Patrick Bamford reinforced his case for calling England ahead of the European Championship by scoring his 13th goal of the season in Leeds’ 3-0 win over struggling Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Bamford squeezed a low, sloping shot into the corner of the edge of the box in the 47th minute to put Leeds in the lead and level up with Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin as England’s main goal scorers this campaign.
Only Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah and Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes scored more.
Left-back Stuart Dallas provided an off-foot finish at the end of a 78th breakaway for Leeds’ second goal and Brazilian winger Raphinha concluded the win with a 20-yard curling free kick as Southampton’s winless run extended to eight games.
The margin of victory flattered Leeds, according to their manager, Marcelo Bielsa.
“Throughout the match it was difficult to distinguish between the two teams,” Bielsa said through a translator.
“When the games are so close, the team that scores first takes the advantage. It is not definitive but has weight.
Southampton’s winless streak, which included a 9-0 loss to Manchester United, plunged Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side into the relegation zone. He was briefly the league leader in November.
“First half, good,” said Hasenhuttl, “second half, disaster. We gave up in the second half and that’s not what I like.
Southampton are in 14th place, eight points ahead of third-to-last Fulham, who has returned to good form in recent weeks in his attempt to escape relegation.
Leeds climbed above Wolverhampton and Arsenal to 10th place in an impressive debut season in the Premier League. Bamford has been one of the shining lights of the squad as he begins to dissipate his reputation as a wasteful finisher he has mostly acquired in second division stints.
The 27-year-old striker has played for England’s youth teams but never for the country’s senior team.
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