Leeds United bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday night, their first win at Elland Road since December.
They got off to the perfect start through Jack Harrison, whose deflected shot rifled past Vicente Guita after Leeds won the ball in Palace’s defensive third.
Patrick Bamford should have doubled the advantage in the first-half when he burst through one-on-one, but blazed his shot over.
The striker did grab his goal eventually when he showed good anticipation to follow up on Raphinha’s close-range effort to tap into an open goal.
The Whites were relatively untested at the back too, with Wilfried Zaha a notable absence for the visitors.
Marcelo Bielsa should be happy for multiple reasons, not least because we now sit 10th in the league, having jumped above Arsenal.
MOT Leeds News have shared their player ratings below…
Illan Meslier – 7
Did not have much to do because of Palace’s lack of attacking threat. Looked more composed on the ball which is a positive and was tidy when he needed to be.
Luke Ayling – 6
Was lucky not to be punished by Ebere Eze when he switched off to allow Michy Batshuayi time and space to find the attacker in the Leeds penalty box.
Pascal Struijk – 8
The youngster did not put a foot wrong at the back but will be kicking himself that he did not score from the three chances he had. His second effort was a header he somehow skewed wide from just a few yards out but at least he showed he is a colossus in the air.
Liam Cooper – 7
Was solid at the back and subdued Mateta and led his defensive teammates with calm. If he and Struijk maintain their form it will be interesting to see if the injured Robin Koch and Diego Llorente can replace them when fit.
Gjanni Alioski – 6
Had a relatively easy life with Palace not posing much of a threat down the flanks. To his credit he made four tackles (SofaScore) but did not link up enough with Harrison to warrant a higher score.
Kalvin Phillips – 8
A big day for the midfielder on his 200th appearance for Leeds United. He was his typical self as he mopped up danger throughout and ensured the back four enjoyed a trouble-free game by keeping a close watch on danger man Jordan Ayew. He was also a menace with his set-piece deliveries.
Mateusz Klich – 7
Kept things ticking over in the middle and was key to the press. Worked well with Dallas to dominate midfield which prevented Eze from posing too much of a danger. Back tp near his normal self.
Stuart Dallas – 7
Showed brilliant reactions and drive to set-up Harrison’s goal. He was busy in the middle and created a chance for Bamford to score in the first-half, but the striker failed to convert.
Raphinha – 9
A real talisman now, he was a bundle of energy throughout and Palace did not know how to combat him, except to impede him unfairly. Displayed good link-up play with Bamford once again and was also a nuisance off the ball. A brilliant run gave him a chance to score in the second-half and his saved shot fell kindly to Bamford to tap-in. He deserved a goal to cap off yet another excellent display.
Jack Harrison – 8
The winger looked sharp early on and did well to open the scoring, albeit it with a touch of good fortune. At 2-0 and with Palace pushing forward he made the most of a defensive mistake but struck the bar when he perhaps should have found the back of the net.
Patrick Bamford – 7
Brilliant but frustrating, which is not unusual for the front-man. He showed superb movement but his finishing let him down at times. Deserves credit for creating a brilliant chance through his own tireless work rate but he has to hit the target when one-on-one, otherwise he can forget about an England call-up. Grabbed his 12th league goal of the season for his efforts.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Oh my’, ‘Best in the PL’ – These Leeds fans wowed by ‘absolute class’ player v Palace.