The Sky Bet Championship regular season is a 46 game slog of a journey, with many child-like instances of fans calling out “are we there yet?”
For some of these fans, the ‘there yet’ represents the yearnings for the play-offs, whilst for others it is either the unwanted snugness of an expected mid-table finish or the darkness of a resignation to relegation.
For Leeds United fans, the past few seasons have been somewhat mediocre and unrewarding, but this season has been something a little different. Six games in and in the relegation places suddenly turned into a play-off charge that, unfortunately, petered out leaving the Whites high-and-dry in seventh place.
Here’s the tale of Leeds United’s 2016/17 campaign told through the lens of five standout games.
Game Day 4: Sheffield Wednesday 0 – 2 Leeds United
The season was in its early throes when 19th placed Leeds United took the short trip from West Yorkshire to travel to Hillsborough to take on 20th placed home side Sheffield Wednesday.
Games between the two sides have always been feisty affairs, and the expectations proved to be right. Standout performances in the game involved new Leeds United recruit Hadi Sacko turning Daniel Pudil inside out at every opportunity with Leeds being dogged in nature all over the pitch.
The game itself was won courtesy of goals from strikers Marcus Antonsson and Chris Wood.
Game Day 17: Norwich City 2 – 3 Leeds United
Leeds had beaten Norwich on 3-2 penalties only two games previous to this encounter, courtesy of Marco Silvestri’s trio of penalty saves and Ronaldo Vieira’s coolly struck winning spot-kick.
League games are always different though, Leeds entering this away encounter in a respectable 9th position to face a Canaries side sitting pretty in 4th place in the league table.
As the scoreline suggests, it was a see-saw affair of a game with Leeds falling 1-0 behind to a Robbie Brady opener. A Pontus Jansson equaliser, his first for the club, sparked scenes as the Swede jumped in with the crowd to celebrate.
Further joy from Leeds, via a 74th minute Chris Wood strike, was cancelled out by an 88th minute Kyle Lafferty goal that saw the end of the game creep closer with the sides locked at 2-2. It took a special effort from Ronaldo Vieira to grant Leeds the three points, the youngster scoring from distance with his first strike for the club.