Jesse Marsch’s side atoned for the first encounter nearly two weeks ago which saw the Whites need a second-half comeback to even grasp a replay, with a rampant showing in west Yorkshire – led by summer signing Wilfried Gnonto.
The young Italian’s wonderstrike after just 26 seconds set the tone for the night as he went onto notch a brace, with fellow forwards Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford also getting on the scoresheet.
In fact, it was the first sign that the latter had shaken off his frustrating injury problems in what was a striker’s masterclass up top. Indeed, he put in an absolute clinic in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, having been subbed on at the break.
After replacing the aforementioned Spaniard, Bamford bagged a five-minute brace, starting in the 71st minute when he evaded the Bluebirds’ offside trap to slot home an impressive left-footed volley.
With club-record signing Georginio Rutter watching on in the stands, the England international then bagged an outside-of-the-boot effort after playing a neat one-two with Joe Gelhardt, who had come on in place of undoubted ‘Man of the Match’, Gnonto.
What was most remarkable was the fact that was seemingly business as usual for Bamford, who has missed so much game time over the past 18 months.
As per Sofascore, he had just 20 touches of the ball, in which he made nine accurate passes and had three shots. Both of his two attempts on target found the net.
Whilst Gnonto’s audacious effort and stunning display will be talked about for weeks – if not for the ages – the return of Bamford in this light is certainly a reasonable source of excitement as he has just proven that he still has a lot to give in Marsch’s frontline and in this system.
In the words of LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross, the 29-year-old talisman was “teasing what might be ahead” if he can remain fit and available.
Also lauded in the past as a “goal machine” by ex-Guardian journalist Charlie Phillips, both Marsch and the Whites faithful will be hoping that the 17-goal Bamford from the 2020/21 season is on his way back and Wednesday night was a little glimpse at exactly that.