Salford City 1 Leeds United 1. 9-8 penalties. The misery of Rutter. A disappointing performance from Rutter is the difference that sends Leeds United crashing out of the EFL Cup.
Farke must be asking how he lost this match. Leeds dominated possession, had plenty shots on target and restricted Salford City’s own scoring opportunities. The answer lies in Rutter – he had the opportunity to score but lacked the finishing; he even messed up his penalty shot.
This match was an opportunity for peripheral players to show their worth to Farke. Ultimately, his defence failed to keep a clean sheet with Salford only having the one clear chance when they scored. Hjelde was busy enough linking up to get the ball forward, but Gelhardt was poor in front of goal. Shackleton is proving he can be like Stuart Dallas and play in a variety of positions for the team. The youngsters Summerville and Archie Gray controlled midfield and forward.
But with Salford City scoring first Leeds were then playing against a ten man defence that showed up Leeds lack of creativity in front of goal. Despite Shackleton and Gnonto on the wings constantly bringing the ball into the box Rutter and Gelhardt were poor. Only Summerville and Sinisterra forced the keeper to save.
This was a physical match and Gnonto was targeted, being unlucky not to win a penalty claim within one foul. What Smith achieved for Salford, jumping high enough to head a corner into the net, Rutter could not.
Once Greenwood, came on, his first touch with his scrappy free kick that Salford failed to clear and Struijk pouncd on, Leeds finally clicked up a gear and the shots came firing in from Sommerville, Rutter and Sinisterra, plus a lat \Greenwood free kick hitting the bar in extra time.
The pass and move by Leeds was well organised but they lacked ideas in front of goal to deserve to win. With penalties both teams matched each other but Leeds blinked first – with Rutter then Shackleton.
Farke will take away many positives – the pass and move, the possession, and amount of shots on goal, but he will ask questions if Rutter and Gelhardt are good enough for the first team, and what more he needs to do to get a clean sheet.
Man of the match: Sommerville