Daniel Farke's Leeds United 'masterstroke' in Preston North End win as key call proved pivotal

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Joel Piroe scored the winner for Leeds United against Preston North End after stepping off the bench

Daniel Farke's decision to bring Joel Piroe on as a late substitute against Preston North End has been described as a 'masterstroke'. The Whites came from behind on Sunday to stretch their winning start to the calendar year to four games and claim a 2-1 win over the Lilywhites at Elland Road.

It was a stoppage time penalty that proved to be the difference for Leeds with Piroe being the man to step up and make sure of the victory from the spot following a handball ruling. The effort was the Dutchman's 10th of the season, moving him level second with Dan James, who bagged Leeds' first, in the club's top scorer list, behind leader Crysencio Summerville.

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However, for the third Championship game running, Piroe didn't start the game, with Farke preferring to go with the in-form Patrick Bamford. The forward stepped off the bench in the 76th minute though, replacing Glen Kamara, and his presence helped the Whites pile the pressure on the visitors late in the game before the chance to score came in the fourth minute of added time.

It was Piroe's first goal since the win over Ipswich before Christmas and ex-Leeds boss Neil Redfearn believes the timing of his introduction off the bench at Elland Road was pivotal in the contest.

"What a fantastic penalty from Piroe," Redfearn said while working with BBC Radio Leeds. "It’s a masterstroke by Farke bringing him on because what he does, he just brought a bit of calm to proceedings.

“There’s a couple of little moments in and around the box where he steadied things and got on it and brought people into the game. As soon as the penalty was given and obviously, he was elected to take it, I’m thinking it’s a no-brainer, it’s going to be a winner.”

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