MOT View: 100% dribble success rate - Rarely seen Leeds ace shone in thrilling draw v Man City
Saturday evening was very much a game of two halves for Leeds United.
Manchester City were good value for their half-time lead in the 1-1 draw at Elland Road, but a rejuvenated Whites side pushed them all the way after the interval, and will maybe feel slightly aggrieved that they were unable to sneak all three points.
Full credit has to go to Marcelo Bielsa for altering his side to deal with the relentlessness of City’s first half showing, but Ian Poveda deserves a special mention for the impact that he made on the game.
The youngster came on at half-time against City, and he shone from the outset.
The wide man had a 100% dribble success rate and crossing accuracy on Saturday, as per Wyscout, as well as registering a pass completion rate that was nearly 13% better than his season average, and a duel win percentage that was nearly 20% better.
He ran Benjamin Mendy ragged on the right flank, so much so that Pep Guardiola withdrew the World Cup winner for Nathan Ake to try and quieten the Leeds starlet.
It’s easy to see why too.
As Poveda’s dribble map shows, he was busy up and down the wing, taking the attack to City but also tracking back when required too.
What really caught the eye was his pace and trickery, however.
The example above is taken from the first minute of the second half.
Poveda picks up the ball in a relatively advanced position, but is met with an immediate challenge from Raheem Sterling.
With a drop of the shoulder and a clever touch he scampers away from the England international, which in itself is no mean feat.
But the close control it takes to operate with such confidence so close to the touchline is genuinely impressive.
Poveda then shows his composure by slowing the play down so that he can face up to his full-back.
Clearly unsure of how to deal with such an agile threat, Mendy stands off the winger for an instant, which is all the opportunity he needs to take advantage.
Poveda creates half a yard for himself before firing in a lethal cross, and on another day, a more composed Patrick Bamford could well have found the back of the net.
Ultimately, the end product doesn’t matter too much though.
What does, however, is the obvious and irrepressible spark Poveda has.
This boy could be a special talent, and we sincerely hope he gets plenty of chances to prove that this season.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites have agreed a £70,000-a-week contract with this potential new signing.