Daniel Farke's big selection decisions pay off for Leeds United in win at Ipswich

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Daniel Farke's brave selection was backed up as he was able to celebrate his first Sky Bet Championship victory as Leeds United boss.

Farke chose to bring back Willy Gnonto and Luis Sinisterra for the trip to Ipswich Town's Portman Road after both looked to be heading out of Leeds and also handed new signing Joel Piroe his debut up front just 24 hours on from joining from Swansea.

And all three were on the scoresheet along with Georginio Rutter who scored his first goal for the Whites as they came away with a thrilling 4-3 win.

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For the fifth game in a row under Farke United conceded first, but they again played some great attacking football in coming up with nine shots on target on their way to their first league win of the season.

Willy Gnonto made a goal scoring return to the Leeds United side.Willy Gnonto made a goal scoring return to the Leeds United side.
Willy Gnonto made a goal scoring return to the Leeds United side.

Farke was understandably happy with his side's attacking play.

He said: "I was in general pleased with our offensive firepower, especially because we played a side who won their first four competitive games with three clean sheets.

"To dig in and grind out a result and score four times was really, really good. It's good for the mood and good for confidence.

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"I'm careful because the next corner waits. I was never too down when we had difficult situations, it's not like I want to dance on the table.

"I'm happy for the guys, the club and supporters to travel back with four away goals and a crucial win, but you always have to stay awake and not get too comfortable.

"There is no replacement for a winning feeling. These players have suffered some difficult months in the Premier League and had to wait a pretty long time for a league win again.

"They should enjoy this, but this league is relentless and you can't allow yourself to be happy too long."

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On his big selection decisions and bringing back Sinisterra and Gnonto, the latter after he apologised to the club for his refusal to play in recent weeks, Farke added: "I wasn't too concerned about these two decisions.

"They looked really sharp, focused and disciplined in training.

"It was a bit more tricky with Joel (Piroe), he just had one training session with us. He looked really good, he knows the league inside out, he has already started three competitive games.

"Obviously he can't know each and every movement of his team mates but I had a good feeling. Thank God he repaid my trust with a goal and a really good performance, three points most importantly.”

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It did not start so well for Farke and Leeds as former Whites left-back Leif Davis played a fine ball to set Kayden Jackson free down the left and his low cross was deflected into the net off defender Joe Rodon. But the response was brilliant and stunned a confident home team.

Within three minutes it was level as Rutter finally showed Leeds fans what prompted them to pay £33m for his services as he beat three Ipswich defenders on a clever run into the box and finished calmly for his overdue first goal for the club.

Four minutes later Sam Byram produced a peach of a cross for Gnonto to score from close range and make exactly the kind of return he needed to make.

And it was 3-1 with a third goal in nine minutes when Sinisterra's shot was not held by home keeper Hladky and Piroe was in the right place to net from the rebound.

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Shellshocked Ipswich did still continue to look dangerous going forward with Jackson spurning the best of their opportunities.

They were given a lifeline in injury-time when Cody Drameh – on as substitute for the injured Sam Byram to play out of position at left-back – left his back pass to Illan Meslier short. Jackson pounced to take the ball round the visiting keeper and pulled the ball back for Nathan Broadhead to score.

After the break the hosts pushed for an equaliser as Broadhead had a shot well blocked by Rodon and Harry Clarke was inches wide with a curling shot.

But the Whites were still looking good going forward and after Piroe went close to his second they extended their lead as substitute Jamie Shackleton – on at half-time for Drameh – played Sinisterra through with a great pass inside the full-back. The winger did the rest with a fantastic first touch and even better second one with an angled finish past Hladky.

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Ipswich did score again deep into added time through Connor Chaplin's low finish after he got the better of Charlie Cresswell, but it was too late to affect where the three points were going.

Ipswich Town 3

(Rodon og 7, Broadhead 45+7), Chaplin (90+7)

(Rutter 10, Gnonto 14, Piroe 19, Sinisterra 75)

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 29,606

Ipswich: Hladky; Clarke (Williams 73), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Morsy, Luongo (Taylor 82); Burns (Harness 82), Chaplin, Broadhead (Hutchinson 73); Jackson (Ladapo 73).

Leeds: Meslier; Ayling (Cresswell 90), Rodon, Struijk, Byram (Drameh 24, Shackleton 45); Ampadu, Gray; Sinisterra (Gelhardt 85), Gnonto, Rutter; Piroe (Gyabi 90).

Referee: Robert Madley

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