MOT View: Duo who stood out only score 7/10 - Leeds player ratings v Preston
Stuart Dallas’ 89th-minute equaliser meant that Leeds United would avoid a second defeat in a row against Preston North End at Elland Road on Boxing Day.
Alan Browne gave the visitors the lead in the first half after a counter-attack caught the Leeds defence napping.
Preston were certainly good for their lead but after the break, Marcelo Bielsa’s side got back into the game and eventually grabbed a deserved leveller through Dallas.
Here, MOT Leeds News has rated the players out of 10 for their performances on Thursday night:
Kiko Casilla – 5
There was nothing special from the goalkeeper but he was caught rushing off his line in the first half and was not at his best with the ball at his feet.
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Luke Ayling – 5
Ayling had a mixed game against Preston. Especially in the first half, his passing was all over the place and really struggled to cope with the away side’s high press. Improved after the break and assisted Dallas’ equaliser.
Liam Cooper – 5
It was an average performance by Cooper, who had a similar game to Ayling. Preston were helped by some poor defending by the Scottish international.
Ben White – 6
White was not at his best but he was still a stand-out performer in Leeds’ defence. Stats by WhoScored show he completed three dribbles versus North End, which is impressive for a centre-back.
Ezgjan Alioski – 7
Alioski had a few chances to score for Leeds but simply could not hit the back of the net. Away from those squandered opportunities, the North Macedonia international had a decent game.
Kalvin Phillips – 5
It wasn’t a classic display by Phillips. He really struggled with Preston’s energetic press and his pass accuracy of 61 per cent at half-time said it all about his display in the opening 45 minutes. However, like most of his team-mates, he improved after the break.
Stuart Dallas – 7
Dallas was forced to play out of his comfort zone in the centre of the midfield and did a decent job. Grabbed the equalising goal late on to ensure Leeds would not lose their second game in a row.
Mateusz Klich – 5
Klich was really poor on Boxing Day. He didn’t do enough both on the ball and off it. Stats by WhoScored show he failed to complete a single tackle or dribble and only made one key pass.
Helder Costa – 5
Costa was quiet against Preston and had fewer touches of the ball out of all Leeds players who completed 90 minutes. Leeds’ right-hand side really let them down against the Lancashire club.
Jack Harrison – 6
Yet another player who was not awful but was not great either. Harrison had some drive in him and was helped out by Alioski on the left a lot more than Costa was helped out by Ayling.
Patrick Bamford – 5
Bamford was a victim of Leeds’ poor overall play and never really had the chance to get himself on the scoresheet. His link-up play wasn’t awful. Substituted off for Eddie Nketiah just after the hour mark.
Eddie Nketiah (for Bamford 63 minutes) – 5
Had a big chance to level the scores not long after being substituted on. Some fans were not happy with that decision by Bielsa.
In other Leeds United news, Angus Kinnear has confirmed one player will leave Elland Road next month.