Report: Leeds United 2-2 Cardiff City

A late point at Elland Road in the season opener.


Sky Bet Championship

Leeds United 2 (Cooper 49’, Summerville 90+5)

Cardiff City 2 (Bowler 23’, Ugbo 39’)

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling, Ampadu, Cooper (C), Summerville, James (Poveda 82’), Struijk, Gray (Perkins 90’), Sinisterra, Gnonto (Gelhardt 82’), Hjelde (Byram 45’). Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Cresswell, Shackleton, Gyabi, Bate.

Cardiff: Alnwick (GK), Goutas, McGuinness, Wintle, Ralls (C) (Adams 30’), Ramsey (Rinomhota 78’), O’Dowda, Ugbo (Etete 78’), Bowler, Grant (Meite 65’), NG (Romeo 78’). Subs not used: Luthra (GK), Collins, Simpson, Robinson.

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 36,368 (2,026 away)

Referee: Josh Smith

Booked: Ampadu, Summerville (Leeds) Meite (Cardiff)

Leeds United kicked off the new season at home to Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship. Both Daniel Farke and Erol Bulut were taking charge of their first competitive matches for their new teams in this opening fixture.

After the visitors took a two-goal lead into the interval, Farke’s side battled back in the second half to take a point from the game after a Liam Cooper header was followed by Crysencio Summerville’s stoppage time equaliser.

When the teams entered the pitch, the Elland Road crowd roared out the first Marching on Together of the new season to welcome their side into the 2023/24 campaign.

The early signs were promising as Leeds had plenty of the ball and created the first chances of the half. Willy Gnonto was linking well with Summerville and the Italian had the first shot of the game, which was then blocked.

The rebound fell to debutant Archie Gray, who struck once, then had another effort on the follow up but with Cardiff bodies in the way, each time it was blocked and cleared. Seconds later Gnonto went even closer, half-volleying just past the post from Luke Ayling’s knock-down to him.

However, the visitors would then break forward and take the lead after 23 minutes. Signing for the Bluebirds earlier in the week, Josh Bowler collected Callum O’Dowda’s low cross to him and after Ethan Ampadu blocked the initial effort, Bowler tucked home the rebound.

The first time Jak Alnwick was tested between the Cardiff posts was 10 minutes before the interval. Summerville ran at goal and curled right-footed, only to see the ‘keeper save. Alnwick then had another bit of work to do, denying Pascal Struijk’s header from a corner.

Five minutes before the break, the away side doubled the advantage. Bowler was again involved, cutting into the box and laying it off to Aaron Ramsey, who in turn played it to the back post for Ike Ugbo to slot home.

A tough first half for Farke’s side at Elland Road was brought to a close with them trailing by two-goals against their South Wales opponents.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-2 Cardiff City

Farke went to his bench at the interval. Having sealed a return back to the club in the build up to the match, Sam Byram was given his second debut in a Leeds United shirt, replacing Leo Hjelde at left-back.

Just four minutes into the second half, the Whites got the start they needed and were back into the match. From Summerville’s corner, captain Cooper rose highest and powered home a header into the far corner.

The skipper fell awkwardly upon landing from the header though and after receiving treatment, had to be replaced by Charlie Cresswell in defence.

Now on the front-foot, next to go close for the hosts was Gnonto. The winger received a clever pass from Dan James and burst into the box, seeing his shot deflected onto the top of the bar and then behind.

After looking to assist the last effort, James looked to go on his own for this one and took the shot himself. The winger cut in from the left and curled low on target, only to see Alnwick produce an excellent save to fingertip it wide of the post.

Leeds were completely dominant in the second 45 minutes with much of the game being played in Cardiff’s half. Summerville was the closest to levelling the scores with 15 minutes to go, as he also saw Alnwick’s fingertips deny him.

The Bluebirds looked to their bench and made a triple change. Ramsey, Ugbo and Perry NG all came off, with reinforcements of Andy Rinomhota, Kion Etete and Mahlon Romeo entering the game.

Farke made a double change himself with 10 minutes to go, as Joe Gelhardt and Ian Poveda came on for Gnonto and James.

With almost the final attack of the game, Leeds finally found an equaliser that their dominance in the half had deserved and secured a point from their opening match of the season.

Sinisterra cut in from the left wing and shot on goal, only to once again see Cardiff bodies block it. However this time, it fell for Summerville who produced a top-class first time finish, smashing home into the bottom corner.

The whistle went shortly after and ended what had been a hard-fought and battling afternoon at Elland Road, with the scores ending up level on the day.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-2 Cardiff City

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