Patrick Bamford's worldie earns acclaim as Leeds United earn FA Cup fourth round place
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Many were predicting in-form Peterborough would add to the list of lower division opponents to humble Leeds in the cup and they gave as good as they got in the first half-hour, but it was Daniel Farke's side that proved the more clinical to earn a place in the fourth round draw with a 3-0 win.
Ethan Ampadu's first two goals in a Leeds shirt – scored despite him starting in the back four instead of his usual midfield role – were another big plus for the Whites, but the talk afterwards was all about Bamford's spectacular strike that made it 2-0 early in the second half.
After his first goal of the season the previous week Bamford kept his starting spot in the team and justified his manager's faith with a strong performance and a memorable goal as he took a long ball down on his chest then after an instant swivel managed to smack a volley into the corner of the net from more than 20 yards out.
"The whole world after this goal will praise him (Bamford)," said Whites boss Farke.
"It's a world class goal. I have no other words for it.
"I'm happy and delighted for him because he deserves it. And it's important that he's back to his fitness level. It's important for him to be in a good rhythm and to find his confidence.
"It's also important that he works for the team, is good with the pressing and that he holds the ball and links play well.
"I would have taken a rebound from two yards because goals are always priceless for the confidence of the striker, but yes of course if he scores in such a manner – in such a world-class way – that's even better."
Farke was happy with the way his team coped with the tie despite fielding several of their fringe players.
He added: "I'm pretty pleased that we were able to win this game, comfortably with three goals and a clean sheet.
"A side sitting in the top positions in League One is always a side playing with Championship quality more or less. Peterborough had good results in recent weeks, just wins or draws. Here in their home game, they played the best starting 11 and they were on it.
"I'm also pleased we were able to rest a few, gave some valuable minutes to players who really needed them but we still wanted to win it.
"It's never easy when you have so many changes. Ethan and Archie (Gray) played in different positions. But we were really focused and concentrated and greedy to win it.
"We wanted to score this third goal, this was our mentality, knowing it would be difficult to win this game. But we're into the fourth round."
Leeds started strongly with a couple of half-chances in the first five minutes, Bamford heading just wide and Gray forcing a good save from home keeper Fynn Talley.
Relieved not to be behind, Peterborough came more into the game with Ephron Mason-Clark proving a big threat down the left-wing and giving the recalled Jamie Shackleton problems.
Ricky-Jade Jones and Kwame Poku were unable to make the most of chances for the home side before the Whites broke the deadlock as Anthony's free-kick was met by Bamford who chested the ball down for Ampadu to score his first goal since moving to Leeds.
Hector Kyprianou came close to hitting back quickly for the hosts as he stabbed a shot wide, but Peterborough were lucky to avoid conceding a penalty after Willy Gnonto was clearly brought down inside the area by Josh Knight. Only referee Sam Allison did not see the contact that should have brought a spot kick.
A flying start to the second half saw Leeds double their lead with Bamford's incredible volley.
Anthony's shot was deflected narrowly wide soon after and only a good save by Talley denied him after he produced a well struck volley.
Peterborough threw plenty at the visitors after making three substitutions to freshen their side up. Harrison Burrows fired a free-kick just over and another good run by Mason-Clark led to a chance for David Ajiboye, but he could not get his effort on target.
Gray, who seemed to be everywhere at times as he enjoyed his return to a midfield position, hit a shot just over from the edge of the box as the Whites continued to carry danger.
The hosts' star player, Mason-Clark, hit a strike just wide then keeper Kris Klaesson was called into action to keep out Ajiboye's deflected cross.
Leeds survived this period and saw out the final 10 minutes comfortably, adding to their lead late on when Ampadu headed home from Dan James' corner.
(Ampadu 35, 90, Bamford 47)
Emirates FA Cup, round three
Sunday, January 7, 2024
Peterborough: Talley; Katongo (Ajiboye 68), Knight (De Havilland 85), Edwards, Burrows; Kyprianou, Collins; Poku (Fernandez 68), Randall (Crichlow 85), Mason-Clark; Jones (Mothersille 68).
Leeds: Klaesson; Shackleton (Ayling 78), Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev, Gray; Gnonto (James 85), Piroe (Joseph 90), Anthony (Kamara 85); Bamford (Poveda 85).
Referee: Sam Allison