Hudson and Marsch live to fight another day. All the thrills from Cardiff v Leeds


Cardiff City and Leeds United fought out a memorable   2-2 draw in a dramatic FA Cup encounter in South Wales.

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Leeds’ American manager Jesse Marsch, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa as head coach in February 2022,  made seven changes for this tie whilst Mark Hudson also shuffled his pack with important league games on the horizon.

The Cardiff boss was also unable to call on key players such as strikers Kion Etete and Callum Robinson due to illness.  Gavin Whyte, Cédric Kipré, Rubin Colwill and others were also absent from his starting lineup.

An almighty travelling turnout from Leeds gave a terrific welcome to the men in white as they appeared from the tunnel. ‘Marching On Together’ boomed across the home of the Bluebirds.

Darko Gyabi fired an early shot in for the visitors in the early stages as rain fell heavily. Despite early Leeds pressure though, it was the home side who forced the first corner as they settled into battle.

Local lad Isaak Davies chased any ball that was sent forward by the Bluebirds. Welsh international Mark Harris was also full of running. Darko Gyabi was prominent for the visitors and showed some neat footwork, whilst Crysencio Summerville fired narrowly over for Leeds after 20 minutes.

Grey numbers on the white Leeds shirts made identification difficult, but there was no mistaking Jaden Philogene as he fired the hosts ahead on 24 minutes after Harris had got in behind the visiting defence.

Wilfried Gnonto saw yellow for simulation and Pascal Struijk also caught the attention of referee Jarred Gillett as the mood of the game switched in favour of the Welsh side.

Cue more glee for the home fans as Shey Ojo doubled the lead on the half-hour mark. Silence descended now over the previously boisterous away fans.

Leeds seemed powerless to overcome the confidence shown by the Bluebirds who ended the first half easily on top. We even heard cries of Olé from the home fans following a spell of impudent ball retention from the much-changed Cardiff side.

Brenden Aaronson tried hard to spark the visitors into life but the men in blue stood firm. Tom Sang and Jack Simpkins were rocks at the back for Cardiff City. Further up the field, Philogene’s trickery posed a regular threat.

Leeds simply were not in it as we reached the hour point. Marsch made a series of changes to lift his side. Struijk glanced a header wide as the visitors began to threaten at last.

Rodrigo brought them back into the game with a firm header to make it 2-1.

The game was evenly balanced now as both sides probably felt able to clinch a result with 20 minutes to go. Sam Greenwood blasted over from close range for Leeds.

Hudson introduced some experience in the shape of Callum O’Dowda and Ryan Wintle as this close game entered the final stages.

In a dramatic twist, home defender Joel Bagan was sent off for a deliberate hand ball. Jak Alnwick pulled off a terrific save on just his second appearance for the club to keep Rodrigo’s penalty out, however.

The experienced Joe Ralls and Perry Ng joined the fray as the 10 men faced the final few minutes.

Cardiff were content to almost hit it anywhere as they battled to keep their Premier League guests out. The home fans in the crowd of 20,324 did their best to roar their men on.

With the home side out on their feet, Sonny Perkins flicked in a late equalizer for United. The visiting fans greeted the goal like a match-winner. It turned out to be just the final drama in an exciting 2-2 draw.

With both managers under pressure of late, this result may just keep them both in post a little longer. For now then, both Hudson and Marsch live to fight another day.

Cardiff join fellow Welsh sides Wrexham and Swansea City in the 4th round draw.

The winners of the Leeds/Cardiff replay will travel to Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley.

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