Leeds 2-1 Plymouth: Daniel Farke’s men hold on to defeat Plymouth thanks to goals from Joel Piroe and the in-form Daniel James
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A sixth win in seven games and a fifth consecutive home victory provided further evidence that Leeds United are on the march, but they should have won this game far more comfortably.
Daniel Farke warned anyone who’d listen that the start to the season could be “bumpy” due to a summer of upheaval at Elland Road which saw a change of ownership and overhaul of the playing squad.
There was also the appointment of Farke himself, but the German is beginning to cast quite a spell over the Whites, with this latest success keeping them in touch with the automatic promotion places.
Farke, let it be remembered, knows this division better than most having guided Norwich to the Premier League as Championship title winners in two of the past five seasons.
After the slow start to their campaign, Leeds are beginning to motor and Farke has at his disposal a forward line dripping with ideas, speed and creativity.
Joel Piroe celebrates for Leeds after scoring the opening goal of the game against Plymouth
Dan James has continued his excellent form this season for Leeds after scoring another goal
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Dan James opened the scoring in the 21st minute and Joel Piroe added a second seven minutes later to make it 2-0 at the break, an apt reflection of the hosts’ superiority.
Leeds had further chances to make the game safe after the break before Plymouth claimed what turned out to be a late consolation through substitute Ben Waine.
Farke’s side were still bubbling from their 1-0 win at leaders Leicester eight days previously and they soon had Argyle under severe pressure.
In the 12th minute, Georginio Rutter went down in the box under a challenge from Lewis Gibson, but referee Josh Smith was unmoved.
Leeds continued to probe and a dangerous cross from James required a vital intervention from Julio Pleguezuelo with Summerville lurking at the far post.
But the breakthrough came midway through the first half when 18 yards after Kaine Kesler-Hayden’s poor clearance fell straight to James on the edge of Argyle’s 18-yard box.
The Wales winger took a touch before curling home a superb right-foot shot into the net.
Daniel Farke will be delighted with his team’s peformance, who now sit in third place
A member of the British Armed Forces plays the last post in honour of Armistice Day
From there Leeds did not look back and they soon doubled their advantage when Summerville’s delightful footwork created the space for Piroe to rifle home a low, left-foot shot past Pilgrims goalkeeper Michael Cooper.
Further chances came and were spurned, with Summerville denied a goal by an offside flag.
Rutter then spurned two gilt-edged chances in quick succession after the break, first firing straight into the arms of Cooper before blazing over from Summerville’s cross moments later.
Willy Gnonto came off the bench and almost made it 3-0 but Gibson produced a superb piece of defensive work to block the Italian’s low strike inside the box.
Fellow substitute Jaidon Anthony then engineered the space to curl a right-foot shot which drew a smart stop from Cooper as Leeds once again failed to add to their tally.
With six minutes remaining, Argyle set up a nervy finish when Waine buried Luke Cundle’s low right-wing cross.
Waine then headed home from a corner moments later before Leeds held on during six minutes of added time.
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