By Craig Scott

29th Dec, 2019 | 5:30pm

MOT View: One player 3/10, man of the match 9/10 - Leeds player ratings in 5-4 win v B'ham

Leeds United ensured they would end 2019 at the top of the Championship table with a pulsating 5-4 win against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on Sunday.

Helder Costa and Jack Harrison scored to put the Whites two goals ahead in the first 21 minutes but then Jude Bellingham and Lukas Jutkiewicz levelled the scores at two-a-piece by scoring either side of the break.

Luke Ayling scored a belter in the 69th minute to restore Leeds’ advantage but the Yorkshire club were once again pegged back by Blues when Jeremie Bela took advantage of some poor goalkeeping by Kiko Casilla.

Stuart Dallas must have thought he’d won the game for Leeds when his deflected shot hit the back of the net in the 84th minute but, once again, Jutkiewicz was on hand to equalise for the hosts.

Wes Harding’s own goal in stoppage time then settled the game and a 5-4 win for Leeds.

Here, MOT Leeds News has rated the players out of 10 for their performances in the West Midlands:

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Kiko Casilla – 3

Yet again, it was an awful performance by Leeds’ goalkeeper. He should have done better to stop Jutkiewicz from scoring his first Birmingham equaliser in the second half before he was caught in no man’s land when Jeremie Bela scored. Casilla’s decision-making when it comes to coming off his line is atrocious.

Luke Ayling – 8

Ayling scored an absolute belter in the 69th minute before forcing the own goal that won them the match at the death. The ex-Bristol City right-back struck the ball beautifully for his goal. Without him, the Whites might have lost that.

Liam Cooper – 5

Cooper is yet to show his best form since returning from injury and it was yet another sub-par display by him at St Andrew’s on Sunday. Cooper was decent in the air but his passing was wayward, to say the least. Leeds are conceding way too many goals at the moment and need more from their captain.

Ben White – 5

White is someone whose form has dropped in the last month or so and that is one of the key reasons behind Leeds leaking goal after goal, despite looking so solid at the back just a few weeks ago. White was good on the ball as he always is, but you just expect a bit more from him.

Ezgjan Alioski – 5

Alioski assisted two of Leeds’ goals but that was about as good as it got for the North Macedonia international. He was one of the best players on the pitch against Preston on Boxing Day but could not match that display at Birmingham, despite the assists.

Kalvin Phillips – 5

It is no coincidence that Leeds’ rough spell has come about when Phillips has been at his worst. Phillips was not awful against Birmingham, he just wasn’t as good as we know he can be.

Stuart Dallas – 6

Dallas has a hard job to do in the centre of the midfield. He’s being played out of position and that is hindering Leeds United. No one in Bielsa’s squad is capable of replacing Pablo Hernandez but Dallas has now scored two late goals in two matches to help earn the Whites a draw and a win.

Mateusz Klich – 5

Klich’s form has been a worry for some time now. Does the Poland international need a rest? He’s started every Championship fixture this season but the lack of central midfield options in Bielsa’s squad means that it could be some time before Klich can be replaced.

Helder Costa – 7

Costa opened the scoring for Leeds in the first half and went on to have one of his better games for the Yorkshire club. His passing wasn’t great but he got stuck in, won a few aerial duels and did a decent job.

Jack Harrison – 9

Harrison was arguably Leeds’ man of the match. He assisted Costa’s goal before getting on the scoresheet himself. Wes Harding’s late own goal to win the match for Leeds would have been turned in by Harrison if he got there. On the whole, it was one of the winger’s finest displays this season.

Eddie Nketiah – 6

Nketiah did well enough in his first league start for Leeds. He showed glimpses that he is able to hold the ball up and, according to WhoScored, won three aerial duels against a physical Birmingham side. Nketiah can definitely hold his own in the Championship but he would have been disappointed to have not scored, or even register a shot, in the nine-goal thriller.


Tyler Roberts (for Nketiah 81 minutes) – 5

Gaetano Berardi (for Klich 86 minutes) – 5

In other Leeds United news, fans have blasted Andrea Radrizzani for one of his tweets.