Leeds United ran riot today in their Championship win over Millwall, defying all expectations to truly kickstart Daniel Farke’s reign at Elland Road.
Described by journalist Joe Donnohue as the “most complete performance of the season”, many thought that today’s clash would mark the first true test of this new regime, travelling to the feared Den.
How did Joel Piroe play vs Millwall?
Having weathered an early storm from the hosts, it clearly gave the Whites the confidence needed to grow into the game and go ahead after a nice run of play saw Joel Piroe score his first.
Although his second was slightly more fortuitous, his brace spearheaded an emphatic victory for the visitors to propel them up the table.
Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman’s 8.2 Sofascore rating for the game was merited, although it was hugely buoyed by those two goals which proved so important.
Other than that, the striker largely struggled to make an impact despite once again being deployed deeper.
In fact, it was arguably his strike partner who truly stole the show for Farke, as Georginio Rutter continues to mastermind his comeback after last season’s thorough disappointment.
How did Georginio Rutter play vs Millwall?
Having signed for a club record £35m, expectations were understandably but perhaps unfairly high for the 21-year-old who was expected to spearhead their survival push.
Given today’s clash was played in the Championship, it is clear that this was a failed venture, although that was far from Rutter’s burden to hold.
Should he prove to be as instrumental as this early-season form suggests, that could end up being one of Jesse Marsch’s unwise investments that actually come to fruition.
However, it was his creativity that truly stood out in a match that was crying out for a magical moment, which Rutter gladly provided on numerous occasions.
The former Hoffenheim ace provided a startling five key passes despite starting the match up front, with his positional fluidity proving tough for the hosts to compete with.
Some stellar defensive work buoyed the aforementioned figure further, as he would also win four duels whilst making two interceptions and one tackle, as per Sofascore.
It was a performance bound to draw praise, with the away support handing him “his flowers” in the words of Donnohue.
Then, another writer in Graham Smyth would wax lyrical after handing the forward an admirable 8/10 in his post-match ratings: “Fought to try and hold the ball up, provided an assist, played a part in the second goal and scored the third. Not everything he tried came off but he deserved his ovation.”
Such a persistent effort to create something special helped him to stand out in a game that could have easily devolved into a scrappy affair. Fortunately for Farke, he was in possession of a magician with true quality which shone through on the day.
Although Piroe will steal the headlines for his brace, Rutter’s continued performances at a level befitting a side hoping for promotion will be of far more importance to the German tactician after today.