By Mark Smith

26th Nov, 2019 | 9:59pm

MOT View: 25y/o finally shines - Leeds player ratings from 1-0 win v Reading

Leeds travelled to Reading on Tuesday looking to make it four wins on the spin, but it was far from straightforward.

Marcelo Bielsa made one change from the 2-1 win over Luton Town, with Liam Cooper coming back into the defence in place of Gaetano Berardi.

It was a quiet first half at the Madejski Stadium, with Leeds limiting the home side to counter attacks. Mark Bowen’s side had the best chance as Yakou Meite somehow didn’t find George Puscas with a low cross.

Leeds started to push further forward in the second half and dominate the game. It nearly paid off quickly with Stuart Dallas smashing the bar from just outside the box.

Once again, it was a late show for Bielsa’s men, as Helder Costa’s deflected cross was headed in by Jack Harrison in front of the wild away end.

Here are our playing ratings from the 1-0 win against Reading…

1. Kiko Casilla – 7
As they usually are, this game was another quiet 90 minutes for Casilla in between the sticks. The Spaniard commanded his box well from crosses, and distributed the ball superbly when it came to him. Made a stop late on and that led to the move that won Leeds the game.

2. Luke Ayling – 8
A much better evening for Ayling, who hasn’t been at the top of his game in recent weeks. The wing-back defended well and often pushed forward to great effect, winning his side free-kicks which they just couldn’t take advantage of – not that it mattered in the end.

3. Liam Cooper – 7
Cooper changed the flow of the game against Luton on Saturday when coming on, and was strong in his return to the starting line up. The Whites’ captain dealt with the power of Meite for the majority of the evening.

4. Ben White – 8
We are running out of words to describe White, as once again he starred at the Madejski Stadium. The Brighton loanee has the composure of an attacking midfielder and showed that on numerous occasions with lung-busting runs into the Reading half. Dealt with countless set pieces put into Leeds’ box with ease.

5. Stuart Dallas – 6
Dallas has been pushed forward into a central-midfield role in the absence of Adam Forshaw. The utility man often got on the ball in Reading’s half but the end result wasn’t there when it was needed the most. He did hit the bar with a wonderful effort in the second half, but not much else came off for Dallas.

6. Kalvin Phillips – 6
An unusually tough night for Phillips when up against Ovie Ejaria. The Liverpool loanee managed to glide past the midfielder a couple of times which is something that rarely happens in the Championship, the 23-year-old completing 3.9 tackles per game [WhoScored]. His set-pieces were dangerous but ultimately failed to bring any success for the away side.

7. Mateusz Klich – 6
Klich was once again quiet in this one and is starting to get frustrating as the weeks pass by. The Polish international was rarely involved but did press effectively when out of possession.

8. Tyler Roberts – 4
The Welshman never really got into the contest, and after a few misplaced passes was replaced midway through the first half with an injury. In an update from Sky Sports, it was revealed that Roberts left the field with a hamstring problem.

9. Patrick Bamford – 5
Bamford’s night could have ended in disaster when missing the ball from a defensive set piece which Michael Morrison should have taken advantage of. Taking notice of his work in our own box sums up his night in the final third. Bamford was quiet for the majority of the clash and rarely touched the ball in Reading’s area.

10. Pablo Hernandez – 6
The Spanish playmaker was at the heart of everything Leeds did on Tuesday evening. It was a frustrating evening though, with the majority of his play being thwarted either through a lack of options or poor interlinking in the final third. Hernandez struggled in the second half and made the wrong decision on the ball too many times.

11. Jack Harrison – 6
The 23-year-old often got himself into promising positions against Chris Gunter, but wanted to do too much and ended up losing the ball. Harrison needed to beat his man and fire a ball across the box, but instead wanted too much space when it wasn’t available. He got the all-important winner though, and that is all that counts at this stage.


12. Helder Costa (For Roberts, 34 minutes) 7
Costa had to deal with his defensive duties when coming on, and he did that very well against Omar Richards. The 25-year-old held his own facing his own goal and looked a threat when given space at the other end, beating his man a number of times. He assisted the winner, and finally showed us what we have been expecting since he arrived.

13. Ezgjan Alioski (For Klich, 65 minutes) 6
Came on and instantly made a difference in midfield. The Macedonian international played the ball forward much quicker, and nearly assisted Dallas with the perfect floated ball but his volley hit the side netting.

In other Leeds news, ‘I wasn’t the best player’ – Leeds mainstay claims Bielsa has transformed his game