By Sam Stone

8th Jan, 2023 | 3:59pm

Leeds United player ratings v Cardiff: Diego Llorente dismal, Willy Gnonto shines

18-year-old Sonny Perkins scored his first goal for Leeds United to earn Jesse Marsch’s side a replay against Championship side Cardiff City.

The Whites appeared to be crashing out of the competition after first-half goals from Sheyi Ojo and Jaden Philogene had put the Bluebirds in a strong position.

However, a second-half goal from Rodrigo and a stoppage-time finish from Perkins rescued the Yorkshire side to set up a replay at Elland Road. Here MOT Leeds News rates the players’ performances out of ten.

Joel Robles – 4

Unconvincing performance from Robles. The Spaniard rushed off of his line in the lead-up to Cardiff’s opener and didn’t provide his defence with too much confidence.

Junior Firpo – 3

It’s no surprise to see Leeds struggle defensively when Firpo returns to the side. The Whites were all over the place at the back, particularly in the first half and Firpo’s positioning and defensive awareness were non-existent. Completely lacking confidence and quality. Unsurprisingly, another poor performance.

Rasmus Kristensen – 4

Probably the pick of the defence and that’s really not saying a lot. He was caught in possession far too much but was relatively strong in a defensive sense. Needed to get forward more often to support the Whites’ attacking threats. Nothing spectacular.

Pascal Struijk – 3

Really poor performance from the captain who was all at sea for Cardiff’s first goal. Was expecting much more from the Dutchman on his return to the centre of defence. Really struggle at times and looked lost alongside Diego Llorente. Missed a sitter in the second half to get Leeds back into the game.

Diego Llorente – 2

The decision to extend Llorente’s contract is looking more and more questionable with every passing display. He was completely lost for Cardiff’s second goal. Along with Firpo, his inclusion made Leeds look far more vulnerable defensively and was a large part of the Whites’ struggle in the first half.

Darko Gyabi – 5

Gyabi was impressive in the early stages of the game but faded badly as the game went on. Appeared to run out of energy which resulted in some poor passes. However, he will have learnt a lot from the FA Cup tie and it’s good for the youngster to get some more minutes into his legs at first-team level.

Sam Greenwood – 7

Excellent cross for Rodrigo to cut the host’s advantage in half in the second period. Drifted in and out of the game, but when he did get on the ball he was certainly a threat for Marsch’s side. One of Leeds’ best performers in South Wales.

Brenden Aaronson – 5

A tough afternoon’s work for Aaronson who failed to influence the game in an attacking sense. Gave the ball away far too much and couldn’t find spaces to get on the ball. Has to offer more when Leeds are struggling to break down a low block. Attempted a couple of dribbles late on but had to offer more.

Crysencio Summerville – 5

Was a completely different player after a first-half challenge from Tom Sang. Was lucky to avoid a serious injury and was clearly impacted by the tackle. Didn’t get on the ball anywhere near enough and was substituted in the second half.

Joe Gelhardt – 3

It was easy to forget Gelhardt was on the pitch at times. Didn’t get on the ball enough and it’s hard to remember a moment where he impacted the game in an attacking sense. With Leeds United looking to add another striker in January, Gelhardt moving on could be an option.

Willy Gnonto – 7

Had a poor moment in the first half when he was penalised for a blatant dive. Was relentless when getting on the ball and always looked to be positive. Lost the ball at times but was not afraid to take the game to their hosts and make things happen for Marsch’s side. Was particularly impressive in the second half.

Rodrigo (on for Summerville, 60′) – 6

Max Wober (on for Gyabi, 60′) – 7

Cody Drameh (on for Kristensen 60′) – 5

Mateo Joseph (on for Gelhardt, 73′) – 5

Sonny Perkins (on for Aaronson, 87′) – 7

In other Leeds United news, the club is in advanced talks over another major signing, according to Fabrizio Romano.