By Daniel Lewis

19th Sep, 2023 | 7:47pm

Phil Hay shares detail that pleased Daniel Farke in Leeds United win v Millwall

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke “got exactly what he wanted” with the move that led to his side’s opening goal against Millwall, according to journalist Phil Hay.

Joel Piroe opened the scoring for the Whites in Sunday’s [17 September] contest at The Den after being played in by Georginio Rutter.

Farke stuck to his guns by fielding summer signing Piroe just behind Rutter and that decision was more than justified with the final scoreline.

Analysing the goal in an article for The Athletic [19 September], Hay said: “Farke has been using Piroe as a No 10 behind Rutter, preferring the latter as his centre-forward.

“The two were effective in a 4-3 victory at Ipswich but found it harder to connect against Sheffield Wednesday.

“On Sunday, though, Farke got exactly what he wanted from them during the move for the first goal: Piroe arriving late unmarked, going beyond the last man and giving Rutter a target to aim for inside the box.

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“Out wide, [Willy] Gnonto and [Crysencio] Summerville had the pace to stretch Millwall, weakening their resistance.”

More of the same

On the basis of the bore draw with Sheffield Wednesday prior to the international break, the general feeling was that Farke would use Piroe in a more advanced position against Millwall.

As the first goal showed, though, it is a fluid formation in which players in the final third can rotate positions when needed.

Rutter led the counter, exchanged passes with Gnonto on the left-hand side and superbly played in Piroe to do the rest.

Piroe would go on to score a second and Rutter himself was on the scoresheet on a hugely encouraging afternoon for Farke and his side in South London.

If the front four of Rutter, Piroe, Summerville and Gnonto can continue to improve their relationship – not to mention the likes of Daniel James, Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt providing support – then there will surely be no stopping Leeds this season.

In other Leeds United news, Hay has been left impressed by one summer signing in particular.