Leeds United arguably secured the statement victory of Daniel Farke’s reign this season after defeating Championship frontrunners Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium on Friday night.
In a two-sided opening half, the hosts hit the bar as they looked to extend their winning run to ten matches while Joel Piroe squandered a glorious chance for the Whites, but it was Farke’s side who asserted themselves after the break and capitalised through Georginio Rutter’s close-range finish.
Third-placed Leeds have now won five of their last six in the league and have prevented the Foxes from extending the gulf at the top of the division to something insurmountable.
Rutter’s performance vs Leicester in numbers
Rutter bagged his third goal of the term at the King Power, having also supplied five assists, to continue his revival after flattering to deceive over the latter phase of last season, having signed from Hoffenheim for a club-record £35.5m in January.
While Rutter’s goal stole the headlines, he also demonstrated the creative spark that Farke has been so impressed by this term and recorded two key passes, also picking up two fouls after proving to be a thorn in the home side all evening long.
It wasn’t his finest overall performance, out of the thick of the action on several occasions, but the silky star is proving his worth and could become a catalyst as the promotion push becomes more prominent at the business end.
Indeed, journalist Adam Pope remarked that the 21-year-old Frenchman was the “key” against Enzo Maresca’s high-flying team, and while it was his definitive touch to silence the home crowd, the performance of Glen Kamara in the middle of the park surpassed all on the pitch on Friday evening.
Kamara’s performance vs Leicester in numbers
As per Sofascore, the 64-touch midfielder produced an immense, all-action performance in the centre, completing 84% of his passes, making two key passes, succeeding with four of his five dribbles, winning seven of his ten duels, and making a tackle and interception apiece.
Praised for his “class” demonstration of the perfect midfield game by journalist Phil Hay, Kamara is proving to be the fulcrum of Leeds’ season and could prove to be the difference-maker as the campaign continues on, having been an “absolute machine”, according to writer Jake Mahon.
Penning his post-match thoughts, Leeds Live writer Beren Cross provided Kamara with a stunning 9/10 match rating and said: ‘Incredible example of a central midfielder’s performance. Read danger brilliantly and acted on it. Broke up play and then got his own side moving forward with superb passes. Contributed with late runs from deep too.’
It was this kind of string-pulling match from the heart of Farke’s system that will prove the difference in the fight for a place in the top-flight once again.
Rutter might have been the one to guide the match-winning moment home, but Kamara’s role was one of unparalleled significance and he might just have opened the pathway to a spot at the top of the ladder, ending a seemingly unstoppable Leicester side’s streak.