Leeds United cemented their hold of 10th place in the Premier League with an outstanding performance at Burnley on Saturday.
Mateusz Klich opened the scoring for the Whites before half-time after long periods of dominance in the opening 45 minutes.
The visitors added three goals in the second half, firstly through Jack Harrison who flicked in from close range before substitute Rodrigo added two more in the final 15 minutes against a hapless Clarets side.
Story of the game
Burnley started the game the better, Dwight McNeil forced his way into the box, the ball finding it’s way Josh Brownhill curled an effort wide of the post.
Patrick Bamford then had a great chance moments later, creating some space for himself with a smart touch and finding the hands of Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who was deputising for the injured Nick Pope, at the near post.
Pascal Struijk headed a Kalvin Phillips delivery agonisingly wide as the away side looked to make their pressure count.
Ezgjan Alioski bizarrely smashed an effort out for a throw in while Raphinha saw an overhead kick fly over the bar.
Burnley started to come back, but it was a swift counter-attack that brought the opening goal of the game. through Mateusz Klich right at the end of the half.
The Polish international carried the ball unchallenged from just inside the host’s half, had options but chose to ignore them and placed a fine effort past Peacock-Farrell to give the visitors the lead at half time.
Before the whistle, though, Ashley Westwood flashed a free kick towards the near post but Illan Meslier in the Whites’ goal gathered it well above his head.
Leeds deserved their goal, but after the break, Burnley came out well with Matej Vydra getting in behind forcing Meslier to make a smart save.
The visitors replaced Bamford for Rodrigo and, just minutes later, had their second of the afternoon.
Alioski’s effort was well struck and Jack Harrison flicked the ball goal-bound, leaving Peacock-Farrell with no chance.
The game turned a bit ugly with a couple of rash challenges, Chris Wood was clattered on the edge of the box and Phillips was booked for a foul on Matej Vydra.
Westwood curled an effort wide of the post and was then booked minutes later for a rash tackle on Raphinha.
Burnley made changes, replacing Wood, Vydra and McNeil with Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez and Johann Burg Gudmundsson but it didn’t make a single bit of difference, as Leeds added a third 15 minutes from time.
Rodrigo skipped away from a challenge and found the back of the net with a sumptuous, composed finish and he wasn’t done there.
He added a fourth just two minutes later, Phillips played a beautiful 50-yard pass to Harrison who found the striker who rounded the goalkeeper, and fired it into the back of the net.
It was the best of the lot but Burnley sure did make it easy for the visitors and they looked awful for the majority of the game, it was lucky they were safe because this was relegation football.
James Tarkowski volleyed the ball over after Ben Mee headed the ball back across the goal for Burnley’s best chance of the game up to that point.
Moments later, Rodriguez had an effort blocked before Barnes headed the ball past the post as Burnley seemed to wake up in the last ten minutes.
Rodrigo nearly completed his hat-trick, but his volley was deflected behind for a corner, as the game fizzled out towards the end.
The main takeaways
When Leeds are on it, they are unbelievable to watch
Leeds were dominant for large parts of the game, and they absolutely blew the Clarets away in the second half.
The patience in the first half paid off with a delightful finish from Klich and then the second half they were ruthless.
They enjoyed the wetter, slicker pitch in the second half and were zipping the ball about as they have done many times this season.
Marcelo Bielsa has everyone bought into a system that is wonderful to watch when it works, and today it most certainly did.
Rodrigo’s finishes were delightful, Harrison’s little flick was exquisite and the confidence in the passing was a joy to watch.
Defensively, it should also be said, they were resolute despite missing their captain Liam Cooper, and deservedly picked up the clean sheet.
Burnley were awful, simply dreadful
Something hasn’t been right at Turf Moor, this being their ninth consecutive home defeat which is incidentally a club record.
Burnley didn’t look like scoring for a large part of the game, not really creating a real clear cut chance until Tarkowski blazed the ball over the top.
Usually, they are good in transition and hardly let teams get at them on the counter but the opening goal was so poor to concede, no one closed the scorer Klich down.
Tarkowski and Mee were a shambles at the back, especially against Rodrigo and Charlie Taylor and Matt Lowton failed to deal with the pace at times of United’s wide players.
The centre back pairing has been heralded for it’s consistency in recent seasons, but this campaign they have looked a shell of themselves at times and today was one of those occasions.
Sean Dyche will not be a happy man, despite ensuring their safety in the division for another season on Monday night at Fulham.
A game and, ultimately, a season to forget for the Clarets.
Peacock-Farrell; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Westwood, Cork, McNeil (Gudmundsson, 70); Wood (Barnes, 65), Vydra (Rodriguez, 65)
Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips, Raphinha (Poveda-Ocampo, 81), Dallas, Klich (Roberts, 76) Harrison; Bamford (58).