BBC Sport pundit blasts 'terrible' Rodrigo after Leeds United moment v Arsenal
Pat Nevin has slammed Rodrigo for essentially assisting Arsenal’s opening goal against Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.
Leeds had been playing quite well until Bukayo Saka scored thanks to a ridiculous cross-field pass by Rodrigo.
He was on the right wing, near the halfway line, when he tried to play the ball diagonally back to left-back Pascal Struijk before it was intercepted by Saka.
Ex-Chelsea and Scotland player Nevin was less than impressed with Rodrigo’s careless play.
“That is some finish from Saka! He has had a lot of space on that right side and looked dangerous,” said Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live, as quoted by BBC Sport’s matchday blog [16 October, 03:16pm].
“However, Rodrigo made a terrible pass after he played the ball without looking.
“Saka is right behind him and what a brilliant finish that was. He just clips it with pace into the roof of the net.”
What was he thinking?
Jesse Marsch put a lot of trust in Rodrigo ahead of this game.
He left Patrick Bamford on the bench to start the Spain international, who’d started the season so well in front of goal.
But Rodrigo has let Marsch down massively.
What on earth was going through his head when he tried an audacious pass like that?
Only two scenarios could have played out. He was either going to play a successful cross-field pass to the left-back or he was going to gift possession to Arsenal.
The risk definitely outweighed the reward – if you can call it a reward – yet the experienced international went ahead and played the pass anyway.
It makes no sense and it wasn’t really a surprise to see Marsch hook Rodrigo at half-time and replace him with Patrick Bamford, who had the ball in the back of the net within seconds. Unfortunately it was disallowed.
Rodrigo might struggle to get back into the starting line-up now.
His form has dipped in the last few games and this mistake was costly.