LEEDS UNITED have fired back at Karen Carney after the Amazon Prime pundit claimed they only won promotion to the Premier League because of coronavirus.
Leeds put down a marker by smashing West Brom 5-0 on Tuesday to make it three wins from their last four games.
Strikes from Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison, Rodrigo and Raphinha followed an unbelievable own-goal from Romaine Sawyers.
But Carney, 33, questioned whether Marcelo Bielsa’s all-action Leeds will be able to keep up their manic style of play for the rest of the season.
The former England international, who won 144 caps for the Lionesses, also claimed Leeds only won promotion from the Championship last term after getting a rest when coronavirus halted the football season.
Carney, who played for both Arsenal and Chelsea, said: “They outrun everyone and credit to them. My only concern would be, will they blow up at the end of the season like the last couple of seasons?
“I actually think they got promoted because of Covid in terms of it giving them a bit of respite.
“I don’t know if they’d have got up if they didn’t have that break.”
However, Leeds fired back at Carney with a post on Twitter – with the post drawing some criticism for inviting a ‘pile-on’ of sexist abuse aimed at the ex-footballer.
It said: “‘Promoted because of Covid’. Won the league by 10 points. Hi @primevideosport.”
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani claimed he backed the tweet, stating himself on the forum: “I take the responsibility of the Club tweet. I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our Club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches whom were understanding on the pitch for the last two championship seasons by all stats.”
As Leeds themselves pointed out, they finished last season on 93 points – ten ahead of nearest rivals West Brom.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side also won their last five games before lockdown came in without conceding once.
However, the season before – the last full season played – Leeds had dominated in the opening months of the season before running out of steam and failing to advance in the play-offs.
Carney did have kind words for Leeds’ brilliant performance against the Baggies on the night.
She added: “Two newly promoted teams and the difference between them in terms of class, quality and also fitness and intensity.
“Leeds were outstanding, we’ve criticised them in the last couple of weeks about clean sheets and how much they’ve conceded.
“That’s two back-to-back clean sheets now. I know we said about Meslier earlier, he’s unorthodox in what he does, but again two clean sheets.
“Fabulous performance and attacking-wise as clinical as ever.”
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