Leeds United Player Ratings vs Everton
Leeds United fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Everton on Wednesday (read the match report here), with a strong second-half performance leaving the Whites wanting more. Here are the player ratings from another tough game in the Premier League:
Illan Meslier: 8
Will be under-rated today because the ball never came too close for him, but the young Frenchman made several vital saves to keep his team in it when Leeds were chasing the result. The stop from Calvert-Lewin is the standout. He’s improving every game.
Luke Ayling: 6
Was, as always, an intense attacking presence but he lost his man AGAIN for their second goal. Ayling has been one of our best players this season, consistently excellent, except from set-pieces. He seems to have a real problem keeping track of his men and he has cost us a fair few goals throughout the season. He needs to work on it.
Pascal Struijk: 7
Perhaps required a bit more foresight for their first goal. A more experienced defender might have been more aware, but it wasn’t his runner and no shout came from Kalvin Phillips as a warning. I was surprised to see some Leeds fans criticising his performances, he’s been a magnificent performer at this level and is doing well enough to be considered for a senior call-up to the Belgium squad. He performed well for the majority of the game and his passes found their mark.
Liam Cooper: 7
Had one slip early on that he had to recover from, and did. He has become more commanding in the last few weeks and it is a good colour on him. We’ve seen a few more hard-but-fair challenges flying in and his performances have only been improving. His defensive aerial ability was tested today and stood up well, he seems very able at reading the flight of the ball perfectly. A tidy performance.
Ezgjan Alioski: 6
His thunderous volley deserved to go in. It was struck beautifully and is a great reflection of the North Macedonian’s shooting ability. Offensively, he was good tonight, but Iwobi gave him the run-around for large portions of the first half and, if not for Jack Harrison, Leeds might have been in real trouble. The link-up between those two is lovely to see at times, and they are almost interchangeable in the positions they take up. Saying that, Leeds seem more balanced with Stuart Dallas at left-back, and Alioski needs to start putting in some big performances to avoid being shifted to the bench.
Kalvin Phillips: 6
I always feel harsh giving Phillips below a seven. His job is so hard and Everton set up very well to limit his time on the ball. That said, you can’t lose your man as he did for their opening goal. That was amateurish from Kalvin and he knew it. He did well as the game progressed. Didn’t give Sigurdsson any space and dictated play as usual, but he put us on the back foot immediately, and that’s hard to recover from.
I’m running out of superlatives to describe this man with. A creative powerhouse. His work ethic is improving every week and Leeds are going to find it tough holding on to him for a number of seasons. I pray that he stays though. His goal was excellent and he never stopped pushing the team forward. Brilliant
Stuart Dallas: 7
Never stopped running throughout, pushed Everton hard. Created chances, got himself into the right positions and never let the opposition rest. Mr Consistency strikes again
Mateusz Klich: 5
What is he going to have to do to get back to the form that we saw before Christmas. The Pole was up there with Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish as a creator, but he was poor today after a good performance against Leicester. Summed up by his inability to find a pass inside the Everton area today. Just not great at all. Needs a confidence boost.
Jack Harrison: 7
Had a tough game in the offensive sense. Mason Holgate is a centre-back playing on the right and that was obvious by the way Harrison was limited in the first half. The on-loan Man City winger grew into it though. He won the ball for Leeds’ goal and was absolutely tireless down the left. Made a number of important interventions defensively and almost scored with a rocket-volley that had to be saved by Robin Olsen. Seems to be comfortable at this level.
Patrick Bamford: 6
His pressing game was awesome. Didn’t give the defence a moments rest. His first touch seemed to have deserted him today though, he had a number of chances to get beyond the Everton defence but was never able to bring the ball under his spell. The assist for Raphinha’s goal was good quick-thinking and he came close with a header that hit the crossbar, but you can’t imagine him being happy with that considering his virtuoso performance against Leicester.
Tyler Roberts: 7
Continues on his improvement compared to earlier in the season. Came on in midfield today and was clearly less comfortable. Created a few chances nonetheless. He is clearly desperate to score, but needs to calm himself down when he gets those chances.
Pablo Hernandez: 6
Same story as his last few appearances really. His vision is there, as always, but the execution was lacking. Will be hoping for a start against Palace to earn his place in the starting 11 in Rodrigo’s absence.
Helder Costa: 5
Only notable moment was losing the ball in his own half. Had a very brief time on the pitch.