Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 2: Crysencio Summerville's brilliant finish ensures reward matches the risk

Risk cancelled out reward in Leeds United's first Championship match for three years. But it could have been worse.

To score as Crysencio Summerville did in the fifth of a minimum of six added minutes made it feel like a defeat for Cardiff City but ultimately the hosts could only claim a point from the lion's share of a 2-2 draw.

The division may have changed but the frustrations remain the same – attacking promise without enough cutting edge and fatal defensive flaws exposed by the opposition.

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It is why the Whites were able to utterly dominate their bogey side and still come out on equal terms. But even with three strikers injured, they were still able to make chances – 25 of them – and take two.

EQUALISER: Ethan Ampadu celebrates with goalscorer Crysencio SummervilleEQUALISER: Ethan Ampadu celebrates with goalscorer Crysencio Summerville
EQUALISER: Ethan Ampadu celebrates with goalscorer Crysencio Summerville

Even though the midfielder is still not yet an adult, Archie Gray's debut has been long anticipated after a litany of injury problems last season but it was worth the wait.

The problem – still – is that the Whites cannot keep the back door shut.

At the crux of it was Daniel Farke's tactical plan to have his full-backs high up the field. Using Luke Ayling as a right-winger in possession allowed Summerville to get alongside the diminutive Willy Gnonto as a second centre-forward.

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Ayling helped make two "goals" – the only problem being, Dan James' was disallowed for offside – but it was by getting in behind the full-backs that Cardiff were able to get a headstart Leeds were never able to overhaul.

FRSUTRATION: Wily Gnonto misses a chance for Leeds UnitedFRSUTRATION: Wily Gnonto misses a chance for Leeds United
FRSUTRATION: Wily Gnonto misses a chance for Leeds United

The relegated Whites were always likely to be slow starters this season.

With nine senior players departing and only three in so far – just Ethan Ampadu in his first Championship XI – Farke's Leeds career appears to have started before he was ready for it. We may have to wait until September's international break to finish before we see this team fully take shape.

All the outfield substitutes spent time in the club's academy, and only Sam Byram had any real experience.

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If Farke knew his history and hopefully this nugget escaped him – he would know there were few worse teams to face than Cardiff, a side Leeds have beaten only four times in 25 matches.

The opening 25 minutes suggested there was little to worry about, only for Cardiff to score two counter-attack goals before the break.

Goals for Josh Bowler and former Barnsley loanee Ike Ugbo might have come against the run of play but it was not luck, just more bad Leeds defending.

The hosts' attacking football was based around getting their full-backs high up the pitch – often alongside centre-forward Gnonto – and that and their pressing pinned the Bluebirds in at the start.

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It took a quarter of an hour to amount to anything but when it did, it was worth the wait.

Gnonto's backheel flick to Summerville, popping up to his left because Ayling was doing the job of right winger, was returned to him only for the Italian, then Gray to have shots blocked. Gnonto shot just wide when Ayling cleverly nodded a switch of play into his run.

Inbetween the first-half goals Jak Alnwick had to make a good save to deny Summerville, mystifyingly also wearing gloves in the first week of August.

Gray, making his Leeds debut at 17 as his dad Andy and his uncle Eddie had, produced a gorgeous bit of skill to leave Callum O'Dowda and Karlan Grant for dead and all looked well with the world.

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Gray occasionally dropped in from central midfield to fill the gap left by Ayling, matching the maturity of his elegant passing, but often it was vacant and left-back O'Dowda had the freedom of the flank to power towards the byline and pull the ball back.

Especially after Tyler Adams' injury Leeds not picking up late-arriving midfielders was a real problem last season – think Jefferson Lerma and Ilkay Gundogan to name but two examples – and Bowler had plenty of space to collect the pull-back, and the lay-off from Ugbo when Ampadu blocked the initial shot.

The second goal came from behind Leo Hjelde in the 40th minute, Bowler working the ball to Aaron Ramsey. His shot deflected to the far post, where Ugbo got ahead of Ayling to poke in from a couple of yards.

Hjelde showed moments of promise on loan at Rotherham United in the second half of last season but the imporivement was stark when Sam Byram, picked up as a free agent the day before, replaced him at half-time.

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It was Ayling's cross which got the comeback started just three minutes into the second half, cut out for a Summerville corner Liam Cooper scored a towering header from. But the goal came at a cost, with the captain stretchered off after appearing to jar his knee.

It was the bugle call for a second-half siege.

A Gnonto shot deflected onto the crossbar as Cooper was being carried away.

Twice James was almost picked out in what should have been unmissable positions but the first was cut out by good defending, the second collected by Alnwick when the cross was not acute enough. When Ayling did find him, it was from a smidgeon offside.

Alnwick made an excellent save to turn a James effort around the post, Summerville's shot took a nick behind.

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His penalty appeals in both halves – like Luis Sinisterra's – erred on the optimistic side.

But with so much added time due this season – the teams played an extra 11 minutes this time - you can never give up and when a Sinisterra shot bounced loose, Summerville swiveled on it to produce a brilliant and decisive finish.

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Struijk, Cooper (Cresswell 53), Hjelde (Byram 46); Ampadu, Gray (Perkins 90+3); Summerville, Sinisterra, James (Poveda 82); Gnonto (Gelhardt 82).

Unused substitutes: Shackleton, Gyabi, Bate, Darlow.

Cardiff City: Alnwick; Ng (Romeo 78), McGuinness, Goutas, O'Dowda; Bowler, Wintle, Ralls (Adams 30), Grant (Meite 65); Ramsey (Rinomhota 78); Ugbo (Etete 78).

Unused substitutes: Collins, Simpson, Luthra, Robinson.

Referee: J Smith (Lincolnshire).