By George Overhill

18th Feb, 2023 | 4:52pm

The wheels came off the Michael Skubala reign at Leeds United with a worrying 1-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Everton at Goodison Park.

A first-half that wasn’t short of energy but did lack quality ended goalless, as the Whites were under pressure and twice cleared the ball off the line.

Things didn’t improve after the break and Everton took the lead just after the hour when Seamus Coleman fired in from a tight angle on the right, after Illan Meslier left a huge gap at his near post and a cross-shot flew straight in on a miserable afternoon for Leeds United where nobody played too well.

Here, MOT Leeds News rates the Leeds United players out of 10 for their performances at Goodison Park.

Illan Meslier – 3

Nightmare afternoon for the Frenchman. Let the opener fly in from Coleman when few would have expected him to shoot from there, but whether it was a cross or a shot it shouldn’t have been possible to go straight in. Busy game overall that saw him produce a couple of crucial saves, but he also had to be bailed out by his defenders on the line and looked shaky under some high balls.

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Luke Ayling – 6

Had his hands full throughout, both at right-back and then when moved inside once Wober went off. There weren’t many clear chances for Everton but he didn’t look particularly comfortable.

Robin Koch – 6

Didn’t have his worst game in a Whites defence that was under pressure for the majority of the game. Can’t really be held responsible for Coleman’s goal even though it was the German who was running with him.

Max Wober (off for Kristensen ’45) – 6

Landed heavily on his shoulder early which may have contributed to him looking less assured than usual, but did make a goal-line clearance from James Tarkowski to keep the scores level. Couldn’t shake off the injury and didn’t come out after the break.

Junior Firpo – 6

Often the scapegoat in his time with Leeds United, he didn’t stand out as a weakness on a day where everybody struggled. It was down his side that the goal came but it shouldn’t have been a danger. The defence were under pressure throughout and just about held out until Meslier’s error.

Weston McKennie (off for Rutter ’78) – 7 Man of the Match

Highly combative in the middle but couldn’t find the men in front of him with much regularity. Did produce the vital piece of play in the opening 45, clearing a Neal Maupay header off the line, and threw himself into the melee before the break in defence of his midfielder partner Adams. Arguably the pick of a disappointing game from everyone.

Tyler Adams – 6

Fought in a scrappy midfield and made a lot of tackles, but struggled to get any time or control in possession. Reignited the Leeds United team just as the home side appeared to be establishing dominance in the opening half when he clashed with Dwight McNeil to spark the melee between both sets of players. Unfortunately that was his most telling contribution.

Crysencio Summerville (off for Aaronson ’61) – 5

Very peripheral after the opening exchanges in an attacking sense. Largely involved chasing back towards his own goal. Perhaps unlucky to be sacrificed over Harrison but far from his best game.

Jack Harrison (off for Greenwood ’86) – 3

Very disappointing. Again given a start as the number 10 rather than out wide and did very little to suggest that he is the right option there. Whether it was an effect of playing out of position or just poor form but he looked a step off the pace and his control let him down far too often. Improved slightly once he moved out wide but still wasted multiple late free kicks that missed everyone in the box.

Willy Gnonto – 6

Spent most of the afternoon chasing the game. Produced a few flicks but was unable to get on the ball and put Coleman under pressure defensively as the Whites struggled to exert any attacking control. Willing runner but couldn’t get anything going.

Patrick Bamford – 7

Went closest of all the Leeds United players in the first half with a low shot that went narrowly wide and battled up front as the lone striker but looked isolated. Didn’t look his sharpest throughout and was barely provided with a sniff by his teammates. Did what he could as a target man, but not supported properly.


Rasmus Kristensen (on for Wober ’45) – 5

Didn’t do anything to suggest he deserves to get a starting place back in his half on the pitch.

Brenden Aaronson (on for Summerville ’61) – 6

Couldn’t make the difference going forward. Did chase back to stop Doucoure from making it 2-0 late on.

Georginio Rutter (on for ’77) – N/A

Sam Greenwood (on for Harrison ’86) – N/A

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