By Lewis Webb - Guest Writer
In a game which throughout was a one sided affair, the visitors hopes of remaining amongst the hunt for promotion were boosted by their comfortable 3-0 victory. With goals from Patrick Bamford and, much to Swansea fans' delight, Dan James in the first half, Leeds established an early lead which proved too much for the Bluebirds to chase down.
With only 4 points between 6th and 14th, Cardiff entered the fixture looking to maintain their position of hovering around the play off places. The matchup has memorable connotations for Cardiff fans, with games such as the famous upset caused by Cardiff through a Scott Young 87th minute volley to knock Leeds out of the FA Cup at Ninian Park in 2002, which lives long in the memory for City fans – but the fight shown that day was severely missing from Saturday’s lackluster showing.
The first half consisted of Cardiff struggling to create anything of note against a Leeds side who simply looked a class above. Patrick Bamford had a good chance early on that he fired narrowly wide, but soon after capitalised during the away sides dominant first ten minutes as the ball landed at his feet for him to knock it into an empty net, putting the visitors up one goal to nil early on. Cardiff City keeper Alnwick did well to deny him shortly after, along with a brave effort to prise the ball from the feet of Crysencio Summerville.
Bowler caused Leeds' left back Junior Firpo some trouble by beating him a couple of times in order to put in a few crosses, but none materialised into anything meaningful. It was on the half hour mark where ex-Swansea City winger Dan James doubled the visitors lead; Siopsis was lazy on the ball and lost it to Kamara, who played in Summerville who saw his effort deflected into the path of Dan James.
Cardiff’s frustration was evident through a rash challenge from Perry Ng on Summerville, who deservedly saw a yellow card. The Bluebirds were met with a chorus of boos as the team exited for half time, leaving themselves with a lot of ground to make up in the second half if they wanted to come away with any points.
The second half began with Meite and Rinomhota entering the game looking to provide some attacking intent, but the half largely followed the same pattern as the first – Cardiff consistently struggled to handle the talent Leeds had man for man, and with the side even afforded the luxury of a missed penalty through Summerville, 2-0 began to be a score that flattered Cardiff at times.
The half featured very little attacking output from Cardiff, with Rubin Colwill's drive forward that resulted in a long shot that floated over the bar, the only real attacking threat caused in the second half. Leeds United's continuous pressure eventually paid off via a late Georginio Rutter, who capitalised on clumsiness from the Bluebirds as Summerville put it on a plate for Rutter to slot home, in a goal that rounded off an overall miserable day for the Bluebirds.
The result makes it one win from seven at home, which is a troubling stat that Erol Bulut will have to look to improve quickly if Cardiff want to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Erol Bulut, Cardiff City Manager:
"We didn't expect to lose the game like that – my players today respected the opponent too much.
"Too many individual mistakes – if you make this kind of mistake, the opponent had good players and they got punished."
"Not aggressive enough and not speedy enough"
4 points from 21 at home – "I don't think about home or away form, I think about it generally."
No news on transfers – "I don’t know. I try the best for Cardiff City, whether it’s with these players or new players. I hope in the following days we can finalise something – as you can see we need it."
Callum Robinson and Panzo sick – Panzo has returned to Nottingham Forest from his loan.
"Joe Ralls felt something in his groin. He was a bit injured before, trained only twice this week, so we will see how big the problem is now."
In response to whether he needs some players, Bulut stated "It looks like that."
Daniel Farke, Leeds United Manager:
"Most mature performance of the season."
"Cardiff is always a difficult place to go."
"We kept them totally quiet and we dominated the ball in a fantastic manner."
"Cardiff is by far the best team in terms of set pieces – important to keep the ball far away from our goal."
"First half we should have got a penalty and we missed a penalty, but we showed resilience and I’m really happy."
"Patrick (Bamford) has performed in the last two games and his finding his rhythm back."
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