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Bristol City 0-1 Leeds United: Wilfried Gnonto scores as Leeds go second in Championship

Leeds United moved up to second in the Championship as they continued their fine form in 2024 with victory at Bristol City.

Wilfried Gnonto broke the deadlock early in the second half, firing in from just inside the box, with only his second goal of the season and on his first league start since 29 December.

Bristol City goalkeeper Max O'Leary made a number of key saves in the first half to keep his side in the game, including denying Georginio Rutter from a few yards out.

Glen Kamara came closest to doubling the tally for Leeds minutes after Gnonto's goal, but saw his shot trickle wide.

Leeds keeper Illan Meslier by comparison had little to do all night as out of form Bristol City's winless league run stretched to six games, while Daniel Farke's side have won five in a row.

Leeds last won five successive league matches in July 2020, the season where they won promotion to the Premier League.

Their victory at Ashton Gate moves them up from fourth into the automatic promotion places for the first time this campaign, ahead of Ipswich and Southampton who both play on Saturday.

By contrast, Bristol City's last win in the league came on Boxing Day and they remain rooted in a mid-table spot after being completely outshone by a rampant Leeds side who will surely wonder how they did not take away a bigger winning margin.

There was a positive early sign for the hosts when Cameron Pring headed the ball on to Nahki Wells, but the striker's poor first touch took the ball away from him and he dragged his shot wide.

Yet that 11th-minute chance would end up being as good as it got for the Robins in the first half, who were given no time to breathe in possession and repeatedly gave the ball away, allowing Leeds to break forward at will.

The excellent Crysencio Summerville should have scored after pick-pocketing George Tanner in midfield and racing through. With O'Leary off his line the Dutchman tried a chip, but the keeper leapt high to palm his shot clear.

Summerville blasted another effort over, before Rutter intercepted a pass from Rob Dickie and darted into the box only for O'Leary to punch it over the bar.

Patrick Bamford then whipped the ball past Zak Vyner and squared to Rutter for the best chance of the half, but again the Robins keeper reacted fast, getting low to keep the game scoreless.

Bristol City had only won one of their previous 17 meetings against Leeds and their luck ran out two minutes after the restart.

Junior Firpo and Bamford linked to find Gnonto, who had space to run into on the edge of the box before firing a shot into the corner with O'Leary diving the wrong way.

Leeds should have gone 2-0 up minutes later as they broke forward again in numbers in a three-on-two, but Kamara's effort saw the slightest touch to narrowly roll wide of the post.

The hosts almost found a leveller out of nothing when Anis Mehmeti pounced on a loose ball in the box and Leeds keeper Meslier scrambled back to keep it out - his first and only real save of the night.

Summerville, who deserved to have his name on the scoresheet, dragged another shot across the goal and wide late on, but it did not matter with the three points already wrapped up.

Bristol City manager Liam Manning told BBC Radio Bristol:

"I think they're the best side we've played since I came here.

"The disappointment, the frustration probably comes from our performance levels. Despite not getting the results recently we've come away from games knowing that we've been in the game, we've been the stronger side - whereas tonight you can't say that.

"The level we're capable of and what we've shown recently, that was not it.

"When you make little errors that lead to big counter-attacks or when you've got the speed and direction they've got and they counter quickly you get big momentum shifts.

"All of a sudden you build anxiety, you build nerves and you panic a little bit, then the basics dropped to a level that you can't be against a side like these."

Leeds manager Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Leeds:

"I think it was nearly the perfect away performance.

"We perhaps took 10, 15 minutes to come into this game but there was so many things I liked today - all the pressing, counter-pressing, our possession, our transition moments, the fighting spirit.

"I think we were so dominant, created out of more or less each and possible situation, transition moments, set-pieces, possession, through the centre of the wings, so many chances.

"The only thing I have to criticise is our efficiency in front of the goal. It's an ongoing topic. It annoys me today a little bit because if we want to celebrate and have something to cheer about next May, we need to learn to score the goals and put the chances away, we need to show more responsibility in front of the goal.

"Even today there was a situation out of nothing they had one big chance and if Illan Meslier was not there with a top-class save you would sit in the dressing room and speak about 1-1 and you would not understand how you travel away with only one point."