Cardiff City 0 – Leeds United 3 – a most mature performance

Cardiff City 0 - Leeds United 3 - a most mature performance.  Without really trying Leeds United made Cardiff City look ordinary. 

Cardiff City 0 – Leeds United 3 – a most mature performance.  Without really trying Leeds United made Cardiff City look ordinary.  They could have won 6-0.  With a solid defensive wall of Rodon nullifying any pretensions from Cardiff for scoring in this match.

Leeds played with confidence and pressure, slacking off in the second half without letting Cardiff back into the match. The dribbling caused Cardiff problems as did the long crosses looking for Bamford.  The one touch play often went astray but Cardiff rarely threatened with only one weak shot on target all match.  Leeds dominated possession to show, after a messy December, they are now back in form with a second 3-0 in two matches.

Farke called it the most mature and one of the best performances from Leeds this season so far.  His concern is being limited with decisions where players go, such as having to put Ampadu into defence. His plan to defend high certainly worked, and Rodon snuffed out their set pieces.

Along with the return of suspended Meslier, Farke made rare changes to his preferred first time line up by choosing in form Bamford over Piroe, with Gruev and Firpoe starting too – the latter to help on the left wing with Ampadu dropping behind him.  Rodon, previously of Swansea City, got a Cardiff welcome from the fans.

Leeds started the match in the Cardiff City half staying their for most of the match as Cardiff stayed deep.  Bamford was unlucky not to be awarded an early penalty when he was deliberately shoved over.

The confidence oozing through the team showed in the first Leeds goal.  Firpo – better as a winger than a defender dribbled like Summerville through the Cardiff defence to Georginio who passed to Summerville who danced through three Cardiff players to cut back to a group of players in front of the Cardiff goal and Bamford, on his bottom, managed a second touch to tap the ball into the net.

After the first goal Leeds created lots of opportunities in the first half, with Bamford, then Summerville; it was only the keeper Alnwick that stood between Leeds having three more goals.

Leeds then went two up on the half hour in an almost identical goal to the first. Kamara pick pocketed Cardiff and drove forward to pass to Summerville who took the ball to the by line and crossed in front of goal for James to tap it into the net.

Leeds slackened off in the second half whilst Cardiff remained as inept in front of Leeds goal as the first half only making Meslier use his hands once.  Leeds could have had a third after Georginio was fouled but Summerville, who claimed the penalty over Bamford, hit the post.

Cardiff had one more chance in the dying minutes of the match with a corner but Leeds used their superior fitness to make it three.  With the ball kicked out, James, who managed to scrap from two Cardiff defenders on the half way line, surged forward to cross the ball to a free Summerville who then tapped it through Bamford’s feet to Georginio, with a slick dummy, placed the ball into the net through a crowd of players.  Only then, in the 90th minute did Farke bother to make any changes to his team.

Bamford has earned his start by being goal threat today – his third goal in three matches. James and Summerville both caused problems for Cardiff with their dribbling.  Alas Summerville was wasteful with his shots.  Gray and Firpo contributed to that forward positivity that was missing in December.  Rodon was everywhere, winning the ball in the air in both defence and attack and driving the ball out of defence.  Georginio was also poor with his shots and was unlucky with a lob that Alnwick got his fingertips to, but finally got his goal at the end of the match.  Gruev also justified his start, growing into his role running back into defence when needed.

Man of the match: Rodon who always managed to be in the right place to win the ball.

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