Leeds United will be back in the big time next season after West Brom’s defeat to Huddersfield meant Marcelo Bielsa’s side gained automatic promotion.
It has been a 16-year long and often turbulent wait for the club but now they are in the Premier League once more, and celebrations outside Elland Road began swiftly with fans desperate to soak in the glory.
Leeds’ slender 1-0 win over Barnsley on Thursday meant the second-placed Baggies had to pick up three points at Huddersfield and their 2-1 loss means the Elland Road side will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Liverpool and old rivals Manchester United next season.
As soon as West Brom’s result was confirmed, Leeds were quick to express their joy at returning to the top flight as they tweeted a poster to celebrate their promotion, writing: ‘We are back!’
Bielsa, the man who made it all possible, was given a rapturous reception as he was mobbed by Leeds fans at his home. ‘El Loco’ used his elbow to greet them all before getting into his car.
The Argentine waved to the gathering fans and repeatedly said ‘thank you’ before joking ‘I don’t speak English!’ He then invited three youngster to pose for a photo in front of him.
Despite pleas from the club for supporters to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, fans quickly took to the streets after discovering their 16 years of pain was over.
After waiting so long for this moment, the Leeds faithful had no intention of staying indoors as groups arrived outside Elland Road with blue and yellow flares and waving flags and scarfs and singing to their hearts’ content.
And their celebrations were recognised by the heroes who pulled off the feat as Leeds players were seen dancing around inside the stadium – waving to the fans at the window after watching the West Brom game together.
Leeds stars were seen jumping around and taking photos while huddled together as they were forced to enjoy their glory off the pitch.
And midfielder Kalvin Phillips couldn’t contain his excitement as he left the stadium to roar to the crowds gathered outside the gates.