By Craig Scott

30th Nov, 2021 | 10:11pm

Struijk stinker, Raphinha man of the match: Leeds United player ratings v Crystal Palace

Raphinha’s late penalty won Leeds United all three points as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Elland Road on Sunday night.

After an on-field VAR review, Kevin Friend awarded Leeds a last-ditch spot-kick when Marc Guehi handled the ball inside the box.

Raphinha, who was brilliant throughout the match, netted the resulting penalty in a match that saw several chances squandered by both sides.

Here, MOT Leeds News rates the players out of 10 for their performances:

Illan Meslier – 6

Had our hearts in our mouths when Christian Benteke’s attempted wriggled under his body but luckily, Meslier was quick enough to pounce on the ball before it crosses his goal line. Quiet night for Meslier and did his job.

Stuart Dallas – 8

Superb performance by Dallas, who did well at containing Wilfried Zaha for large parts of the game despite not naturally being a right-back. Dallas is an absolute class act who’s getting better and better as each game goes by.

Diego Llorente – 5

Llorente lost Benteke when he almost scored a header and his passing was wayward at times. We expect a lot better from the Spain international, who was so solid last season. If we were up against a better side, we’d have lost and maybe conceded a couple of goals.

Liam Cooper – 4

Mistimed tackles and misplaced passes plagued what was a poor performance by Cooper. Benteke almost scored in the 79th minute when Cooper completely failed to deal with a ball into the box. We’ve got to look at better centre-back options next summer.

Pascal Struijk – 3

Struijk was all over the place against Palace. He went diving into tackles and was fortunate to not give away a penalty when he shoved Jordan Ayew to the ground with the Eagles forward running riot against him. Struijk was booked for a foul on Ayew before suffering an injury before half-time which ultimately resulted in him being substituted off at the break. It did us all a favour when that happened.

Adam Forshaw – 7

Forshaw was at the heart of most of our attacking play on Tuesday night. The midfielder had several attempts at goal and although they weren’t ever really close to hitting the back of the net, it was great to see him getting forward and having a go. Forshaw also controlled possession well and did well when Palace had the ball.

Kalvin Phillips – 6

Slightly overshadowed by Forshaw as Gareth Southgate watched on from the stands at Elland Road but it wasn’t a bad display by the England midfielder. Phillips had some good ideas but unfortunately, they didn’t come off as well and as often as he would have liked.

Daniel James – 7

James is really starting to hit his stride now. The Wales international took his time to get adjusted but we saw, especially in the second half, that he has what it takes to slot into Bielsa’s system. James is improving and we cannot wait to see what he can do when he links up with Patrick Bamford in the attack.

Mateusz Klich – 4

Anonymous. We forgot Klich was playing until it was announced at the start of the second half he was being substituted off. WhoScored says that Klich completed just five out of the 10 passes he attempted in the first half. Pointless appearance by the Poland international.

Raphinha – 9 (Man of the match)

Raphinha was a real handful for Palace on Tuesday night. The Brazil international showcased a stunning range of passing while he consistently bamboozled the defenders with his skill. He won the match with a cooly-finished penalty in stoppage time.

Tyler Roberts – 5

Roberts did well against Brighton on Saturday and was awarded with just his second start of the Premier League season against Palace. However, Joe Gelhardt should have gotten the nod instead because Roberts was rather ineffective. He linked up with his fellow attackers well enough but there’s not enough cut and thrust from the ex-West Brom player.


Junior Firpo (on for Struijk, 46′) – 5

Firpo’s still got some way to go to show to us Leeds fans that he was worth the money that was paid for him in the summer. He was, however, a lot better than Struijk.

Rodrigo (on for Klich, 46′) – 5

Rodrigo didn’t link up as well with his fellow attackers as we would have hoped and squandered a massive chance to score not long after his introduction.

Charlie Cresswell (on for Roberts, 90+5′) – N/A

In other Leeds United news, Gary Neville blasted this Elland Road chief after he was left fuming with an official tweet by the club.