Leeds United wing wizard Raphinha was seen partying with United fans after they dramatically avoided relegation on the final day of the Premier League.
Jesse Marsch’s side arrived at Brentford needing a positive result and a Burnley defeat to maintain their status in the division. Raphinha converted from the spot to put the Yorkshire giants in front at the Brentford Community Stadium, only for Sergi Canos to equalise for the Bees.
But while a 1-1 draw would have been enough to survive, courtesy of the Clarets’ 2-1 home loss to Newcastle United, Jack Harrison sent the travelling Leeds fans into raptures by smashing home a 94th minute winner. And Raphinha absorbed the celebrations from the stands, after his side sealed their Premier League status for another season.
While the Brazilian’s future at the club has been uncertain throughout the campaign, his sheer joy was anything but when the final whistle went. He has once again proved to be pivotal for United, contributing 11 goals and three assists in 35 Premier League appearances.
Under previous boss Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch, he has been Leeds’ main attacking spark throughout the whole campaign. He may very well be a wanted man next season, as Liverpool and Chelsea have both previously been linked with a move.
However, Marsch, as will all Leeds’ fans, will not be thinking about such things for a little while, as he also looked to lap up the celebrations. "We talked about how to play in the heat, how to manage the game, how to stay focussed for every moment. Weird that we gave up a goal when we went up a man,” Marsch said to Sky Sports News after the match.
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“We tried to update the players on the Burnley score but the focus on us was most important. It's hard to concentrate and be connected for 90 minutes on days like this but this is typical of our group – they never stop believing and it's a credit to our mentality.
"It wasn't easy to manage and I was trying to think of ways to help the group tactically and to be fair we have had good performances, it's just, trying to put it all together hasn't always looked perfect. The stress has been high for three months, I've tried to stay calm and focus on us and you see the quality of the mentality and character.”
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