Leeds United 2 Bristol City 1 – Little moments of pressure what won it for Leeds. Another home win, another goal for Piroe, and James scores on his fiftieth performance.
This was another win by one goal. It’s always a nervous affair. After Bristol City equalised literally with the last ball of the first half there is always that worry the opposition will snatch a draw at the death. But that would be unfair as Leeds could have easily won this match with four goals today, whilst Bristol City never looked like scoring other than the one when they did.
Unlike last season in the Premier League when it was a lack of confidence that caused Leeds to lose and lose, Leeds are now creating the scoring opportunities – ten today – it is only that last touch of the ball that is letting them down. Even when Bamford came on for the last ten minutes he managed a shot on target and an assist.
You have to feel for Georginio Rutter today. He was constantly kicked, but kept picking up the ball and passing forward to get Summerville in front of goal, and having a go at goal himself. Today he had the anguished look of a player that didn’t have luck on his side – one golden opportunity on the goal line bouncing over the post, and one disallowed goal. He was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty in the first half as he was barged off the ball onto the floor. But this is the championship – no VAR.
Farke said before the match that Bristol City are a tough team to break down – managing long stretches in possession, forcing Meslier to kick out rather than pass out so City could win the ball in centre of the pitch – but they had to come out and score today. Leeds were patient in the first half playing from the back but in the second half they opted to fight for the ball and counter attack. City could not cope with the pace of James and Summerville on the wings and Georginio through the middle.
There were many promising performances today. Kamara reminds me of Phillips, constantly picking up the ball in the Leeds half but in an understated way. Ampadu puts in a strong shift every match – he even managed a shot on target today. Gray continues to impress; today he was on the right back and showed that Leeds have another worthy option there. Rodon had one job which was to head every incoming ball back out again, which he did.
Leeds lost their clean sheet at Elland Road today but continued to win – the jinx last season of not winning at home is now in the past. Farke dropped the two ageing players, Ayling and Cooper as their new replacements begin the new era: Rodon and Byram. Struijk, maturing in defence this season so far, was awarded captaincy.
The first Leeds goal was a team effort as Kamara floated the ball over to Rutter whose precision forward passing helped James, on his fiftieth performance, tapped it into the net. Instead of Leeds pressing on for another goal, City drew level in the dying seconds from a corner with Naismith given too much space as Leeds players were statues.
In the second half Piroe, kept quiet for most of the game teed up a nutmeg straight straight into the low right hand side of the net. This is what he does – be in the penalty box, pick up the cross and score. Leeds kept knocking on that door for a third with Georginio running himself into the ground – Summerville hit the post but could not find that final touch.
Leeds United made the most of their little moments of pressure to score but City did not give up and very nearly scored at the end of the match from another corner, as Leeds lost focus and the game became messy, but for Byram headed the ball off the line.
Man of the match: Georginio – running with the ball, defending, crossing and shooting.