Leeds United snatch victory in pulsating - and crucial - 2-1 win over Norwich City

There were plenty of things Leeds United did not quite get right against Norwich City but the result was not one of them.

For the first time since mid-January, the Whites won a game of football but only after causing cardiac arrests galore.

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The value of their 2-1 win over Norwich City was immeasurable, and if anyone was in any doubt, they could feel it from the sheer relief pouring from the terraces at full-time.

GOAL: Rodrigo opens the scoring for Leeds United

The disgusted purists who would have lost interest long before the end missed out on a stunning conclusion as a Leeds team whose failure to kill the game off were punished for it in stoppage time, only to win it with a goal from a substitute who only came on after the equaliser.

Add in three shots against the crossbar - two for Leeds's Raphinha - and a penalty overturned by an intervention by the video assistant referee and it was some finish.

"I predict a riot" yelled the home games after watching a game that just about fell short of one.

When Patrick Bamford gestured to his team-mates to calm down, it was going against everything Leeds had done for the opening half-hour. Needless to say, they ignored it.

By full-time, though, what he was witnessing then qualified as calm and controlled.

The Whites played furious football that prized pace and persistence over precision and purity - just the way English fans like it.

It got some reward in the first half, just nowhere near what it merited. When Stuart Attwell pointed to the penalty spot after 75 minutes, you thought they were going to be punished for it.

When Kenny McLean tapped in the equaliser, you were certain of it.

Rodrgio epitomised the frantic football, so it was only right he opened the scoring.

The Spaniard was playing in the hole of a 4-2-3-1 like a man possessed.

In the first four minutes alone he fouled Pierre Lees-Melou and Brandon Williams tracking back. His tackle had also set up a second-minute attack which saw Raphinha, wide on the left, release James, who had popped up from his narrow spot on the right, only for the winger to run out of room.

Rodrigo could have been booked for one of those fouls, as could Adam Forshaw when he fouled, then pulled Williams back inside 10 minutes. They were similar to the challenge Luke Ayling was cautioned for catching Milot Rashica with.

The reliably unreliable Stuart Attwell was in many ways the perfect referee for such an imperfect contest.

Rodrigo's energy got what it deserved with a direct goal in the 15th minute. Diego Llorente launched the ball long for Bamford, making his first start in six months. The centre-forward was in an offside position - something Tim Krul and his goalkeeping coach Ed Wootten would be booked for pointing out - but Ozan Kabak headed the ball away.

James picked up the second ball and Rodrigo nicked it off him to steer the ball inside the post.

As Chelsea and Newcastle United were exchanging banter about who had the least despicable owners in a very 21 Century Premier League way, this was throwback football.

Leeds should have doubled their lead with another electric move six minutes later but Raphinha's luck was out and had forgotten to leave a forwarding note.

Illan Meslier fed Ayling, who played the ball to Mateusz Klich to break the press. The ball was worked out left to Raphinha whose backheel to release Stuart Dallas was as gorgeous as the shot into his own standing leg was calamitous.

He would finish off another direct move by guiding a shot against the inside of the crossbar. Pascal Struijk had picked him out spread the ball beautifully out to Bamford but the volley was an inch too high.

When Jack Harrison was fouled in the 82nd minute, he curled a free-kick into the opposite crossbar.

Not that he was the only culprit.

Players always become better when they get injured and whilst actually having a proper centre-forward cannot not improve Leeds, Bamford is no dead-eyed goal machine.

He blazed over after robbing Ben Gibson and exchanging the ball with Raphinha, then woefully missed the target when played in by the Brazilian. It was Bamford's last notable act.

In between time Leeds were aggrieved not to get a penalty for Gibson's barge on James.

Norwich chances were few and far between, Lukas Rupp shooting wide from distance, Rashica hitting a free-kick which threatened to catch the attention of air traffic control.

Leeds kept banging away after the interval but with less to show for it until Tim Krul's dive to keep out James's curling 62nd-minute shot.

Norwich were just about to hint at what might befall Leeds if they kept this up, recently introduced substitute Jon Rowe forcing Meslier into a low save, then thumping against the bar in the 72nd minute.

Three minutes later, Norwich had a penalty, Attwell blowing up for Ayling's tackle on Rashicha. It was rash from the full-back but when VAR Mike Dean sent the referee over to the monitor he could see that the Canary had been brought down not by Ayling's boot, but by standing on his leg.

Norwich lost their cool, the game lost all shape, the full-on battle that had already started between Harrison and Max Aarons threatening a red card one way or the other until the latter was diplomatically withdrawn.

Raphinha was denied by the crossbar, then a Krul slide tackle, but Norwich kept plugging away and as Joe Gelhardt prepared to come on and the fourth official indicated six added minutes, Teemu Pukki pulled back Gibson's long ball for McLean to tap in. The midfielder then shot wide at a corner.

But when Gelhardt's flick-on from a Meslier punt released Raphinha in the fourth added minute the Brazilian recognised how wide he had been taken going around Krul and perhaps the way his day was going, and crossed for the teenager to tap in.

Even after that, Pukki hit a shot at Meslier.

It was a mad end to a crazy game.

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Dallas; Forshaw, Klich (|Gelhardt 90); James, Rodrigo (Koch 60), Raphinha; Bamford (Harrison 46).

Unused substitutes: Klaesson, Bate, Cresswell, Summerville, Greenwood, Shackleton.

Norwich City: Krul; Aarons (Gilmour 88), Gibson, Kabak, Williams; Rupp (Normann 46), McLean, Lees-Melou; Sargent (Rowe 61), Pukki, Rashica.

Unused substitutes: Dowell, Placheta, Sorensen, Gunn, Giannoulis, Tomkinson.

Referee: S Attwell (Nuneaton).