Leeds United battled to a second successive Championship victory with a hard-fought win at home to Bristol City this afternoon, with goals from Daniel James and Joel Piroe sealing all three points for Daniel Farke’s men on the day.
Having seen off Queen’s Park Rangers in midweek following an early strike from Crysencio Summerville at Elland Road, it was another Dutchman who struck the decisive blow again this time around, with that man Piroe netting his fifth goal of the season so far.
How did Joel Piroe perform against Bristol City?
It is fair to say that there were question marks surrounding the 24-year-old heading into today’s game against Nigel Pearson’s side, with the continued use of the former Swansea City man in an unorthodox number ten berth having sparked much debate among fans and pundits alike.
In midweek, the Leeds faithful were likely to have been ‘left wondering again about this experiment with him behind a striker’ – according to Leeds Live’s Beren Cross – with it set to have been no surprise if Farke did tweak his thinking for the visit of the Robins.
The promotion expert stuck to his guns, however, and was rewarded handsomely, with Piroe netting just after the break with a delightful driven effort from range, expertly silencing the doubters in the process.
It was, however, the display of the one-time PSV Eindhoven man’s strike partner that particularly caught the eye, with club-record signing Georginio Rutter having been “so impressive” when leading the line – in the words of The Athletic’s Phil Hay.
How did Georginio Rutter play against Bristol City?
With the Whites having splashed out a hefty £35.5m in order to sign the young Frenchman back in January, that sizeable investment looked to have been something of a mistake following what was a muted end to last season for the 21-year-old, as he failed to score in 11 Premier League games.
Now handed the true faith of the man in the dugout, however, the former Hoffenheim starlet is beginning to sparkle in his number nine berth, scoring twice and contributing three assists in ten league games so far this term.
Although the fleet-footed dynamo was unable to add to that haul of goal contributions earlier today – inexplicably firing over with the goal at his mercy at one stage – the improving talent couldn’t have done much more to get involved in the game, having been “so influential”, according to journalist Joe Donnohue.
The 6 foot sensation notably racked up a stellar tally of six key passes as a marker of his relentless creative threat – more than any other player on the pitch – having also created three big chances from his 45 touches.
While that did see Rutter lose possession on 16 occasions as he attempted to make things happen for the hosts, he more than made up for that fact with his work ethic off the ball, winning three fouls for his side and winning seven ground duels.
With two big chances missed, there is undoubtedly still room for improvement from the one-time Rennes man, although if that outing is a sign of things to come for the remainder of the season, then those at Elland Road should be in for a treat.