As the fireworks lit the sky, beer was drunk by the Billy Bremner statue and banners emblazoned with “In Bielsa we Trust” were raised. Car horns sounded and chants of “Bielsa is God” were interspersed with: “Are you looking at Manchester?”
The manager was spotted outside his home in Wetherby saying, “Thank you, thank you” to fans saying, “We love you”, before nudging and posing for selfies.
Bielsa players celebrated inside the stadium, from where Pablo Hernández and Patrick Bamford greeted enthusiastically from an upstairs window and the injured Kalvin Phillips briefly stepped out to greet the fans through a door near the main reception.
Phillips said: “We are delighted. Promotion means everything. There is no manager that I prefer to be under Marcelo Bielsa. He’s the best in the world. ”
Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla summed up the team’s collective excitement with an emotional tweet: “We’re back !!!! We are in the first division !!!! Yessssssssssss !!! We are Leeds !!!! LUFC. Many days to dream of this day !!! We deserve it! Proud of this TEAM, proud of our supporters! I can’t describe this moment! Yesssssss !! Thank you for your support, impossible without you! ”
Howard Wilkinson, the manager who led Leeds to their last top title in 1992, was quick to predict his former club could ‘honor’ the Premier League. “Marcelo Bielsa dared to be different,” he said.
In Bielsa’s native Argentina, broadcasters had taken an unprecedented step forward by screening Huddersfield v West Brom. Normally, the only league games broadcast live involve the Leeds side coached by the brilliant and idiosyncratic 64-year-old, whose previous roles include the national teams of Argentina and Chile.
In Poland, the facade of the family home belonging to Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich was covered with a banner declaring: “Premier Klich”.
As the party spread through downtown Leeds, Twitter seemed in danger of crashing under the volume of congratulatory messages from former Leeds players, including James Milner, Rio Ferdinand, Nigel Martyn and Vinnie Jones.
Goalkeeper Paul Robinson, relegated in 2004 amid the club’s financial crisis, told Sky Sports: “It’s been long overdue and long overdue. When I played this last game in 2004, you never imagined that Leeds would be out of the elite for so long, but Bielsa was fantastic. He’s a funny guy, a scientist, a professor.