in his post-match player ratings, saying: “Some influence from the bench and a massive boost for those looking to the final two games or even next season. Getting better by the match and two outstanding pieces of attacking football to take his goals.”
While Harrison was in outstanding form himself, it was Rodrigo’s injection of quality and energy that really opened the floodgates for Leeds, and why he was Bielsa’s true star on the day.
It bodes well for the rest of this season, and more importantly, for the years to come too.
Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa is set for an exciting summer transfer window at Leeds…