It was a moment of pure genius from Kalvin Phillips on Saturday afternoon. First touch, without a thought, the England midfielder pinged one to Jack Harrison – easily over 50 yards – and just seconds later, Rodrigo rounded Bailey Peacock-Farrell as Leeds beat Burnley 4-0. Having watched the goal on BBC’s Match of the Day, Nigel Martyn has exclusively delivered his verdict on the moment – and how he paused and rewound the clip.
With the scoreline already reading 3-0 at Turf Moor, Leeds were in cruise control. Mateusz Klich opened the scoring as he continued his excellent, rejuvenated form – curling a beautiful effort into the far corner past Peacock-Farrell. It was 2-0 when Gjanni Alioski’s dragged shot was brilliantly flicked into the back of the net by Harrison. It was the Manchester City loanee’s eighth goal of the season, in his 34th outing.
In what was billed as a tough encounter before the match, Leeds took Burnley apart for a third time when Harrison nabbed the first of his two assists. Picking the ball up around about 35 yards out, Harrison threaded the perfect through ball into Rodrigo to chip Peacock-Farrell. But probably the moment of the match came from Phillips, as he pinged a delicious, mouth-watering, pass out to Harrison. One that can be played on repeat.
That is exactly what Martyn did. The Leeds legend, who had been occupied by cricketing duties throughout the day, caught up on the game thanks to the help of Match of the Day – and after watching the England star’s gorgeous pass into Harrison, he says that he stopped the coverage and rewound the action to see who delivered the glorious pass. Of course, it probably didn’t need a second check – but any excuse to re-watch it. He also jokes he would have broken his ankle, had he tried the same thing.
“That is one that I would do one in 50, but he does it eight out of 10. It was pure quality wasn’t it, a joy to watch. That was a really tough technique, but it was inch-perfect. With him, he made it look so easy. That is the hallmark of a class footballer, they make things look easy. Slice it, kick the floor, I’d break a left ankle,” Martyn told LeedsUnited.News. “It was absolute quality, he didn’t even have to break stride. I saw it on Match of the Day, stopped it and rewound it to see who it was, and they did it in the analysis. Not bad.”
Leeds have now climbed into tenth place and sit only three behind eight-placed and only two off Arsenal. Had you told Leeds fans before the start of the season that with two to play, Leeds would only be two points behind the Gunners – most would have told you to forget it. Not only that, but Leeds face struggling Southampton and already-relegated West Brom in their final two outings of the season. Phillips and Leeds have really enjoyed a brilliant campaign – one they should be proud of.