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Armstrong’s goal gives Southampton the lead over Leeds

Adam Armstrong made it three goals in three games against Leeds United this season to put Southampton on course for the Premier League with the opening goal in the 24th minute of the Championship play-off final 2024.

Striker Armstrong found space behind the Leeds defense to latch on to Will Smallbone’s goal and coolly slot past the advancing goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

This goal broke the deadlock at the beginning of a game that is often called the most profitable in football because of the reward it offers for a place in the top division.

“We have been waiting for that; Armstrong made 10 or 15 runs like that without getting the ball,” former Saints midfielder Jo Tessem told BBC Radio Solent.

β€œA small bone does well; Armstrong turns well. Brilliant performance. Going forward, thinking offensively – that’s how you win football games.”

Southampton v Leeds: ‘Good’ goal

In his first season in charge, Southampton manager Russell Martin has been praised for the way his side use the ball but has faced criticism for their inability to find the ferocity that goes with it.

Leeds collected 90 points under head coach Daniel Farke but finished third behind champions Leicester City and back-to-back promoted Ipswich Town.

Former Wolves striker Don Goodman was not impressed with the way the Whites defended. “Adam Armstrong is in acres of space,” he commented on Sky Sports Football. β€œWhat are the defenders doing?

“This is an amazing situation that Leeds United have got themselves into. You know you’re on the sidelines – it’s a good result, from someone at a high level.”

Southampton held on to their advantage in reasonable comfort at half-time at Wembley Stadium, limiting their opponents to one goal-scoring effort.

With extra-time approaching, Meslier should have been fully open to push away Armstrong’s low drive following a brilliant free-kick.

Southampton defeated West Bromwich Albion to reach the final and boost their hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League, which Leeds are also hoping to achieve after seeing off Norwich City in the semi-finals.

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