By Craig Scott

18th Jan, 2023 | 9:39pm

Wilfried Gnonto shines as Luke Ayling has shocker - Leeds United player ratings in win v Cardiff City

Leeds United booked their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup with an action-packed 5-2 win over Cardiff City at Elland Road on Wednesday night.

Wilfried Gnonto scored either side of a goal by Rodrigo before Patrick Bamford came off the bench in the second half and grabbed a brace of his own.

Callum Robinson scored two late consolation goals for Cardiff after a defensive error by Luke Ayling before a 93rd-minute penalty when Marc Roca was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Leeds will play either Accrington Stanley or Boreham Wood in the next round of the competition and here, MOT Leeds News rates the players for their performances out of 10:

Illan Meslier – 5

Meslier got lucky when Curtis Nelson’s header was ruled out for offside. While there was a Cardiff player in an offside position, it’s debatable whether he was blocking Meslier’s view. Meslier has been dodgy at corners for a long time and it definitely seemed like he should’ve done better to save it and stop the VAR check even happening.

Rasmus Kristensen – 5

Kristensen was also lucky that goal was chalked off. His defending was terrible at that corner. He didn’t offer as much going forward as Junior Firpo on the opposite flank but overall, he was okay.

Diego Llorente – 6

Llorente didn’t really need to be there. He had a quiet night but that’s what we’d like when he plays because he’s been so untrustworthy this season.

Maximilian Wober – 6

It was a solid display at the back by new signing Wober. Unfortunately, he had to go off early in the first half with what looked like a hip injury. It’s just out luck, isn’t it?

Junior Firpo – 7

You know it’s a good day when Firpo’s done well. He didn’t have to do much defensively but when he went forward, he linked up very well with Gnonto. Maybe there’s some hope for the left-back?

Marc Roca – 6

Strolling it. Roca could’ve played that game in his slippers it was so simple for him. Cardiff were very, very bad. He conceded a late penalrt for a handball but there was nothing he could do about it, really.

Tyler Adams – 6

Adams won’t have an easier game this season. He was substituted off at half time to presumably keep fresh but the USA international absolutely breezed through his 45 minutes on the pitch.

Sam Greenwood – 6

Greenwood’s started to solidify his spot in the Leeds first team. We’re not 100 per cent sold on the ex-Sunderland youngster but he’s given a good account of himself, albeit against poor opposition.

Jack Harrison – 9

That’s the best we’ve seen Harrison play in a very long time. He was absolutely instrumental in that front-three and set up goals for both Rodrigo and Gnonto. His defence-splitting pass for Rodrigo’s was a thing of beauty and we can only pray that Harrison continues this form in the Premier League.

Rodrigo – 8

It was an electric first-half display by Rodrigo. His assist for Gnonto’s goal in the first minute was brilliant while the goal he took himself was exquisite. We were impressed by the Spaniard but completely baffled as to why he was so ramped up after his goal, failing with a knee slide before pushing a steward out of the way.

Wilfried Gnonto – 10

It’s a rare 10/10 for Gnonto. Yes, he missed a sitter that could’ve got him a hat-trick and yes, he got a booking for getting a bit too stuck in. But his goals were absolutely tremendous. His first goal, which came within seconds of kick-off, will go down as one of the greatest Leeds goals as he fired in a scissor-kick volley. That alone gets him a 10 out of 10 and our man of the match award.


Patrick Bamford (on for Rodrigo, ’46) – 8

He’s back. Bamford took his 71st-minute goal very well before doubling his tally with a cheeky, outside-of-the-boot goal five minutes later.

Brenden Aaronson (on for Adams, ’46) – 5

Luke Ayling (on for Wober, ’57) – 4

Ayling cost Leeds their clean sheet. How on earth is he still being played at centre-back? Robinson was allowed to score after some truly embarrassing defending by Ayling, who’d clearly switched off.

Joe Gelhardt (on for Gnonto, ’67) – 6

Assisted Bamford’s second goal. Decent sub appearance.

Luis Sinisterra (on for Harrison, ’79) – N/A

In other Leeds United news, this player has jetted into the UK with his dad to be toured around Thorp Arch before signing for the Whites.