Following the end of the first international break of the season, both sides returned to EFL Championship action at the Den in the lunchtime kickoff. Millwall and Leeds were looking for their second win in three league games, following the Lions’ last-gasp point at Birmingham City and United being held at home by Sheffield Wednesday.
MIL: Bialkowski; Leonard, Campbell, Cooper; Norton-Cuffy, Mitchell, Longman, Wallace; Bradshaw, Nisbet, De Norre
LEE: Meslier; Ayling, Rodon, Struijk, Byram; Gray, Ampadu; Summerville, Piroe, Gnonto; Rutter
A rather cloudy afternoon in East London began with the home side starting on the front foot by winning an early corner, but Tom Bradshaw’s flick on from the set piece couldn’t find Caspar De Norre at the far post. Murray Wallace also saw an effort from thirty yards out travel well wide just moments later.
Ilian Meslier almost had a moment to forget as Ryan Longman’s high through ball looked for Tom Bradshaw, but the Leeds stopper was fouled by the Millwall forward as the ball was creeping into the net. Referee Chris Kavanagh would proceed to award the free kick.
A dominant Millwall start was made to count for nothing, however, as Daniel Farke’s side took the lead against the run of play in the 15th minute. The Whites got forward on the counter attack through Wilfried Gnonto, as he embarked on a blistering run down the left hand side. Following a one-two with Georginio Rutter, Gnonto laid the ball off to Joel Piroe, who finished calmly into the bottom corner past Bialkowski.
Crysencio Summerville almost doubled the visitors’ advantage nine minutes later after another dangerous break, with his curling shot just passing by the far corner.
Despite the setback, however, Millwall continued to push for an equaliser, as Ryan Longman was kept out well by Ilian Meslier with the game reaching the thirty minute mark, but 1-0 to United would be how it stayed at half-time.
The second half at the Den almost began perfectly for the home side as Luton Town loanee Allan Campbell slid the ball through to Tom Bradshaw, whose fierce strike forced Meslier into a good save from close-range.
With Leeds remaining fairly comfortable throughout the second half following that Bradshaw effort, Gary Rowett made a triple substitution in the hope that his side would put this game back in their favour. However, as the rain arrived in East London, so did the killer blow to the Lions as the visitors doubled their advantage with just 13 minutes to go.
Daniel Farke’s men got forward well once again as Ethan Ampadu’s ball forward found substitute Dan James, who played a one-two with Rutter as Gnonto had earlier, and the Welshman found Joel Piroe at the far post who simply tapped his and Leeds’ second home to put the game beyond doubt.
It got even better for Leeds United just minutes later as Dan Ayling’s ball forward from a Millwall corner found Dan James on the run again. And as for the second goal, the Welshman then squared the ball across the box, this time to Georginio Rutter, who smashed the ball home to cap off an impressive away performance from Leeds.
Millwall’s attention now turns to their second home fixture in a row, as they prepare to host struggling Rotherham United on Wednesday evening. Leeds United find themselves on the road once more, travelling to Hull City’s MKM Stadium.