Domestic cup competition is always a juicy affair, it throws up some significant results en route to Wembley and in some cases those results can be incredible “giant” killings.
One team who have been the subject of such slayings over the years is Leeds United, with cup games vs Histon and Newport the most recent examples.
Last night, Leeds found themselves drawn against Salford City, a club owned by Manchester United legends, with many believing a very difficult night was in order, but Leeds United had other ideas.
Salford started very brightly, blocking Leeds out for the most part and making opportunities of their own.
Some slick football forged a chance for Jake Beesley, who’s low effort was parried by Kiko Casilla, but the North West club were holding their own with ease.
That was until the 43rd minute when Jamie Shackleton found himself with space in the Salford half and played a beautiful ball into the path of the on-rushing Helder Costa who squared to Eddie Nketiah to score on his debut following his loan move from Arsenal, Leeds went in at the break with the advantage.
Five minutes into the second half, Leeds were at it again, with Costa grabbing his second assist of the evening. His corner to the near post was met by Gaetano Berardi who steered it in with a deft touch following a lovely run to the near post… 0-2.
Leeds made it 0-3 on 58 minutes as a hoofed clearance from a Salford corner was expertly chased down, between two Salford defenders, by Mateusz Klich, who rounded on the edge of the box and wonderfully curled an effort into the top corner.
Salford had other chances in the second half, as they never laid back and gave up, most notably an excellent effort from Richie Towell which brought a great save from Casilla, but he only managed to parry into the path of Rooney, who’s rushed effort crept just wide of the post.
All in all a decent performance by Leeds, who have Kalvin Phillips to thank as the in demand midfielder ran the show on the night.
Neal- 6, Piergianni- 6, Maynard- 6, Pond- 5, Touray- 6, Threlkeld- 5, Towell- 7, Whitehead-6, Jones- 5, Dieseruvwe- 6, Beesley- 6.
SUBS– Gaffney- 5, Lloyd- 5, Rooney- 5.
Casilla- 6, Berardi- 7, White- 7, Davis- 6, Alioski- 6, Shackleton- 7, Phillips- 8, Klich- 7, Clarke- 6, Costa- 7, Nketiah- 7.
SUBS– McCalmont- 7, Harrison- 6, Bamford- 6.
MOM- Kalvin Phillips
Referee- Keith Stroud- 6.
Far from routine at the beginning but the superior fitness levels and that gulf in quality showed in the end.
Leeds have a home draw against Championship rivals Stoke City in the next round.