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Leeds captain Ampadu revels in silencing critics as Norwich swept aside

Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville were on target as Leeds United hammered Norwich City

Ethan Ampadu

Captain Ethan Ampadu was delighted Leeds United were able to answer their critics by reaching the Championship play-off final courtesy of a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich City tonight.

Leeds’ hopes of automatic promotion hit the skids over the final weeks of the regular season with Leicester City and Ipswich Town claiming the top two positions.

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But, following a dour goalless draw at Carrow Road in the first leg on Sunday, Daniel Farke’s men were back to their swashbuckling best to sweep past Norwich and set up a Wembley date with either Southampton or West Brom next weekend.

Ilia Gruev, Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville were all on target in a one-sided encounter to the delight of a boisterous Elland Road crowd.

Ampadu told Sky Sports: “Towards the end of the season there was a lot of talk about how we were playing, how we weren’t on the front foot, how we weren’t aggressive or clinical.

“But we always had our belief that on our day, when we are firing, we can be hard for anyone to play against.

“When the front four, five, six play like that, they make the job of us defenders a lot easier.”

Leeds will go to Wembley full of confidence after that display with Ampadu adding: “Whoever we play in the final it’s going to be a hard game but to go in like this, to put in a performance like this, we can take momentum and confidence into it.

“The fans were second to none and we enjoyed their support – now we are going to prepare for the big one.”

While Leeds were excellent, the same cannot be said for Norwich, who were hopelessly outgunned in every area of the pitch.

Canaries boss David Wagner admitted: “It was a poor performance from us.

“I think tonight, everything you should not do, we have done. We were second best in the duels and it’s a very disappointing evening and end to the season.

“We knew we had to try and stay in the game but we did the opposite of that, conceding three goals in the first half.”

He added: “It’s very quiet in the dressing room at the moment. I haven’t really spoken about the game, because at the moment the disappointment is too big.

“It was a very exhausting season. It wasn’t a normal season and now it’s over quite quickly.

“It’s important to reflect now. Unfortunately, the fairytale does not have a happy ending.”

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Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.