Michael Duff Holds His Hands Up After Defeat To “Premier League Quality” Leeds United

LEEDS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Daniel James of Leeds United celebrates after scoring the team's third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Swansea City at Elland Road on November 29, 2023 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Michael Duff Holds His Hands Up After Defeat To “Premier League Quality” Leeds United


By Paul Jones

Michael Duff admitted Swansea City were undone by “Premier League quality” they were unable to match as they fell to a second defeat in three matches at Leeds United.

Duff insisted he was pleased by his team’s overall performance but claimed the difference between the sides was illustrated by the goals – two of which were scored by former Swans players Joel Piroe and Daniel James, with the other from Georginio Rutter – in a 3-1 defeat.

“Ultimately we’ve been undone by Premier League quality,” said Duff.

“The first goal, (made by Crysencio) Summerville is obviously very good. It’s not an excuse, but sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up, the one-two he played and the pass for Joel.

“We know all about Joel. The pass and the touch (by Rutter) for the second goal and even the third goal, the weight of (Rutter’s) pass was perfect.”

The defeat leaves Swansea in 18th place in the Championship table, 10 points adrift of the play-offs and seven above the relegation zone.

Since winning four games on the bounce in September and October, they have managed just one victory in their last seven games.

“A disappointing evening in terms of the result, but I thought the performance was really good,” added Duff.

“In the first half I thought we were excellent. We conceded poor goals at poor times, but we asked the players to show personality and bravery and we played through them a lot.”

In a breathless start, Leeds had already had a goal disallowed when Jamie Paterson gave Swansea a first-minute lead, but Daniel Farke’s side hit back to level through Piroe against his former club three minutes later.

Rutter fired Leeds ahead in first-half stoppage time and former Swan James added their third just after the hour-mark.

Leeds leapfrogged West Brom back into third place by extending their unbeaten home record this season to nine matches and have now won seven of their last nine.

Leeds manager Daniel Farke said: “Efficiency is a topic we always speak about, but the way we scored these three goals was outstanding.

“I can’t criticise my offensive players today too much in terms of their performance and how they created the chances and the way they scored the three goals. It was great today.

“My gut feeling is we can still improve our effectiveness, but we also had some iced-cold finishes today.

“When I think about the finish of Joel Piroe, also Georginio’s fantastic second goal, also Dan James’ with his weaker left foot, it was a perfect first touch at high speed and perfect finish.

“We’re on the right path in many ways, but it’s also not the time to feel too comfortable and too proud of ourselves.

“The next difficult opponent already awaits on Saturday (Middlesbrough at Elland Road) and we have to make sure we are ready again and finish in the same manner, if not better.”

After a minute’s applause before kick-off for Terry Venables, who died on Sunday aged 80, the game exploded into action.

Leeds were celebrating inside the opening minute when James converted Rutter’s cross, but the Wales forward was ruled offside and seconds later Swansea scored.

Leeds skipper Pascal Struijk made a hash of his header back to Illan Meslier following Josh Key’s long punt forward and Paterson stole in to clip a brilliant finish over the stranded Leeds goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

The home side’s response was immediate. Crysencio Summerville played a neat one-two with Glen Kamara and threaded a killer pass through for Piroe to side-foot into the bottom corner.

It was the Dutchman’s ninth goal in total this season, two of them scored for Swansea in the League Cup in August before his switch to Elland Road later that month.

Leeds fans sang a pre-planned tribute to their former number 11 Gary Speed in the 11th minute – the 12th anniversary of his death was on Monday – before their side’s appeals for a penalty when Sam Byram’s cross struck Key were waved away.

Summerville’s goalbound shot was saved by Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth’s legs and the impressive forward was then denied by Jay Fulton’s last-ditch block as Leeds chased a second.

That came in first-half stoppage-time. Rutter raced on to Ethan Ampadu’s raking ball down the middle, held off Bashir Humphreys after a brilliant first touch and buried a left-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Summerville blazed over early in the second period as Leeds looked to extend their advantage and the third goal came in the 61st minute.

James ran on to Rutter’s deft pass inside the area after Byram’s thumping tackle and smashed home his fifth league goal of the season.

Patrick Bamford was a whisker away from adding a fourth from Summerville’s cutback and fellow substitute Jaidon Anthony headed just over in time added on.


One thought on “Michael Duff Holds His Hands Up After Defeat To “Premier League Quality” Leeds United

  1. Taking the goals out the equation I think Swansea fans should be proud of their performance. One of the best footballing sides we have played at ER this season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.