The final matchday of the Premier League saw much drama unfold before supporters’ eyes. While many were attentive to City and Liverpool going for the PL title in their respective games in dramatic fashion, there was no shortage of spectacle for the relegation battle either.
With both Watford and Norwich already relegated, the fight was between Burnley and Leeds United to avoid the final drop spot and following a 94th-minute winner from Jack Harrison, the Peacocks confirmed their safety after a tough battle against a spirited Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Although Newcastle did them a favour by beating Burnley, a win on the night to seal safety was the best return for Leeds supporters who were thoroughly behind their team on Sunday.
The game re-started in brilliant fashion for the away side in the second half as Brazilian winger Raphinha put them ahead from the spot. But a Sergi Canos equaliser and his subsequent dismissal kick-started a frantic final 15 minutes, which ended in scripted fashion as Harrison grabbed the late equaliser.
The celebrations were not as wild as at Goodison Park earlier this week as Leeds were playing away from home but the players and staff on the pitch did not hesitate to have a bash.
While manager Jesse Marsch succumbed to the floor in tears at the full-time whistle and the Leeds players assembled before the away stand that was singing high praise of the players, the sight that stood out was Raphinha walking the entire length of the pitch on his knees.
While he later went into the away stands to celebrate with the Leeds fans, after the full-time whistle the Brazilian looked to be on a mission to knee-crawling across the Brentford pitch.
According to sources, this is a South American tradition called ‘promessa’ where one repays God for fulfilling a wish. It is no secret that Raphinha had prayed for Leeds’ survival and as it came true on Sunday, the player decided to complete the tradition.
As the Brazilian moved across the pitch, the Leeds fans and some of the Brentford fans left in the stadium continued to applaud him as he made his way across the goal.
The penalty against Brentford took Raphinha’s tally this season to 11 goals and 3 assists in the PL this season, which has proved vital for Leeds’ survival in the long run.
As he capped off such an important feat for the club with such a personal display of affection to the club, Leeds fans would now be hoping that the Brazilian continues to bring more flair and energy to the squad next season as well. But for the immediate future, both Raphinha and the fans will be relishing in the celebratory mood for a while.