May 18th 2021 may not feel like a particularly significant date in Leeds United’s recent history.
In fact, many supporters probably need more than a few seconds to work out who Leeds could have been playing that day as our first year back in the Premier League edged towards its conclusion.
But it was on May 18th 2021 that Leeds beat Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s to ensure that they would finish the campaign in the top-half of the table.
Patrick Bamford broke the deadlock in the final 20 minutes with a clever finish past Alex McCarthy. And Tyler Roberts made the points safe in stoppage-time with a richly-deserved first goal since promotion.
Today marks unfortunate two-year landmark in Leeds’ recent history
At the time, it appeared that Leeds were still in the midst of discovering how far they could go under Marcelo Bielsa. A ninth-place finish whetted the appetite for what was to come.
Of course, it would prove to the high point of Bielsa’s tenure. And two relegation battles have followed.
But why that win against Southampton is significant is that today actually marks two years since Leeds’ most recent 2-0 win.
That is right – it has been exactly two years since Leeds fans watched their side win a competitive game 2-0.
Yes, there have been some more emphatic wins since. Both Watford and Chelsea have been beaten 3-0. And there have been wins by a two-goal margin since the start of last season.
However, Leeds needed stoppage-time goals to make the points safe against Burnley in January 2022, and Wolves under Javi Gracia.
The run without a 2-0 win highlights that Leeds simply do not do comfortable victories – unless they produce a colossal performance like they did against Chelsea at the start of this season.
Seven league victories were by a single goal last term. Meanwhile, there have been five this time around.
Leeds obviously kept themselves up last year. But there is even more work required to repeat the trick this season.
Obviously, we will take any victories in the final two games. But wouldn’t it just be amazing if Leeds could seal a largely comfortable 2-0 win along the way?
At two years and counting, it feels long, long overdue.