VICTORY against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday will firmly cement Leeds United’s place in the top half of the Premier League, writes Martin Jarred.

That was guaranteed after their 2-0 win at Southampton which emphasised the growing maturity of Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

After a below-par first half, Leeds dominated the second period to clinch their 10th away win of the season thanks to Patrick Bamford’s 16th goal of the campaign and Tyler Roberts’ first.

The result was achieved with a few surprising tweaks by Bielsa to his line-up including the recall of Kiko Casilla in goal at the expense of the impressive Illan Meslier.

That came after announcing before the game that Mateusz Klich and Robin Koch would not turn out for the club again this season to allow them to prepare for the delayed 2020 Euros with Poland and Germany respectively.

At half-time, Bielsa also withdrew internationals Kalvin Phillips, who had been booked, and Spanish defender Diego Llorente, the latter replaced by Gaetano Berardi, who made his Premier League debut aged 32.

Another Elland Road hero, Pablo Hernandez, who like Berardi will be leaving the club at the end of the season, was fit enough to return to the bench and is tipped to have his swansong against West Brom.

Casilla distinguished himself with some fine saves as the Saints, backed by 8,000 noisy returning fans, threatened early on.

The keeper’s distribution may have been erratic but he played a big part in the Whites’ stoppage time goal.

Clutching the ball from a Jack Stephens header he immediately set Leeds on the counter attack by finding Raphinha whose instant control and pass inside found runners in white shirts pouring forward.

Bamford's strike was parried by Alex McCarthy, with Roberts converting the rebound.

A 2-0 win looked highly unlikely at the interval which United had reached without a shot on target but they grew into the encounter and their extra running power swung the momentum of the game in their favour.

Although James Ward-Prowse hit the bar early in the second period, Leeds took control with Bamford, who had already been denied a penalty when he was clipped by McCarthy when running through, broke the deadlock of a largely scrappy encounter in the 73rd minute.

Rodrigo played a nice clipped ball over the home defence for Bamford to squeeze the ball through McCarthy’s legs.

Even after the second goal, Bamford still had the energy to give Southampton’s tiring defence the slip and set up Raphinha whose shot was well saved by Mccarthy to deny Leeds a third goal.