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Leeds United 6-2 Cagliari: Wonderful Whites hit Sardinians for six
Monday, 1st Aug 2022 13:26 by Lucas Monk

In their final match of pre-season, a rampant Leeds put Cagliari to the sword in front of almost 30,000 supporters at Elland Road.

Leeds saw out their pre-season campaign in scintillating style as they hit Serie B side Cagliari for six on Sunday evening. Rodrigo bagged a hat-trick and Patrick Bamford a brace before Robin Koch added further gloss to the scoreline late in the day.

United were at it from the first whistle. They created several chances and Koch, Bamford, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison all came close to opening the scoring in the early stages. They had to wait until the 36th minute for a breakthrough, but it was well worth it; Rasmus Kristensen’s intelligent low ball, Bamford’s deft flick, Rodrigo’s touch and sumptuous strike into the top-right corner.

It took the home side just a few minutes of second-half play to double their advantage and Rodrigo his personal tally. He sprayed the ball wide for Harrison, who controlled it well before returning the favour. The Spaniard then squeezed a low shot in at the near post.

Better was yet to come. Brenden Aaronson played a glorious, splitting ball through the defence and into the path of Bamford, who assuredly finished the chance by striking the ball low into the corner.

Cagliari then hit back with a rapid double-salvo. A slick move presented Peru international Gianluca Lapadula with a chance and he finished it wonderfully, lifting the ball over Illan Meslier with aplomb. Zito Luvombo then capped a lightning-quick counter by hammering the ball high into the net.

Leeds regained their composure and set about killing off any prospect of a Cagliari comeback. In the 71st minute, the bustling Harrison made his way to the byline before squaring the ball for Bamford, who made no mistake and netted his second goal of the match.

Bamford then had a hand in the next goal. He showed impressive awareness to intercept a loose pass and then play the ball wide for Aaronson, whose lifted ball into the box found its way to Rodrigo, who completed his hat-trick.

The indefatigable Aaronson was the provider once again for United’s sixth and final goal as Koch nodded home from his right-wing free-kick.

Leeds were highly impressive and good value for the thumping victory in the end. All of their new signings produced impressive displays and there was a great deal of quality combination play on show. The manner in which United conceded the two Cagliari goals was a little perturbing but there were positives aplenty in what was, in the end, a complete rout of the Sardinians.

I found the intensity of the game particularly encouraging. Leeds really went for it and put in an excellent shift and the quietly brilliant Tyler Adams exemplified this as he and his fellow newcomers completed a full 90 minutes ahead of next week’s curtain-raiser at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers. On this performance, there is every reason to be hopeful of a better season than the last.

Leeds: Meslier, Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk, Roca, Adams, Rodrigo, Aaronson, Harrison, Bamford.

Photo: Action Images

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