Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Leeds up to second as Wilfried Gnonto goal earns deserved win at Bristol City

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Feb 2024

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Leeds moved into the Championship automatic promotion places as Wilfried Gnonto’s 48th-minute goal earned a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The Italy winger beat goalkeeper Max O’Leary with a clinical left-footed finish from 10 yards after running on to a deflected long ball forward from Junior Firpo.

It was no more than Leeds deserved for a hugely impressive display in a largely one-sided contest, with their hosts out of sorts and only able to create a few openings.

City head coach Liam Manning made three changes from the 2-2 draw at Coventry, with Ross McCrorie, Matty James and Tommy Conway named in the starting line-up.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke made one team change, bringing in Gnonto for the injured Dan James.

Leeds made a bright start and had the first effort on goal in the ninth minute when Joe Rodon fired over from a Glen Kamara pass.

At the other end Nahki Wells had a low shot blocked after running on to a Cam Pring header.

Leeds had a great chance to take the lead after 13 minutes when Crysencio Summerville caught George Tanner in possession and raced clear down the middle only to shoot too close to O’Leary, who saved with a hand above his head.

O’Leary was in action again five minutes later parrying a Patrick Bamford shot from inside the box. Then Summerville cleared the crossbar from another good shooting position.

Leeds began to dominate and O’Leary denied them again after 34 minutes, blocking a close-range shot from Georginio Rutter for a corner after Bamford had outstripped Zak Vyner to cross from the right.

City were relieved to reach the interval on level terms, taking their time over throw-ins and set-pieces.

Leeds only needed to find an end product to their slick approach play, and they put that right immediately after the break with Gnonto’s clinical finish.

It should have been 2-0 three minutes later as Summerville robbed Pring and raced through to feed Kamara, whose shot was deflected for a corner with only O’Leary to beat.

O’Leary saved a low drive from the dangerous Summerville, but Leeds almost paid for not putting the game to bed in the 66th minute when Tommy Conway’s pass found Bristol City substitute Anis Mehmeti and his shot almost squeezed under advancing goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Still Leeds squandered chances, the elusive Summerville firing wide after another penetrating break.

But there was little threat at the other end from a tired-looking Bristol City outfit and the final whistle brought scenes of celebration as the Leeds players saluted their large band of travelling fans.

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