Leeds United moved top of the Championship after Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford fired Marcelo Bielsa’s side past the Terriers at Elland Road.
Luke Ayling’s stunning volley in Leeds United’s 2-0 triumph over Huddersfield Town left Neil Warnock raving about an ‘unbelievable’ strike from the most unlikely of sources, speaking to EFL on Quest (7 March, 9pm).
Just three minutes in to what looked like a testing Yorkshire derby clash against a Terriers side fighting tooth and claw to avoid relegation, Leeds’ number two sent Elland Road into raptures with a thunderbolt strike that would have left even a prime-era Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink beaming.
The unassuming right-back somehow controlled a difficult, bouncing ball to fire a wicked volley in off the underside of Jonas Lossl’s crossbar.
Not even the rather ill-advised celebration, Ayling joyously strumming his imaginary guitar on the West Yorkshire turf with his flowing locks rippling in the spring-time breeze, could take the focus off a scarcely-believable effort.
“That’s a striker’s finish, that’s a hell of a finish, I’m not so sure about the haircut!” said a coach who has seen it all. “The finish is unbelievable. He keeps his eye on it, a typical coaching manual one – it’s a great finish.”
The likes of Ayling, Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison stepped up in the absence of influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips as Marcelo Bielsa’s side overtook West Brom at the top of the Championship table with just nine games remaining.
And Warnock has hailed the supporting cast for striding onto the main stage to eclipse the absence of Leeds’ leading man.
“I think (Phillips) has been their best player. He’s the one you miss. But they’ve shown they are not a one-man band,” the former Whites coach added.
With Leeds recovering from a post-Christmas wobble to win each of their last five games, keeping a clean sheet in every match to boot, Premier League next season football is becoming a very real possibility.