Bristol City 0 Leeds United 1 – putting a shift in. With James out it was an opportunity for Gnonto to start, ahead of Anthony. He was the man of the moment tonight scoring the one goal Leeds United managed to put in the back of the net. After a difficult Summer and being reduced to being a bench warmer tonight was when he needed to put a shift in.
Farke described the performance generally as “good”, a dominant performance but again he was frustrated by only one goal. It was about “having to take more responsibility in shooting positions” by half time.
After a wobbly Christmas stretch Leeds United are now on a good run with five league games won and the gap closed to Ipswich – second place until tomorrow, Saturday. Farke has evolved the squad since December with Bamford preferred over Piroe, Firpo claiming Left Back and Gruev in the middle.
After the initial burst of energy from Bristol City, Leeds United took control of the game: controlled possession, used their pace to undo their defence. Leeds had so many chances they could have been three goals to the good by half time.
First was Summerville who had a one-on-one with the goal keeper but chose a weak lob instead of rounding the keeper, which was easily batted away. Then Bamford was the last man from quick link up play by Leeds but his shot only hit straight at the keeper. After that Georginio went on a run right into the Bristol box but instead of taking a shot he cuts back to no one there.
The match settles into a pattern as Leeds draw Bristol City to their defence and then cross to the runners to get behind the City defence. It is speculative and relies on Leeds picking up the second ball. Luckily, CIty are nervous and struggle with Leeds aggressiveness on the ball.
Georginio had a frustrating night with a couple of penalty shouts that went City’s way. A golden opportunity came from Bamford have a rare run with the ball but somehow Georginio’s shot spins upwards instead of forwards off the keeper’s trailing foot, away from the goal.
Leeds started the second half with a clinical finish by Gnonto in front of the Leeds fans. Firpo made an incisive cross into the middle of a pack of players that Gnonto claimed. Gnonto celebrated his rare goal with a bit bromance from Summerville.
The game picked up with first Kamara then Georginio both having chances. Summerville’s pace making the difference. Georginio had one of his moments as he catches the keeper way way off his line but hisa long range shot from the half way line is way off target. A magic moment from Gray that delighted the fans as he played keepy uppy in the box surrounded by Bristol players.
It took City over an hour before they tested Meslier. Their poverty in attack meant they never really looked like scoring. A real difference was the presence of Rodon to head the ball away. Ampadu and Gray were equally effective in holding onto that clean sheet dispossessing any City attack.
Georginio was the creative juice running through the team. Again and again as he spun around on the ball he looked like he was in control of his feet but not the ball, somehow holding onto it leaving the opponent little choice but to foul him. Summerville had another frustrating game – a joy to watch with his pace and finding chances to shoot but when the big moment came it went just wide.
Bristol City were never in the game with Meslier first tested after an hour. Leeds having nearly two thirds possession and winning the second balls. Leeds had many big chances they lacked a clinical finish with many final passes going astray as the last player didn’t follow through. Whilst Leeds played dominant football it was frustrating to see Leeds not put the game to bed.
Overall it was an uncomfortable night as Leeds fluffed chance after chance almost allowing Bristol City back into the game with a couple of late chances. That last pass often going astray or shots simply not clinical enough in front of goal.
Man of the match: Willy Gnonto who won the fans back.