Leeds United 4 Port Vale 1: Saiz nets debut hat-trick as Whites storm into next round
DEBUTANT SAMUEL Saiz blasted in a brilliant hat-trick as Leeds United stormed past League Two visitors Port Vale with a 4-1 victory in Wednesday night's first round Carabao Cup tie at Elland Road.
Leeds took an early lead when Saiz cashed in after a Stuart Dallas cross cannoned back off the post but Vale levelled nine minutes before the break when Michael Tonge smashed home after United failed to clear a long throw.
But Saiz capped a superb debut by providing clinical finishes in the 60th and 62nd minute before another Whites debutante Caleb Ekuban added a late fourth to ease United into the second round.
Leeds drew first blood after 13 minutes when a clever cross from Dallas on the left flank deceived Vale ‘keeper Robert Lainton and bounced back off the post to Saiz who smashed the ball home from about ten yards.
United continued to create chances and a long range-effort from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was easily saved before the same player narrowly failed to pick out fellow Whites debutante Ekuban.
But Vale drew level against the run of play nine minutes before the break.
Leeds failed to deal with Gavin Gunning’s long throw and former United midfielder Tonge was on hand to pummel the ball home from close range.
United were then let off the hook seven minutes after the interval when Anton Forrester failed to connect to Pyke’s cross.
But the introduction of Gianni Alioski instantly gave United more attacking prowess and Alioski immediately forced a strong save from sub ‘keeper Rob Hornby who parried the ball away for a corner.
From that corner, Borthwick-Jackson saw his header cleared off the line but within five minutes Leeds were 3-1 up as Saiz completed a hat-trick.
First the Spaniard latched on to a lovely ball from Ronaldo Vieira before rounding Hornby and blasting the ball into an empty net.
And two minutes later Saiz was picked out in space by Caleb Ekuban and produced a deadly finish into the top corner to seal a brilliant treble.
Leeds were dominating and Dallas blasted a good chance wide before Alioski twice went close with his piledriver in the 79th minute forcing a brilliant save from Hornby.
United were home and hosed but there was still time for a brilliant fourth goal which arrived after a superb run from Alioski whose lay off was left by Saiz for Ekuban to power the ball home in front of a delighted Kop.
A miserable night for Vale then ended with Gunning being sent off after picking up a second yellow card for fouling the excellent Alioski.
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Anita, Shaughnessy, Ayling (Gomes 70), Borthwick-Jackson, Vieira, Klich (Bridcutt 58), Sacko (Alioski 58), Saiz, Dallas, Ekuban. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Wood, Hernandez, Phillips.
Port Vale: Lainton (Hornby 46), Davis, Smith, Kay, Gunning, Reeves, Pugh (Harness 80), Tonge, Turner, Pyke, Forrester (Pope 62). Subs not used: Harness, Gibbons, de Freitas, Calverley, Whitfield.
Referee: Peter Bankes.