Leeds 3-1 Swansea: Daniel Farke’s side maintain their unbeaten home run despite an early scare… with goals from Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Daniel James
Daniel Farke has done much to make Elland Road a fortress, a cornerstone of any Leeds United promotion.
When Swansea took a surprise lead in the second minute, it looked like their defense would be breached.
But this Leeds side appear to be taking confidence from the large crowd here and goals from Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Dan James secured a necessary win to stay in the shadow of top two Leicester and Ipswich.
Leeds are the only Championship team with an unbeaten home record this season and this was their sixth home success in a row.
That matched a run from the 2019/20 season, when Marcelo Bielsa led them to the Premier League. They hope this is a good omen.
Manager Daniel Farke (right) has done much to make Elland Road a fortress as a cornerstone of any Leeds United promotion
When Swansea took a second-minute lead it looked like their defense had been breached
However, Joel Piroe turned things around by scoring the equalizer in the fourth minute
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Swansea were Leeds’ equals for much of the first half but quality dominated and the sight of old boys Piroe and James scoring against them would not have been pleasant for a side that has now won just one in seven.
“The beginning was ridiculous and I thought it might be a very long day at the office,” Farke said. ‘We conceded a goal out of nowhere and Swansea are a good football team who are good on the counter.
‘It was a difficult and complicated match, but we did not lose our nerve and were able to turn the match around with two fantastic goals. The second half was more impressive.’
Swans boss Michael Duff said: “It was a disappointing night in terms of the result, but the performance was really good.
‘In the end we conceded bad goals at bad times and that was the killer. We asked the players to show personality and courage, we played against them a lot and we were undone by the quality of the Premier League.”
The match started explosively with two goals – and another disallowed – within the first four minutes.
The appreciation for former Leeds manager Terry Venables had hardly faded when Leeds had the ball in the net after just 40 seconds.
Rutter surprised Swansea on the left and his cross was turned home on the back stick by Dan James, but the celebrations were cut short by a raised flag.
Georginio Rutter gave Leeds the advantage by finding the back of the net before half-time
Daniel James extended the lead in the 61st minute to close out the match for Leeds
There was barely time to blink before Swansea actually opened the scoring. A hopeful long ball from Josh Key from the right flank was not dealt with by Pascal Struijk, whose attempted defensive header Paterson inadvertently played past Joe Rodon.
Paterson got full points for his deft finish, but a guided lob over Ilian Meslier briefly silenced Elland Road.
Just the key word, because within two minutes Leeds had leveled themselves.
Glen Kamara started the action in midfield with a short pass to Crysencio Summerville, who slid a through ball into Piroe and finished low into the far corner.
Piroe scored 46 goals in 96 games over two seasons at Swansea, but that didn’t stop him celebrating against his former employers.
There was such an openness about the match, with both sides encouraged to come forward. Ethan Ampadu created pressure with a loose pass and Ollie Cooper’s effort was deflected.
At the other end, referee Sam Allison waved away Leeds’ vocal appeals for a penalty when Sam Byram’s cross appeared to hit Key on the arm. Summerville then got a save from Carl Rushworth.
Swansea’s equality of ownership and territory did not please the Elland Road faithful, who have become used to Leeds dominating such things.
When Key was given space and time to drift into the field from the right flank and narrowly curl forward, the response was a groan and a groan, plus a few shouts of ‘come in!’
Swans boss Michael Duff said it was a disappointing night in terms of result but insisted it was a ‘really good’ performance from his side
But Leeds finished the first half strongly and after half-chances for Summerville and Struijk they took the lead just before half time.
For all their complexity going forward, this was pure route one, with Ethan Ampadu collecting a nonchalant high ball from deep and Rutter brushing aside Bashir Humphreys with embarrassing ease to reach the goal end.
The Frenchman got three touches to steady himself before finishing past Rushworth and the general mood improved in an instant.
Summerville almost stopped the game after 53 minutes but shot over when well placed after Rutter’s pass in the Swansea penalty area.
James took advantage of Jay Fulton’s drowsiness as Key tried to pass the ball to him from the defense, but he couldn’t get enough power to trouble Rushworth.
But you felt that the third goal was coming and it was. Just after the hour mark, Leeds broke the ball back into midfield and Rutter played in James to fire high into the roof of the net.
Patrick Bamford came close to taking the lead twice, shooting narrowly wide from Summerville’s cross before drawing a save from Swans keeper Carl Rushworth.
Rodon turned a corner towards goal but was denied by Humphreys on the line and Jaidon Anthony headed wide late on but Leeds settled for three.