Leeds United player ratings v Bristol City: Dan James impresses while Glen Kamara switches off
Leeds United headed into the international break in good spirits with back-to-back Championship wins thanks to a 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Saturday 7 October.
Daniel Farke’s side took the lead after 37 minutes when Dan James slotted past Max O’Leary, but the Whites were pegged back in the fourth minute of first-half injury time when Kal Naismith headed home a leveller from a corner to frustrate those inside Elland Road.
But Joel Piroe ensured that Leeds would be heading into the October international break with three points as his excellent left-footed effort fizzed past O’Leary. The Whites survived some late pressure from Nigel Pearson’s side in an incredibly professional defensive display.
MOT Leeds News has rated the players out of 10;
Illan Meslier – 6
Didn’t have loads to do in the first half as he wasn’t forced to make a single save. Could arguably have done more to clear the throw that brought the visitors’ equaliser if you were being over-critical as he never fills you with confidence when the ball is crossed into the box. An incredibly quiet afternoon for the Frenchman so hard to give him too much credit.
Sam Byram – 8
Went about his business sensibly at the back without too many fireworks. The exact sort of performance that made Farke want to bring him to Yorkshire this summer as he offers a level of consistency that cannot be undervalued. Also deserves credit for managing three games in a row. Made two excellent blocks late on to deny the away side twice. Proving to be a huge bargain this summer
Pascal Struijk – 7
The defender had a few shaky moments in the first half but impressed when tackling as his three successful challenges were the most of any player during the opening 45 minutes of any player on the field. May have been lucky to avoid sanction having brought down Wells in the first half but was probably the best of Farke’s defenders as he marshalled the Robins’ forwards well.
Joe Rodon – 6
The Welshman was dominant aerially as has become expected of him at Elland Road, winning 100 per cent of his first five aerial duels. On the ball, Rodon completed most of his passes and was incredibly accurate when passing over an extended distance. The sort of performance you want from a commanding centre-back.
Ethan Ampadu – 6
Ampadu seems to go about every match incredibly well without ever looking like he’s had to get out of second gear. The 23-year-old has definitely put in much better performances since making the summer switch from Chelsea but he did absolutely everything that his side needed of him.
Glen Kamara – 5
The Finnish midfielder broke up play excellently in the first half and looked after possession well but seemed to be the man to allow Naismith to drift away to head home the Robins’ equaliser as he didn’t focus until the half-time break, which will have frustrated Farke. Fortunately, it wasn’t too costly and he picked up the assist for Piroe’s second-half goal as he found the Dutchman with a fairly simple pass on the edge of the box.
Archie Gray – 7
Having been picked at right-back in a surprise inclusion impressed against the pacy Sam Bell to keep the City winger fairly quiet in the first half. For a midfielder playing out of position, the 17-year-old was absolutely superb and had you never watched him before you wouldn’t have even known that he wasn’t in his favoured role. Not that it is news to Leeds fans but this boy is special.
Dan James – 8
The Welsh winger picked up his first goal of the league season with an excellent finish midway through the first half and was a constant thorn in the Robins’ side. Excellent early ball in as he battled well against Cam Pring down the right flank. Every time the former Swansea man gets the ball you feel like something is going to happen and the Whites look a better side when he’s playing. Faded ever so slightly before being replaced on 77 minutes.
Cyrsencio Summerville – 6
How did the Dutchman not score at least once? Really should have put the Whites ahead in the opening exchanges after he managed to turn a ball over the bar from only a couple of yards. The 21-year-old simply had to bury the chance but made up for it as he picked up an assist for James’ opener. Saw an effort tipped onto the bar by O’Leary and couldn’t tap home at the back post. Should have scored at least one at Elland Road. Was so good, until the final touch was required.
Joel Piroe – 7
The Dutchman wasn’t particularly involved in the first half but restored the Whites’ lead with an excellent left-footed effort from the edge of the box to maintain his remarkable goal-scoring run since making the switch to Elland Road in the summer. Wasn’t hugely influential for the remainder of the game but showed that he can be the difference maker in close matches.
Georginio Rutter – 6
Was unfortunate to not win a penalty after a tangle of legs between the forward and Cam Pring midway through the second half and used his physical presence well to win a couple of fouls when the Robins had a couple of good spells of possession. Thought he’d found the Whites’ third but didn’t react quick enough to get back onside. Created five chances for his teammates but lacked the end product.
Jaidon Anthony – 6
Replaced James late on, didn’t have a huge impact on the match
Patrick Bamford – 6
Replaced Rutter in the final 10 minutes but was barely involved after the controversy in the week.
Luke Ayling – N/A
Ilia Gruev – N/A
Liam Cooper – N/A
In other Leeds United news, the Whites were never sure that Tyler Adams would pass a medical this summer