Cardiff 3-1 Leeds Player Ratings: Brilliant Bamba

Thomas Christiansen – skysports.com

A brace from Kenneth Zahore helped Cardiff City to a 3-1 win over fellow promotion-hopefuls Leeds United. But how did players on both teams fare? Here’s our ratings.

Cardiff City

Neil Etheridge – faced three on target shots including Roofe’s consolation, but the other two failed to stretch him. 5

Lee Peltier – left his mark on Dallas and won his individual duels with the wide men, without offering much more in an attacking sense. 7
Bruno Manga – one or two nice pieces of skill in low-risk areas which showed the confidence he is playing with, but he was a good defender first and foremost. 8
Sean Morrison – swept up loose balls quickly in a no-nonsense display. Provided the final assist in the superbly worked third goal. 9
Joe Bennett – looked solid defensively and stole the ball with ease on more than one occasion. Left the attacking on his flank to Hoilett. 7

Sol Bamba – showed great defensive awareness and denied Leeds’ attacking quartet space in front of the defence. Could have laid on a fourth goal late on.
Loic Damour – unnecessarily gave away a free-kick in a dangerous area in the first half, but his combative nature was key to Cardiff’s high-pressure performance. 7
Craig Bryson – pressed furthest up of the trio and had a hand in the second goal. Beginning to rediscover the form he showed for Derby in their play-off final season. 8

Junior Hoilett – a livewire throughout. Dominated Ayling when he attacked on the outside, but when he cut inside, he had a hand in all three goals including a wonderful strike for the second. 9
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing – early on he struggled to get involved in a creative sense, but grew in influence. Always willing to take players on. 7
Kenneth Zahore – pressed well and was clinical with two ruthless finishes. His movement was key to the second goal and was lively throughout. 8

Danny Ward (on 76) – looked a willing runner in his short time on the pitch. 6
Liam Feeney (on 85)
Greg Halford (on 90+2)

Leeds United

Felix Wiedwald – an unconvincing performance, both in terms of his distribution and shot-stopping. 3

Luke Ayling – lost out in physical battles with Hoilett early on and was too safe with his passing. Didn’t give Cooper the right protection. 3
Liam Cooper – looked strong in the air early on but was forced back after the first quarter of an hour and after two bad challenges, he was sent off and gave his teammates no chance of a second half recovery. 2
Pontus Jansson – he has long been considered one of the best centre-backs in the Championship, but tonight he always had an error in him. 3
Gaetano Berardi – his distribution was poor and missed a decent chance. Unable to keep Mendez-Laing quiet. 4

Mateusz Klich – absent from the contest, apart from when he slipped in possession for Cardiff’s first goal. Didn’t do enough to force his way into the side. 2
Kalvin Phillips – plenty of touches but few of them truly aided Leeds in a creative sense. Forced sideways and backwards by Bryson and Damour. 3

Ezgjan Alioski – two tame efforts in the first 62 minutes, which saw him touch the ball just 13 times before being taken off. He has had a good start to his Championship career but this wasn’t his night. 2
Pablo Hernandez – created an shooting opportunity for Alioski early on and was one of the few players who tried to make things happen, but he suffered from a lack of movement around him. 5
Stuart Dallas – picked up an early knock from Peltier and never won his individual battles with the full-back. 4

Kemar Roofe – forced to deal with hoofed balls at times which didn’t suit him, due to his lack of athleticism. Scored the consolation goal but that was about it. 5

Matthew Pennington (on 45) – stabilized things defensively and might have played his way into the weekend starting line-up. 7
Jay-Roy Grot (on 62) – got an assist and battles reasonably well in tough circumstances. 6
Ronaldo Vieira (on 67) – perhaps should have started over Klich. 6