WILFRIED Gnonto conjured up a carbon-copy of Paolo Di Canio to assist Leeds scratch a seven-year itch.
The teenage sensation added to his rising reputation by scoring twice – the primary a surprising scissor-volley inside 30 seconds, a dead-ringer for fellow Italian Di Canio’s celebrated strike for West Ham towards Wimbledon 22 years in the past.
Gnonto’s heroics put the Premier League strugglers on the way in which to round 4, and meant the lengthy wait since their final FA Cup tie at Elland Highway in 2016 was greater than value it.
Gnonto’s venomous volley eased the stress on boss Jesse Marsch – who celebrated only a third win in 18 video games.
The livewire 19-year-old may have had a first-half hat-trick on an evening of chasing shadows for the managerless Bluebirds – who racked up a tenth winless recreation.
Leeds made a long-awaited cup return to Elland Highway for the primary time since beating Yorkshire rivals Rotherham 2-0 seven years in the past.
They joined Stockport as the second membership in cup historical past to be handed 10 consecutive away ties once they had been paired with Metropolis final month.
Two late objectives in South Wales secured this third round replay by the pores and skin of their tooth however Marsch’s males had been quickly in cruise management on the way in which to a primary win since early November.
Gnonto bought them off to a dream begin with his second objective since a £3.8million transfer from FC Zurich in September.
Cardiff’s hopes of maintaining it tight had been left in tatters as Rodrigo swung in a cross from the proper which dropped invitingly over defender Tom Sang.
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Gnonto did the remainder with a memorable right-foot scissor-kick into the roof of the online from a good angle on the far publish.
The Championship strugglers could not deal with Gnonto, who blazed over from Sam Greenwood’s cross six yards out.
It took an ideal save from Jak Alnwick to disclaim Leeds’ man of the second after he used his tempo to dash via on objective.
Greenwood’s effort was hacked off the road by Joel Bagan after Gnonto turned supplier nevertheless it wasn’t lengthy till Leeds stretched their lead with two objectives within the area of as many minutes to underline their dominance.
Rodrigo raced onto Jack Harrison’s Thirty fourth-minute via ball to round Alnwick and fireplace into the underside nook.
Earlier than Cardiff may recuperate, Gnonto minimize in from the left to beat Alnwick on the keeper’s close to publish with a strong angled drive, Harrison once more the supplier.
Metropolis thought they’d pulled one again on the stroke of half-time, however skipper Cutis Nelson’s close-range header from a nook was dominated out for offside by VAR.
Gnonto got here inside inches of his third with a shot into the side-netting earlier than he was taken off to a standing ovation.
Patrick Bamford got here off the bench to calmly slot house twice inside 5 minutes to ebook an eleventh straight cup journey to Accrington or Boreham Wooden earlier than substitute Callum Robinson headed one again and stroked house an injury-time second from the spot.