Leeds 0-1 Southampton: Player ratings as Saints march back into the Premier League

  • Southampton defeat Leeds to gain promotion back to the Premier League
  • Adam Armstrong secured Saints' victory with 24th-minute strike
  • Leeds unable to score at Wembley and face another season in the Championship
Southampton gained a place in the Premier League
Southampton gained a place in the Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Southampton gained promotion back into the Premier League after securing a tight 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Wembley Stadium.

Adam Armstrong's clinical finish in the 24th minute proved enough for the Saints on Sunday afternoon, with Daniel Farke's side coming closest when Daniel James struck the crossbar.

Saints manager Russell Martin will look forward to managing his first English top-flight side after enjoying a fruitful campaign on the south coast, while it was heartbreak for Leeds as they prepare for another season in the Championship.

How the game unfolded

The opening moments proved fairly equal between the two sides, with neither fully grasping the occasion to impress at Wembley in the first 20 minutes.

A chance came out of nowhere for Southampton as Flynn Downes played a smart pass to Will Smallbone. The midfielder slotted a ball through the Leeds defence which landed perfectly for striker Armstrong, who fired an effort into the bottom corner of the net.

Armstrong's clinical finish put the Saints ahead before the 30-minute mark, capitalising on some disorganisation in the Leeds defence.

The Whites continued to play well but struggled to threaten Southampton's defence. A further chance arrived for the Saints in the first half as Armstrong once again outsmarted Leeds' backline to fire a shot on target. However, a fantastic save from Illan Meslier kept it 1-0 at the break.

When the second 45 minutes began, Farke's side looked desperate to get back in the game but continued to toil in front of Southampton's defensive system.

It finally looked like the breakthrough would come for Leeds when substitute James fired a powerful shot towards the net but was denied as it flew off the crossbar. The winger looked fed up as he marched away from the goal, with his team losing hope as the clock ticked on.

The final minutes of the game arrived with intense play from both sides. Leeds aimed to push to etch a goal onto the scoresheet during nine minutes of second-half stoppage time but were unable to break down the Saints.

Southampton celebrated promotion into the Premier League at the final whistle while Leeds were unable to earn a goal, meaning Eric Cantona remains the last Whites player to score at Wembley.

Leeds United player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Georginio Rutter
Leeds remain in the Championship / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Illan Meslier - 7/10 - Fantastic save in the first half to prevent the opposition running away with the game.

RB: Archie Gray - 7/10 - Looked mature on the pitch despite his tender age. Proved versatile and worked hard for his side.

CB: Joe Rodon - 6/10 - Did well but was sometimes caught acting too slowly. However, he was a standout player in defence and made some crucial interceptions.

CB: Ethan Ampadu - 4/10 - Gave Armstrong too much space which in turn allowed the Saints player to score.

LB: Junior Firpo - 5/10 - Often clumsy in build-up play but didn't make too many mistakes in defence.

DM: Ilia Gruev - 5/10 - Was overrun in midfield and ultimately didn't offer much to impact the game.

DM: Glen Kamara - 6/10 - Seemed like the more combative player in midfield, offering ball progression when needed.

RW: Wilfried Gnonto - 6/10 - Worked to get himself into some good positions, albeit not much came of his efforts.

AM: Georginio Rutter - 6/10 - Offered more than strike partner Piroe but sometimes struggled to get into the game. Was caught drifting away in front of goal.

LW: Crysencio Summerville - 6/10 - Certainly Leeds' biggest threat on the ball but lacked the finishing strength needed to earn a goal.

ST: Joel Piroe - 6/10 - Like his fellow attackers, Piroe couldn't get into the game, with the absence of Patrick Bamford seemingly a key factor.


SUB: Daniel James (66' for Gnonto) - 7/10

SUB: Jaidon Anthony (74' for Summerville) - 6/10

SUB: Connor Roberts (74' for Kamara) - 5/10

SUB: Mateo Joseph (83' for Firpo) - N/A

Subs not used: Karl Darlow (GK), Jamie Shackleton, Liam Cooper, Sam Byram, Joe Gelhardt, Mateo Joseph.


Daniel Farke - 5/10 - Was unable to create an attacking team that could challenge the Saints. Brought James on late, who looked to be Leeds' best chance at a goal.

Southampton player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Adam Armstrong, David Brooks, Will Smallbone
The Saints defeated Leeds in style / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Alex McCarthy - 6/10 - Didn't have much to do between the sticks but worked hard in the second half to stop Leeds in their tracks.

RB: Kyle Walker-Peters - 7/10 - Did well to push the game up the pitch when needed and worked hard against Summerville.

CB: Taylor Harwood-Bellis - 6/10 - Was strong on the pitch and formed a good partnership with Bednarek. Kept the Leeds frontmen quiet.

CB: Jan Bednarek - 6/10 - While he didn't stand out as much Harwood-Bellis, he proved an important cog in Saints' defence system.

LB: Jack Stephens - 4/10 - Often looked like a rabbit in the headlights and seemed very uncomfortable in the left-back position.

CM: William Smallbone - 8/10 - Was excellent up and down the pitch and did wonders to break up play. Provided the all-important assist for Armstrong.

CM: Flynn Downes - 7/10 - Worked with Smallbone to create dominance in midfield. Intelligence on the ball helped to break opposition lines.

CM: Joe Aribo - 6/10 - Didn't prove too effective but did offer respite to his side's defence when they faced pressure.

RW: David Brooks - 6/10 - An early injury saw Brooks removed from the pitch.

ST: Adam Armstrong - 8/10 - Utilised his space to put the Saints ahead in the first half. Great awareness to know where to run effectively.

LW: Ryan Fraser - 6/10 - Was very quiet for the majority of the game and was just fine on the left for Southampton. He may not have offered a lot on the ball, but in defence he covered lots of ground.


SUB: Samuel Edozie (35' for Brooks) - 6/10

SUB: Che Adams (70' for Fraser) - 5/10

SUB: Ryan Manning (83' Edozie) - N/A

Subs not used: Joe Lumley (GK), James Bree, Ryan Manning, Joe Rothwell, Shea Charles, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Ross Stewart.


Russell Martin - 6/10 - Created a strong system in defence and made substitutions when needed to keep his side looking strong.

Player of the match: Will Smallbone (Southampton)