Jack Charlton honoured perfectly by Yorkshire club as Hernandez sends them within four points of Prem

Leeds paid the perfect tribute to Jack Charlton as Pablo Hernandez’s late winner sent Marcelo Bielsa’s men to within an inch of a Premier League return.

Hernandez’s 89th minute strike caused delirium among his Leeds team-mates and put the men from Elland Road three points clear of West Brom in second. 

Pablo Hernandez's 89th minute winner leaves Leeds needing only four points from their remaining three games to secure promotion


Pablo Hernandez’s 89th minute winner leaves Leeds needing only four points from their remaining three games to secure promotion

Bielsa’s men need four more points from their remaining three games to be guaranteed automatic promotion, but it will now surely be a case of when not if Leeds are back in the big time.

England 1966 World Cup winner Charlton – who passed away on Friday night at the age of 85 following a long-term illness – would surely have smiled at such a feat. 

Charlton made a club record 773 appearances for Leeds over a 23-year period.

Leeds warmed up with “RIP big Jack” on their shirts.

Both teams wore black armbands and held a minute’s silence in his memory too.

Bielsa’s men started and ended the first half on top but this was a more than equal contest.

Swansea held their own as both teams had chances.

Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster and impressive Chelsea young gun Conor Gallagher both went close and wing-back Connor Roberts crossed from the right.

At the other end Swansea goalkeeper got in a pickle with Kyle Naughton which nearly led to the home defender putting into his own net.

Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford also worked Woodman and Bamford should have scored.

He shot straight at Freddie Woodman from close range after Ben White’s long ball forward.

Leeds paid tribute to the late Jack Charlton ahead of kick-off


Leeds paid tribute to the late Jack Charlton ahead of kick-off

Charlton would surely have enjoyed the blood and thunder of this clash.

The challenges flew in and referee Keith Stroud dished out three first-half bookings as the fouls mounted up in a goalless opening 45 minutes.

Bielsa introduced former Swansea man Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski for the second half.

And the eccentric Argentine clearly didn’t like the way the game was going. His repeated cries of “again, again!” as he encouraged his players reverberated around the empty Liberty Stadium.

At one point even Bielsa’s half-time cup of tea went flying such was his frustration.

He was right to be concerned.

Promising Chelsea youngster Gallagher drove on goal and unleashed a powerful shot before crossing for Marc Guehi who headed over.

The cut and thrust of the first half continued in the second with a palpable edge to the game and Alioski and Andre Ayew collided and clattered into the advertising hoardings.

Charlton would have loved the passion on show from both sides.

On the hour mark Woodman continued his heroics to deny Leeds again.

Jack Harrison’s volleyed cross found Bamford and his low, stooped header was saved spectacularly by Woodman. Bamford will know he should have scored. A yard either side and it was a goal.

At that stage it looked like Leeds would have to settle for a point and that would have been a fair result.

The talented Hernandez had other ideas though as he stuck the knife into his old team.

With Swansea tiring and a minute of normal time remaining, Ayling crossed from the right and Hernandez controlled before finishing past Woodman with his effort going in off the post. 

Hernandez raced away and was booked for removing his shirt amidst the delirium, not that he, Leeds or Bielsa will care a jot as a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 now looks sealed.

Jack Charlton dead at 85 – England 1966 World Cup winner, Leeds United legend and Ireland favourite passes away

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